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Tuesday
Sep172013

GM Picks Up Speed on Mass-Market Electric Cars

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The race is on to build a long-range more affordable, mass-market electric car that can go at least 200 miles on a single charge.

General Motors is expanding its battery testing plant in Michigan as it tries to bring down the cost of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and make them more attractive for a much bigger share of new car buyers. Doug Parks, GM’s vice president of global product programs, disclosed the new plans.

Analysts say General Motors, Nissan, Tesla and other auto firms have faced the same problem for years with batteries. They are too expensive and don’t give cars the ability to travel long distances. GM experts are reported to be studying Tesla’s battery technology.

The Chevy Volt, which sells for $35,000 before a federal tax credit, can go 38 miles before the gasoline motor kicks in. The all-electric Chevy Spark, which costs about $27,000, can go more than 80 miles. That compares with about 265 miles on a single charge for the much more expensive Tesla Model S.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio