Volt Birth Watch 131: June 1st Birthday! OK, November. 2010

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

GM-volt.com‘s Lyle Dennis has pinged me with his story on the Chevrolet plug-in electric/gas hybrid Volt’s development timeline. So, we learn that . . .

Andrew Farah, the Volt’s lead engineer actually has a countdown clock in his office revealing that 63 days from today, assembly of the first true Volt will start. All the parts will be lined up at the low volume assembly facility and will begin to come together that day. Andrew notes the first one will take longer to produce, but for all intents and purposes will come to life on June 1st. They will then be built at a rate of roughly 10 per week until a total fleet of over 80 is completed.

“All intents and purposes” is like “Not to insult you, but . . . ” In other words, wiggle room. Anyway, let’s follow this through.

According to Greg Ceisel, GM’s Voltec manager, 2010 will bring several more build stages. “We’ve got several phases leading up to the production launch where we build larger and larger batches,” says Ciesel “in each phase as we perfect the production process, make sure we’ve got all the fit finish and other details exactly correct and that the quality of the vehicle meets our standards before we go into the first vehicles that will ultimately be saleable vehicles that will be shipped to the dealerships.”

He said there will be “a hundred or so” of these final pre-production Volts that will also act as a captured test fleet for mostly GM employees.

By November of 2010 the first saleable Volts will begin being built at the Hamtramck plant and shipped to dealerships.

Wanna bet?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Akear Akear on Mar 25, 2009

    With Way-goner in charge anything is possible. Any CEO that can reduce GM's marketshare nearly 10 points in 10 years has to be taken seriously. Good Job........

  • Blindfaith Blindfaith on Mar 26, 2009

    The gasoline engine creating the electricity to run the electric motor will wind up buring about 45 mpg. The gasoline engine running at the most efficient rpm for the production of electrictiy is a great start. Now the recovery of the energy by the regenerative breaking to help recharge the batteries is another item all the negative folks here do not attend. Best of all we are going away from oil. Since, the folks that have this oil main concern is to deliver smoke and fire to our financial heart such as the twin towers. The cost of the twin towers was estimated at $500,000,000,000 to $1,000,000,000,000 look at what happen to the market then of course the war was another trillon dollars. Figure that into your equation (401) So these are such obvious costs, I believe most of you folks are posters from the middle east that just don't want us to take the first steps which are always the most costly and short sightedly could be argued of no value. Wait a minute i have to get my prayer rug out now because I do not want you finding out who I am so you don't persue your normal course of action.

  • Paris-dakar Paris-dakar on Mar 26, 2009

    That Black Frit on the side windows is UGLY. And $40K for a Daewoo with an oversized Lap Top Battery = FAIL. If this is what my Bail Out $$$ are buying, count me out.

  • KixStart KixStart on Mar 26, 2009

    blindfaith: "I believe most of you folks are posters from the middle east that just don’t want us to take the first steps which are always the most costly and short sightedly could be argued of no value." Try "the Midwest." I've been in favor of the "first steps" for decades. Instead of taking "first steps," we went on an oil-drinking binge. If, starting today, every car manufactured was a serial-electric hybrid with 40 miles of battery range, it would be 30 years before the US auto fleet was 90% electric and we'd still be using a fair amount of oil, as these cars will be operated outside their electric-only range. Oil imports are a fact of life for the foreseeable future, unless your big plan is to run out of oil first and think we can drill for it and suck it up fast enough to avoid importation... for a few years. Anyway, we can't. Doesn't matter how many holes you poke in the ground. With some effort, we can do something far worse to the petrodictatorships... we can drive down the price of oil so far that they hardly make money on it. In other words, preactically steal it. Well... superhuman effort is probably required now. Had we started on a campaign to starve petrodictatorships of revenue 10, 15 or 30 years ago, we'd have much better odds of actually achieving this. I live in a sprawl - a town that is a slave to the automobile - with a population of 8K in 1986 and a population of 55K today. If we had engineered this city for a lifestyle that didn't involve enslavement to the automobile, we'd see a reduction in our current gas consupmtion of something like 8 million gallons of gas per year. Just from developing this one city differently. We'd see fewer N-car families, so families would have more income available for expenses other than transportation. If I could reduce my auto fleet by 1, I'd be able to take a nice cruise every year and still bank a little extra money. We'd be spending far less money on roads. Right now, there's a project in it's 2nd year to re-develop a section of what's called "The Cross-Town Commons" (it's basically a chicane - the stupidest idea I've ever seen in traffic engineering). Not only is it costing us a gazillion bucks, commute times are way up while it's under way. I hope the improvement is worth the construction delays. Diametricallly opposite is another project to re-develop a different Commons, said project also in its second year, also costing a gazillion bucks. "Spaghetti Junction" in downtown St. Paul was revamped about 20 years ago. There's little room left to reorganize routing or increase capacity at key points without condemning and buying expensive real estate (less expensive for its proximity to the noise, of course). What's the contribution per Minnesota taxpayer for the current highway construction? A few hundred bucks per year? More? In addition, I'm paying $400/year for the street improvements in front of my house, plus some to my local government for other road projects. And the taxes actually levied on vehicle fuels is inadequate to the real costs. Our thirst for oil, which made people like Saddam Husseein and Osama bin Laden rich enough to cause serious trouble, has caused us to spend untold billions extra on defense - and cost many lives. The Volt is not a magic bullet of any kind. In the pitiful quantities GM will build, it has negligible value to any social goal. Even if manufacturers adopt this tech wholesale, we'll still continue to spend our incomes on cars and we'll still be spending billions on roads and we'll still be using fuel, especially as increasing sprawl will also increase driving distances.