Hats off to GM Spinmeister-in-Chief Steve Harris. The guy’s got his finger on the pulse, at a time when the last thing GM can afford (never mind the U.S. taxpayer) is bad PR. And so, the ailing American automaker launched a major “the Volt is real” offensive, in the face of rumors (need I mention any names?) that the bailout-critical green car program is in chaos. (Cart and pony pics in gallery below.) The Detroit News reports that “Volt is on Track.” The words “GM Says” are conspicuous by their absence. But I e-quibble, ’cause I share Lyle Dennis’ willingness to accept Volt engineers’ “infinite confidence” that they can make Chevy’s plug-in gas/electric Hail Mary work. And here’s the news: like Tesla, GM’s already hard at work on Volt 2.0.
GM says engineers are working on second- and third-generation electric versions that will cost less.
The Detroit automaker is working with companies that produce battery cells and electronic and thermal systems to find innovations that will drop the cost of subsequent generations of electric vehicles, said Denise Gray, GM’s director of hybrid energy storage systems.
“Our primary focus on generations two and three is one of cost,” said Bob Kruse, GM executive director of global vehicle engineering. “We understand the business proposition and we understand what it takes. But we also know to allow this to take off and be more regularized that cost is absolutely key.”
Verbize of the day? Never mind. There’s no question that GM will move heaven and Congress to get something Volt-shaped on the road by the deadline.
GM has about 30 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles on the road now that use the Volt’s lithium-ion battery packs and the automaker will start testing about 80 prototype vehicles this summer that functionally represent the electric car, [GM executive director of global vehicle engineering Bob] Kruse said.
Battery-powered Cruze control? Who’d a thunk it? Over to you, Mr. Harris.