GM is betting their company on the Chevy Volt. It’s a plug-in electric hybrid supposedly due in 2010. But reports are it will be late and the battery, which they are inventing as they design the car, remains a huge problem. It doesn’t exist yet and if and when it does, will probably be extremely expensive.
Engineers at Toyota have all plug-in hybrids, including the Volt, on “death watch” because the batteries will be too costly. They also think that trying to get people to charge EVs at night won’t work. So massive amounts of new solar power will be needed.
One also wonders if GM will survive in its current form until 2010, much less beyond.
As much as I hate just about every GM vehicle made in the past twenty years (I’m a car nerd), I am entirely in support of what is being attempted with the Volt. Even though GM is arguably late to the party, if you ignore the EV1 experiment (though no later than the rest of the US automakers), I’m glad to see them make a bold move in this direction, in a leadership position among US automakers.
I also like their approach to the project, making it relatively public and allowing for engineers to innovate less-hampered by bureaucracy, from what I’ve read.
I do see GM as being a bankruptcy (or, more likely, Federal rescue) target, but I am hoping the Volt and the excitement it creates manages to save the company late-2009, early-2010.
I hope the Volt happens. But GM has a long and tired history of pretending to embrace innovation on the one hand then killing it on the other.
I have to say: GM produced my $12K, 39-mpg Saturn SL1– which I absolutely love. Too bad they changed their philosophy. The new Staurns aren’t nearly as reliable, but GM has prodiced at least one gem over the years.
Spot on Bob… GM has pulled this stunt before. Remember the EV1? Good odds the Volt will share it’s fate, and GM will go the same way in a few years. Assuming the government doesn’t start bailing them out, like the banks, and the air carriers, and…. who aren’t they bailing out now? Oh.. Right.. the middle class…