General Motors has asked for $2.6bn to help develop Chevrolet Volt spin-offs
3 April 2009

General Motors has applied for $2.6bn (£1.77bn) of US government loans to develop three hybrid cars, according to a business plan released by the manufacturer.

GM plans to build two Chevrolet Volt spin-offs with the money, as well as using it to push ahead with the production of the Volt itself.

A Cadillac Converj concept, which featured a Volt-based electric drivetrain, was shown by GM at the Detroit show in January and GM plans to use the Volt’s drivetrain in other production models to help bring down the unit cost of the lithium-ion batteries used.

The low interest Department of Energy loans are separate to the restructuring plan it has to submit to the Obama administration within the next 60 days.

It is the third separate request made by GM for loans under the scheme and it brings the total amount of money GM is asking for to $10.3bn (£7bn).

The Obama administration has not said whether GM’s request for further loans would undermine its restructuring proposal.

Fisker and Tesla have also applied for loans under the same scheme.

Mark Tisshaw

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