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Does the Chevy Volt's manufacturing break spell bad news for Obama's million EV promise?

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The Chevrolet Volt's manufacturing break could cause problems for Obama's million-EV by 2015 promise.

Chevy Volt
Chevy Volt

It's been a bad month for electric cars, with low sales numbers and GM forced to suspend manufacturing of the Volt for five weeks in order to prevent oversupply. This trend has led The Wall Street Journal to speculate that President Obama's aim to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 could be in jeopardy. A Department of Energy publication shows that the government's numbers included 120,000 Chevy Volts sold in 2012, a target which now seems unlikely considering its current monthly record stands at just 1,529 vehicles. In the long term, the Volt is expected to account for more than half of the million sales promised in the State of the Union Address.

With the increase in tax credits on electric cars rising by a third to $10,000, the government is obviously realizing that the industry will need a little more help to take off in light of the current economic climate and negative press that EVs have received. The WSJ points out that it's not just the auto manufacturers themselves that will struggle — suppliers that have geared up to supply the industry may be caught out by this sluggish growth. Commercialized fuel cell technology is on the horizon — and battery ranges are always improving — but it's unclear what might improve the EV outlook in the short term.