Several articles published after an online chat / press conference with GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner are suggesting that GM is no longer guaranteeing 2010 as the year you’ll see the plug-in hybrid Volt on a production line.
Wagoner is saying that production of the Volt all comes down to the lithium-ion battery that would be needed to power the car. GM is currently bench testing batteries, but they’re not giving out any details, leading people to believe that things are not going as well as GM had hoped. (Lithium-ion batteries are proving problematic for others, also. Toyota recently announced that it will not be using lithium-ion batteries on the next generation prius due to safety concerns with the batteries.)
While GM says that they are still shooting for the 2010 goal, the fact that they’re looking for wiggle room so early doesn’t make it look good. They say that they, “continue to put massive resources into production as soon as possible.”
The Chevy Volt, which is starting to show up in some GM commercials to help establish their green credentials, is expected to be able to travel up to 40 miles on battery power alone. When the battery power drops below a certain level, the battery would be recharged by an internal combustion engine that could be powered by an E-Flex internal combustion engine powered by either gasoline or ethanol.