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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: Estimated Electric Costs
By jimbojimbo on 9/3/2008 4:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
Let's assume you actually get 40 miles per charge. Odds are if you're using anything else electrical and with stop and go conditions you'll get far far less than 40. If someone tells you "up to 40 miles" it probably means on a closed course going at optimal speed non stop with nothing else on.

Again I ask though, why aren't all the panels made of solar panels?? My car sits on the street for 2 weeks at a time before I drive it and by then it'd probably be fully charged each time! For free!

RE: Estimated Electric Costs
By Ringold on 9/3/2008 7:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
My car sits on the street for 2 weeks at a time before I drive it and by then it'd probably be fully charged each time! For free!

Because GM understands what environmentalists dont. Solar panels make no financial sense, at least not in this application.

By Hoser McMoose on 9/4/2008 9:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
Again I ask though, why aren't all the panels made of solar panels?? My car sits on the street for 2 weeks at a time before I drive it

My house sits on the road for 50+ years at a time before I... errr. drive it? And my house never gets parked under a tree or in a garage where the solar panels are useless.

And it's cheaper to mount solar panels on the roof of a house than the roof of a car.

Ohh, and if they're on your house then you DON'T have to lug them around with you everywhere you drive, which for many people would waste as much energy as they generate.

Solar panels belong on the roofs of houses and buildings that DON'T MOVE! Putting them on top of cars is just stupid.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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