Suggested production of the Volt at Merseyside’s Elsmere Port production facility was raised at a meeting between president of GM Europe Carl Peter-Forster and UK prime minister Gordon Brown at the British Motor show in July.

The car maker stopped development of the electric car in the 1990s, earning it a poor environmental reputation. But this is likely to be reversed with the announcement of plans to build the world’s largest rooftop solar power station at its Zaragoza factory in Spain.

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The $78.5m investment in 183,000 square metres of panels will provide the equivalent of about a quarter of the factory’s power needs at peak times. GM is likely to follow the investment with a similar project in its St Petersburg factory and might expand the scheme to 18 other sites across Europe.