Volt Birth Watch 113: Inside The Volt Battery Development

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
volt birth watch 113 inside the volt battery development

Curious about how things are progressing on the Volt front? Want to know all about how the Volt team “weighed each metric by importance and factored in what Volt vehicle-line executive Tony Posawatz diplomatically calls “qualitative factors,” such as, Are we going to hate working with these guys?” when choosing a battery supplier? Popular Science has a monster piece on the moon shot’s moon shot entitled Power Struggle that will answer all your questions about the Volt’s battery. Except for who’s going to make it and what the actual specs are. You will, however, learn that “It was a different proposition for the EV1,” according to Jon Bereisa, the chief of propulsion on the EV1 and an early instigator for the Chevy Volt. “The battery technology was not there and we knew it, but we believed that we could make up for it by designing a highly efficient car. You could say we nailed it. But we really did not achieve commercial viability.” And one analyst warns “the battery is too big, too expensive, and we are concerned about the life of the battery, the liability risk and the warranty’ — that’s what I hear at every car company I’ve gone to for the last nine years, and now I’m going to go to plug-in hybrids? The batteries are five times bigger, five times more expensive. The liability risk is five times more, or 10 times more.”

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4 of 8 comments
  • JoeEgo JoeEgo on Oct 29, 2008

    Why doesn't Niedermeyer get around to the heart of the story here: the gas engine won't recharge the battery! The wool is being pulled over our eyes by the very site that purports to seek out the TRUTH! Seriously, whether the Volt is produced or not there should be some sort of retrospective, in-joke-laden post on the Volt Birth/Suffocation/Death-watch series.

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Oct 29, 2008
    JoeEgo : We're already well into the "not" stage.

  • John Horner John Horner on Oct 29, 2008

    "If only we had better batteries .... " That has been the refrain of electric car promoters for over 100 years now.

  • Autonut Autonut on Oct 29, 2008

    Speaking of Volt battery development: isn't GM is out of the picture and the gig was outsourced to LG? Maybe Volt will come with a decent cell phone.