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As Volt rolls, consumers cool to electric vehicles

November 30, 2010 | 11:15 am

General Motors said Tuesday that it will hire 1,000 engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years to expand its electric vehicle development. The new jobs will help the automaker develop and manufacture automotive battery, electric motor and power control technology and components. The announcement comes as the first production model of the the $41,000 Chevrolet Volt came off the factory floor. Volt_auction2

“We want to give our customers energy choices other than petroleum and to make the automobile part of the solution when it comes to the environment,” said Dan Akerson, GM’s chief executive.

But whether consumers are interested in such vehicles remains a question.

Kelley Blue Book, the auto pricing information company, said Tuesday that only 7% of car shoppers say they are likely to consider an electric vehicle for their next new-vehicle purchase or lease.  The data come from Kelley Blue Book’s Market Intelligence study.

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-- Jerry Hirsch

Photo: Chevrolet Volt. Credit: General Motors