When GM's Chevy Volt temporarily ceased production in March, some speculated that flagging sales of the hybrid car could be a harbinger of doom for electric vehicles. If the Volt is symbolic of the entire EV industry, things are at least looking up a little: GM has just restarted production of the Volt, a week ahead of schedule. Rather than waiting until April 23rd to put the Volt back on the assembly line, it's apparently begun today.

That's consistent with an announcement the company made last week, when it told Bloomberg that Volt sales had been increasing since January and were particularly strong in markets like California. Besides selling off some of the inventory it had stockpiled, GM has also used the downtime to make some changes to the car, allowing California solo drivers to use it in carpool lanes. "It seems like we've sustained ourselves through this difficult period... We hope to get up to 3,000- plus in the coming months and are certainly positioning it," said CEO Dan Akerson, referring to a January investigation of the Volt's battery.