GM builds the Bolt EV at its Orion plant north of Detroit (Photo: GM)

General Motors will soon ramp up production of the Bolt EV amid increasing global demand for the car, GM CEO Mary Barra said.

The Bolt EV, which is built at GM's Orion Assembly plant north of Detroit, posted a 23 pc increase in sales in the first two months of the year to 2,601 units.

Barra said she was optimistic about future sales growth in the EV segments. Citing combined 2017 auto-industry sales of 1.2 million plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, she said: "We are encouraged by this momentum, and because of increasing global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, we are announcing today that we will increase Bolt EV production later this year at our Orion Assembly plant north of Detroit."

And she added: "Increased Bolt EV production benefits our customers around the world, our dealers and our employees."

In an address to the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston last week, Barra said the Bolt EV is "our platform providing a window into our all-electric and self-driving future.”

GM, like many other major car brands, has made a strong commitment to electric propulsion, despite a market that has been slow to take off. The US carmaker wants to bring at least 20 new all-electric vehicles to market by 2023.

Last year, Barra said, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, and the Cadillac CT6 Plug-in accounted for nearly a quarter of sales in the US EV segment.