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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 shin0bi272 on 9/3/2008 8:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
The EPA has stated that ethanol made from corn is 15-20% less polluting than gasoline but its 20-30% less fuel efficient than the same amount of gasoline. So your best hope is to break even on the pollution angle. In most cases its much worse for the precious environment than gasoline but no one mentions that in their push for ethanol. It also releases more toxic vapors that are more poisonous than what comes out of the gasoline car.

You have to remember Oil is a natural product too. It comes from the earth and to process it we heat it to 700 degrees till it evaporates and what ever level in the cooling tower at the refinery it condenses at determines what product we have. So in all truth Oil is a natural product and ethanol is a man made product that we take from corn (yeah good idea use food to run our cars that wont drive food costs up nooo), and add chemicals to in order to make it combustible enough to power our cars.

Ethanol is a horrible idea and we need to abandon it IMMEDIATELY. Cellulosic ethanol has less energy in it than corn ethanol and there hasnt been any real advancement in that area either otherwise we'd of seen it already. Cellulosic ethanol has been around for about 110 years (first produced from wood in 1898 in Germany) so obviously its a waste of time compared to the power we get from oil.

My last point about ethanol is simply this... If ethanol were a better alternative than gasoline then it would be brought to market without having to be federally subsidized or any laws being passed to fund its use.


"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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