GM to boost Chevy Bolt production

Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) — General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra called on the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to expand a consumer tax credit for electric vehicles as the automaker said it would boost production of its EV Chevrolet Bolt in response to strong demand.

Barra also called on U.S. regulators to take into account when scoring automakers’ emissions the potential for autonomous ridesharing vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and petroleum consumption. The Trump administration is reviewing whether Obama administration emissions standards that called for roughly doubling average U.S. vehicle fuel efficiency by 2025 are appropriate.

“We feel tax credits should be expanded so our customers continue to receive the benefit going forward,” Barra told an energy conference in Houston. “We believe in an all-electric future.”

GM has sold more than 160,000 plug-in and full-electric vehicles eligible for the credit. The $7,500 consumer tax credit phases out over a 12-month-period soon after an automaker hits the 200,000 mark and the largest U.S. automaker is expected to hit the mark later this year. The tax credit is aimed at helping defray the cost of pricier electric vehicles.

Introduced in October 2016, the Bolt was the first mass-produced electric vehicle to go more than 320 kilometers between charges, and sell at a sticker price of under $40,000.

Electrically powered vehicles account for a just a fraction of GM’s overall sales. In 2017, an analyst estimated GM loses $7,400 on every Bolt it sells. GM does not disclose individual vehicle profitability, company spokesman Pat Morrissey said by phone.

GM sold about 26,000 Bolt EVs worldwide last year, mostly in the United States. The company declined to say how much it would hike production when it adds production later this year at an assembly plant north of Detroit.Speech

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