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GM's Bob Lutz  (Source: Photobucket/willfusion)

Production Chevrolet Volt
GM gives a thumbs up to the Volt's battery pack

General Motors' Bob Lutz made headlines earlier today for his comments on crash testing for European-designed vehicles. Lutz argued that differing crash testing standards are preventing the GM from bringing over smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles from Europe that would help the company boost its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE).

When Lutz isn't championing GM's efforts to pump the U.S. market full of high quality, fuel efficient vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs) and drivetrains, he is singing the praises of the upcoming Chevrolet Volt. In the latest saga of the Volt's development, Lutz proclaims that testing of the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack is going smoothly.

"We haven't hit any obstacles so far for the batteries," remarked Lutz to Kicking Tires. "They are all performing flawlessly. It's almost scary we are not seeing any problems with the batteries."

Lutz went on to explain that the batteries have been subjected to numerous reliability and durability tests which encompass rigorous road testing and extreme temperature variances. That being said, the battery life of the lithium-ion battery is a concern for GM. As a result, the battery along with other powertrain components will be covered under a 10-year warranty.

"We're being conservative on battery life. For our cost calculations we're assuming each car will need a replacement during the warranty period," added Lutz.

Lithium-ion batteries -- when used to provide 100% propulsion for a vehicle -- have largely been untested on a large scale in the U.S. auto market. There have been niche players like Tesla Motors with its Roadster, which features a 6,381 cell lithium-ion battery pack, but it also carries a hefty $100,000+ price tag.

GM's Volt, on the other hand, is expected to carry a much more palatable price of around $40,000 to $45,000 before the requisite government rebates and tax credits.

The Chevrolet Volt was recently spied on the set of the “Transformers 2” set wearing what appeared to be production bodywork. Shortly before the exterior was spied, picture of the Volt’s interior was also leaked for the world to see.



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I don't understand what is taking so long?
By pauldovi on 9/3/2008 12:18:48 PM , Rating: -1
Most people probably know that I am no fan of the Volt.

I want to know what is taking the development so long? 2010? Lockheed Martin developed the F-22 Raptor in 12 months and fully tested / demonstrated / choosen by the Air Force in another 36 months. The F-22 is a far more complex system then the Volt...

The car is not that complicated, conceptually far simpler than the parallel powertrain found on the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic.

At $40,000 to $45,000 I cannot see how this vehicle will compete with 4th generation Toyota Prius, and the 3rd generation of Honda's IMA which will have full hybrid vehicles for $19,000 (toting a rumored 60mph). Of course from my dicussion with GM Hybrid engineers they don't intend to compete with these more advanced powertrains... because they know they cannot.

Instead GM hopes to capture the market of those who were dumb enough to drop $40-$50,000 on their SUV's. They can easily claim superiority because the Volt is an "electric vehicle" and they can claim it is more environmentally friend because of this (which it isn't).




RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By amanojaku on 9/3/2008 12:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
Lockheed Martin seems to be managed a little better than Chevrolet. And they have more money to spend on development, which means more labor, better design tools, etc...


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By pauldovi on 9/3/2008 12:36:01 PM , Rating: 1
Lockheed Martin is a smaller company than GM. GM pulled a revenue of $181 billion last year while Lockheed Martin has a $42 billion revenue.

But that is not the point. The Volt's development time is unreasonably long.


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By amanojaku on 9/3/2008 12:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
GM is larger than Lockheed Martin, but GM has more products to design, build, and sell. Lockheed only works on a few things at a time. It's easier for Lockheed Martin to focus on designing one plane for the US instead of the 40-50 cars Chevy sells worldwide. I'm not saying Chevy can't get this out faster (I have not clue what goes on there) but I'm sure they have less resources to throw at the Volt than Lockheed Martin had for the F-22.


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 1:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
LOL again!!! The ignorant comments persist! Why can't you guys just simply ask a question when you don't understand something? You might actually get explanations instead of rate downs. The two posters are right, it's far easier to focus on a product or two versus multiple one's.

The Volt isn't the only car that GM makes, they still have to provide R&D and support for their other cars as well as other future cars. Do you see any other car company with a Volt-like car that's almost ready for production? Where's the hate on those other companies? What about crappy Chrysler that's doing nothing?


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By 67STANG on 9/3/2008 3:17:40 PM , Rating: 1
The world's oil supply is estimated to last until 2050.

Do you think Chrysler is going to be around in 2050? I think it's a wise move on their part.


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 3:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you think Chrysler is going to be around in 2050? I think it's a wise move on their part.
Bleed red for the next 40+ years? Yeah, real smart.


By 67STANG on 9/3/2008 7:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
Who said they'd even be around for 10 more years? Interestingly enough however, I did just find this: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26533073/ so apparently they are working on something. 3-5 years before they come out means they are coming a bit late to the game, however.


By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 4:34:59 PM , Rating: 2
And they said that it would run out by now in the 60s.


By djxtreme on 9/8/2008 1:34:45 PM , Rating: 2
If the Govment here really wanted too, I'm sure it could be helped to speed up the process


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 12:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
You're joking right?

The F-22 started its life in the early 90s.

http://www.f22fighter.com/history.htm

You clearly know absolutely nothing about this amazing aircraft.


By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 12:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
And the early 90s was just the F22 as it mostly exists today. The program really traces back to the early 80s and it wasn't until the mid 80s that the design was started.

http://www.f22fighter.com/timeline.htm


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By amanojaku on 9/3/2008 12:49:48 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, the F-22 began in the '80s. 1986-1991, to be exact. That was the prototype, and then the production model was designed starting 1991.


By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 12:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
Must have been typing when I posted the above.


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By randomly on 9/3/2008 3:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
Actually some of the F-22 design concepts go back as far as 1903... maybe even farther. That's a hell of a long design cycle.


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By Spuke on 9/3/2008 3:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually some of the F-22 design concepts go back as far as 1903... maybe even farther.
Stupidity goes back even further.


By randomly on 9/3/2008 4:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
Do you draw that wisdom from personal experience or from an older relative?


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By dagamer34 on 9/3/2008 12:47:56 PM , Rating: 1
Because a fighter plane has INFINTELY more space than a car. And weight doesn't really matter on items that the GOVERNMENT buys, and not consumers.


By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 12:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
Did you just say that weight doesn't matter on a plane designed to outmaneuver any other fighter plane ever built? Or even just a plane in general? Every pound counts on a fighter plane.

And space on a plane is at an all time premium. It is not a luxury. Every component has to justify the space it takes up. The bigger something is on a plane, that's space that can't be used to store fuel.


RE: I don't understand what is taking so long?
By walk2k on 9/3/2008 4:36:27 PM , Rating: 1
The oil cartels fund kickbacks to the automakers and the government to stifle innovation and maintain the gas-guzzling status quo, that's why.


By FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 7:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
Put on your tin foil hat. The aliens might be scanning you.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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