Volt Birth Watch 130: GM Promises Volt by November 2010

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

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.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • 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.
  • FreedMike Well, here's my roster of car purchases since 1981: Three VWsTwo Mazdas (one being a Mercury Tracer, full disclosure)One AudiOne FordOne BuickOne HondaOne Volvo I think I hear Lee Greenwood in the background... In all seriousness, I'd have bought more American cars had they made more of the kinds of cars I like (smaller, performance-oriented).
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I'll gladly support the least "woke" and the most Japanese auto company out there.
  • Jmo2 I just got an email from the dealership where I bought my car and it looks like everything has $5k on the hood.
  • Lou_BC I suspect that since the global pandemic, dealerships have preferred to stay with the "if you want it, we will order it" business model. They just need some demo models on hand and some shiny bits to catch the impulse buyer. Profits are higher and risks lower this way.
  • Probert When I hear the word "patriot", I think of entitled hateful whining ignorant traitors to democracy. But hey , meant to say "Pass the salt."