With the Feds eager to keep raising the bar on CAFE standards, and apparently doing so based on proposed future technologies, General Motors Corp. bluntly told federal regulators not to count on the Chevrolet Volt, or other planned plug-in hybrids, when proposing new rules. GM is maintaining the position that those vehicles will be built in such low numbers through 2015, that they won't make a significant enough impact on the fleet. As it stands, Chevy plans to be build 10,000 Volts in 2011 (the first year of production), and 60,000 the following year... and meeting those numbers is highly dependent on outside suppliers for battery and technology delivery (let's hope they don't mimic the problems Toyota is having with the Prius battery supply). It was earlier this year when the NHTSA proposed a 25 percent increase in fuel economy rules from 2011 through 2015. It has been estimated that meeting those standards would cost GM about $17.3 billion. Although GM isn't trying to skirt tougher regulations, it is their goal to set "reasonable perspectives" with regulators. At a time when GM is struggling to survive (and they are not alone), the CAFE noose just may need to be loosened a bit.

[Source: Freep]

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