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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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RE: 10-year... how many miles?
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 12:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently on average (and with current US prices) it will only cost around 85 cents to recharge the volt. Even if you were to twice a day, which frankly is not possible, it would only cost you a little over 6000$ over 10 years. Of course that number will increase to around 10k under the worst circumstances (if you live in hawaii and pay 16cents per KWA). For reference, California, which has the highest energy pries, would cost you a little over 7000$ over 10 years to recharge it twice a day, every day. These numbers obviously do not take rising energy costs into consideration, but it is still pretty good if you ask me when you take inflation, and the increase in avg pay that will also occur over 10 years.

RE: 10-year... how many miles?
By atrabilious on 9/3/2008 11:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
Thats only until everyone starts plugging in their Volts and the power companies have to raise prices.

RE: 10-year... how many miles?
By Samus on 9/4/2008 5:37:20 AM , Rating: 3
The difference between electricity and petrol is you can make your own electricity in a variety of ways. Solar and wind both come to mind. A basic solar charging system with capacitance that matches the volts lithium storage capacity would probably cost $2000. You could let the station collect charge during the day and when you park your car at home, just plug it into the storage medium (could be flywheel, set of batteries, set of wet caps, whatever's economical and meets storage requirements) for overnight electric charge transfer.

RE: 10-year... how many miles?
By Oregonian2 on 9/4/2008 6:17:11 PM , Rating: 2
Or work night shifts. :-)

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 9/5/2008 12:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
These ranges are only good if you are not running any of the other electrical services on the vehicle. Turn on the AC, or the heat and wipers, and your range is cut in half at least. I think we need to see some actual usage statistics over the course of a few years before we can start doing the math that GM wants us to do.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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