Green Car Journal: Making the plug-in hybrid “real”

Green Car Journal has a nice article about the growing pressure on General Motors to “make real” the Volt concept car that GM showed off last January at the North American International Auto Show. According to Green Car Journal, there are rumors and reports questioning whether the Volt will ever be built. While GM appears to be fully committed to producing the Volt, real questions remain as to whether the required batteries can be made cheaply and reliably enough for a consumer based plug-in.

“If General Motors is guilty of anything, it’s of being forthcoming enough to admit that even as the company is pursuing a vehicle platform and powerplant it believes is crucial to the automobile’s future, battery challenges remain that could directly influence the timeline of a commercial introduction at new car showrooms. This view is mirrored by DaimlerChrysler, which has also said that a dramatic leap in battery technology is necessary to make its Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid viable in the marketplace.

The reason for this caveat? Unreal expectations are being fueled by plug-in interests because these battery challenges are rarely part of the pitch. Yet, battery cost and durability challenges remain. This is a sobering truth that’s better understood than not. Let’s just not shoot the messenger.”

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