Volt Birth Watch 130: GM Promises Volt by November 2010

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
volt birth watch 130 gm promises volt by november 2010

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.

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2 of 26 comments
  • Akear Akear on Mar 19, 2009

    I know this is not the topic of this thread, but isn't all this bad news about the US auto industry just adding to the depressive state of the nation. 40 years ago we sent men to the moon, and now we can't even make a simple compact car. I feel sick to my stomach thinking GM's only domestic engineered passenger cars are the Lacrosse, Lucerne, and Corvette. What is left after all this out-sourcing. The answer to this is a giant pile of excrement! What friggin' nightmare.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Mar 20, 2009
    Why buy the first if the 2nd and 3rd gen are going to be affordable? They have to be careful about what they promise. Otherwise, they may get sunk by the Osborne Effect.

  • Cardave5150 Why oh why are they resurrecting the ZDX name??? It’s not like the last one was anything other than an overpriced freak show. Just use 3 other random letters!
  • Gemcitytm Why does it seem every EV seems to have ridiculous amounts of power? Yes, I know they're heavier than ICE models but who on earth needs 708 HP? How about a nice, compact EV with, say, 250 HP and 350-400 mile range? Is that impossible with today's tech? (I currently drive a 148 HP Mazda 3 ICE and it has all the get-up-and-go I need.)
  • CEastwood I could have bought one of these if I had the cash in 76 for $1000 white , red interior , 3 speed stick with whitewalls/ wire hubcaps - it was mint and gone a day after I saw it . But the real catch that got away was an all original 69 green Camaro RS convertible 327 4 speed with 46K on the clock for 1800 that I saw a few months earlier . Young and poor was not a fun place to be !
  • KOKing I'm in an emissions check only state, and I'd trade that away for a safety check all day.
  • Bd2 The hybrid powertrain in the Sportage and Tucson are the ones to get.H/K should discontinue the base NA 2.5L powertrain and just build more of the hybrid.In the future, maybe offer a 2nd, more powerful hybrid (the hybrid 2.5) which will first arrive with the next Telluride/Palisade.Kia also needs to redo the front fascia for the Sportage's refresh.