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The more vehicles General Motors is able to build using the battery technology pioneered in its 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the better chance the automaker has of earning a return on its significant investment into the electrically driven automobile. It's the classic economies of scale issue... but what is the next logical vehicle application?

While many of the early prognostications pointed to a Voltec-powered Cadillac, a report from AutoWeek says GM CEO Dan Akerson is suggesting a minivan may come first. There's also some talk that an unknown hatchback is in the works (yes, the Volt is indeed a hatchback that's shaped to look more like a sedan, but whatever).

Also notable are Akerson's expectations that at least 10-percent of all GM production will be hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles within 10 to 15 years. Akerson wants each of the automaker's four core divisions – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet (check) and GMC – to have a vehicle using Volt technology, though no timeframe for that expansion has been given.

In other Volt news, Akerson told reporters at the 2011 Automotive News World Congress that the General is on track to sell 25,000 Chevrolet Volts for the 2011 model year, which is a sizeable increase from the 10,000-20,000 units expected as production began.

Moving past the ever-present greenery, Akerson and GM North American President Mark Reuss both stated that the company is putting some of its next-generation truck programs on the fast-track. We'd imagine that means we'll see new fullsize pickups from Chevy and GMC sooner rather than later.


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Photos copyright ©2011 Chris Paukert / AOL
[Source: AutoWeek]