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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 FITCamaro on 9/3/2008 4:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
Only if we follow the Democrats plan and don't drill for oil. Funny how 10 years ago gas was less than a dollar a gallon and we wanted to drill. The Democrats said no because it'd take 10 years to get rolling. Now here we are 10 years later and gas is $3.50ish a gallon and we want to drill again(of course most of us never stopped wanting to). And again the Democrats say no because it'll take to long.

RE: 10-year... how many miles?
By InsaneGain on 9/3/2008 5:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think the logic is that the price of oil is determined by global supply and demand, not just American. Given that the daily global supply and demand of oil is enormous (79 million barrels per day), the amount of oil that would be added by USA offshore drilling would be inconsequential to the global price.

RE: 10-year... how many miles?
By Ringold on 9/3/2008 7:41:55 PM , Rating: 3
By that logic, nobody anywhere should ever drill again, because on the margin each individual project will have limited effect. Maybe this lousy logic can go unquestioned on CNN, but I'll wave the BS flag. This attitude towards drilling is unfounded defeatism. I suggest anti-depression medication. :P

If US output could rise by just a million barrels per day even, that'd be a substantial improvement due to the wild price elasticity involved.

RE: 10-year... how many miles?
By sinful on 9/4/2008 1:38:19 AM , Rating: 2
By that logic, nobody anywhere should ever drill again, because on the margin each individual project will have limited effect. Maybe this lousy logic can go unquestioned on CNN, but I'll wave the BS flag. This attitude towards drilling is unfounded defeatism. I suggest anti-depression medication. :P

It's not defeatism, it's common sense. Boosting supply by 1-2% over a period of 5 years is nothing; in that same time, demand will likely increase significantly more than that.
Unless you're going to force those companies into a deal where they have to sell to the US, all that oil is going to the highest bidder - China.

Additionally, it's been speculated that the vast amounts of steel needed to build the refineries, pipelines, oil rigs, etc would drive up the price of steel considerably, thereby making it a wash in terms of prices for the average American.

People like to look at the full cost of Solar, etc, but tend to ignore the need for multi-billion dollar oil rigs and refineries to pull more oil production off.

Those costs would be directly passed on to the consumer, so you realistically wouldn't see any substantial improvements until all their capital investments are paid off.

In other words, it's not to help for 5-10 years, and when it does, it's not going to be that much.

By marsbound2024 on 9/3/2008 9:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
Each party has its pros and cons. I personally think we should start drilling everywhere we can while trying to protect any fragile environments we may impact. But I am far from being a Republican. Republicans don't act in the best interests of the entire nation in my opinion... just white, upper-middle class/wealthy individuals... oh... who are typically straight and christian. If you fit this bill then why would you vote anything else? Perhaps if you were a bit altruistic and willing to think of others. Nonetheless, I don't want to get off on a tangent.

We should support the Pickens Plan, obviously. It's a plan and hardly anyone else out there has put forth a more realistic one. We should stop bickering about the little things and move on to solving our problems the best way we can.

RE: 10-year... how many miles?
By sinful on 9/4/2008 2:12:31 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that McCain said no to drilling too....

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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