The hopes and dreams of electric car aficionados for a purely battery powered successor to the late, lamented EV1 may soon be satisfied. Or not. It all depends on ... you guessed it, the battery. However, the latest utterings from Maximum Bob have people buzzing again. Mr. Lutz spoke to EV site PetroZero the other day and intimated that a purely battery-powered variant of the upcoming Volt is a possibility, leaving the range extender on the cutting room floor. This is actually not a new idea and dates back to the earliest dates of the Volt program. During a media briefing back in December 2006 several weeks before the Volt's public release, the Volt team showed us images like the one above that included several different powertrain configurations. The premise was to demonstrate the flexibility part of E-Flex. This included a variant with a larger battery and no engine to charge it. This pure EV was described as something that could be built if and when the range and more importantly the cost of the battery reaches a point where it could be successful in the market. Ditching the battery. on the other hand, won't happen because the inefficiencies inherent in transforming from mechanical to electrical to mechanical power without a battery to store regen energy and grid power just wouldn't make sense.

Finally, the PetroZero article indicates that Lutz will be driving the first Volt prototype within the next week. Lutz's use of the word prototype rather than mule led the author to believe this was an actual car with Volt bodywork. We checked with GM's Rob Peterson, who confirmed that such actual prototypes are still many months away and Lutz would actually be driving the Malibu-bodied mule that is now running with a lithium ion pack installed.

[Source: PetroZero via AutoblogGreen]