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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: 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
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: 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.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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