Volt Birth Watch 80: One Tough Cell

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
volt birth watch 80 one tough cell

The Detroit Free Press reports that GM has finally chosen a Volt battery supplier from its dueling development partners LG Chem and Conti. But in the interest of squeezing as many "Volt On The Way" headlines into future news cycles, it isn't saying which has been chosen. Both the battery partner and the final look of the production Volt will be previewed by the end of the year, probably whenever some bad news emerges that GM wants the public to ignore. In the meantime, this news means one thing, according to GM auto authoritarian Bob Lutz: "the Volt is real … and test work is progressing nicely." Perhaps not as nicely as Toyota's plug-in Prius though, which just had its delivery date bumped from 2010 to 2009. And with the 'yota PHEV set to arrive a year before the Volt's "late 2010" target, Lutz makes the case for waiting for the Volt to the AP. Toyota hasn't released an all-electric range for the Prius, but Lutz is assuming that because it's a parallel hybrid it won't match the Volt's 40 mile EV range. "After eight or 11 miles (Toyota's PHEV) reverts to being a completely normal gasoline-electric hybrid, which means you get about a 25-30 percent fuel savings, but the point is they do burn fuel." Lutz goes on: "A plug-in hybrid with a limited range is a very nice thing to have. It's wonderful that Toyota is working on this. If they have some test fleets out next year that's great. But it's not the same thing as a Chevy Volt, which is not a plug-in hybrid." Translation: it will cost more than the Prius, but you'll get more green cred. But don't take Bob's word for it. A full (theoretical) comparison test of the Volt and Plug-in Prius can be found here.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Rix Rix on Aug 30, 2008
    "General Motors Corp. has told federal regulators they should not count on any fuel economy gains from the upcoming Chevrolet Volt or other plug-in hybrids when setting new efficiency standards, saying such vehicles would be built in low numbers through 2015." ... The Freep continues with the actual money quote: “For the purposes of the NHTSA rulemaking, GM’s game-changing EREV technology should be treated as a low-volume application during the time period under consideration,” the automaker said in a filing. “We strongly discourage NHTSA from applying either PHEV or EREV technology in any significant volume in its … model during the 2011-2015 timeframe.” Source: Detroit Free Press, 7/9/08 Yes, I know, *shocking* that the Volt is not the next Honda Accord.
  • Blindfaith Blindfaith on Aug 31, 2008

    The numbers floating around for costs on the lithium battery is $10,000 and replaced at every 100,000 miles. They say that will be reduced when the deman pushes up supply but I think the costs are in the rare earth materials that make up the batteries. Good Luck on selling a used Lithium Ion battery powered car when the word gets out that you will need $10,000 to replace the batteries. Where is the cost of running the car come in with $10,000 battery pack? GM manufacturing 50mpg cars will surely slow down the move to Hybrids.

  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Aug 31, 2008

    Will the Volt come with a free Art Lebedev Vilcus Dactyloadapter?

  • T2 T2 on Aug 31, 2008
    Good Luck on selling a used Lithium Ion battery powered car when the word gets out that you will need $10,000 to replace the batteries. Exactly that's why a lead acid pack at 1/5th the cost would be a worthwhile retrofit despite its lower performance. But when is the battery free (virtual battery) VOLT coming out ? T2