Volt Birth Watch 8: The Clock Is Ticking

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
volt birth watch 8 the clock is ticking

"I would be surprised, shocked and dismayed if we decide not to do it." "It" is the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, and the speaker is Bob Lutz, quoted in the New York Times. Unfortunately, time waits for no man, even Maximum Bob. It's a little over two years until 2010, when GM has promised they'll have Volts on the road, silently whizzing around on their lithium-ion batteries. Except they still haven't developed a Li-Ion battery capable of powering the car. And once they finally have a viable design, auto industry economist Walter McManus surmises "when they break ground on a plant to make batteries, two years later the Volt will come out." In the meantime, GM is already advertising the Volt on TV, but with the disclaimer "Not yet available for sale" in small print at the bottom of the screen. Perhaps they should listen to Tony Posawatz, vehicle line director for the Volt, who admits "Until the product is done there is always some degree of uncertainty. No such batteries exist today, but our confidence builds as days go on." And as days go on, the clock keeps ticking down to 2010. Tick. Tick. Tick.

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4 of 15 comments
  • Glenn126 Glenn126 on Oct 25, 2007

    OK Glenn Swanson, I'll grant you that you're right. I have also got a lot more admiration for Honda than General Messup, no doubt about it. But you'll also want to be admitting that it probably won't be a great idea for me to sit outside my Honda store here in Michigan waiting on a chance to buy an FCX, any more than it will for me to be waiting outside the Chevy store next door, for a chance to buy a Volt. (Not that I'd ever buy a Chevy again but that's beside the point). Either way, it's going to be a LOOOONG wait.

  • Blunozer Blunozer on Oct 25, 2007

    Wow... The Volt certainly has stolen the vaporware thunder from the new (still unreleased) Camaro. When was the last time GM got more press about an actual production car than one of its concepts? GM is still the absolute master of overpromising... Then underdelivering... Several years too late.

  • KixStart KixStart on Oct 25, 2007

    At this point, I'd say the best way for GM to bring the Volt to market in a reasonable time frame at reasonable cost is to base it on Hybrid Synergy Drive and build it side-by-side in a NUMMI factory with the Prius. You know, like the Vibe. Perhaps, like the Vibe, the GM version will look better (IMHO).

  • Cammy Corrigan Cammy Corrigan on Oct 25, 2007

    "GM may have to abandon car due to poor planning and lack of technology whilst Bob Lutz does his best impression of 'Comical' Ali. In other news, the sky is blue and the grass is green......" You know, I think reading this site has made me a touch more cynical......!