Volt Birth Watch 104: GM Apologizes for Change in Volt's Propulsion. Almost.
As we reported previously, the plug-in electric – gas Chevrolet Volt will not, as originally stated, recharge its batteries on the fly. Which raises all kinds of questions about exactly what it DOES do, how it does it, how much it will cost to do it and why they’re doing it the way they’re doing it. While GM didn’t step-up and spill the beans on this mission critical mechanical issue (they were “outed” by Edmunds), an eagle-eyed TTAC reader spotted a post-facto mea culpa at the bottom of a USA Today article on the company’s investment in Flint. “GM initially said the Volt would be able to run 40 miles on its lithium-ion batteries, with a small internal combustion engine recharging the batteries to extend the range hundreds of miles. A top executive said the same thing as recently as last week. But company spokesman Rob Peterson said Wednesday that engineers changed the design so the Volt engine will power a generator that would run the electric motor after the batteries are depleted. A small amount of power from the generator will recharge the batteries, but most will be used to directly run the car, he said. He said bypassing the batteries is more efficient, and GM did not intend to deceive people by maintaining that he motor would only be used to recharge the batteries. ‘At the end of the day, to the consumer, the vehicle will operate much the same way,’ he said.” [thanks to peteinson for the link]