Bob Lutz has come out and said it again: "I would say there's almost no reasonable doubt in our minds anymore that this is going to work." And that isn't just that the Chevy Volt will work -- it's that it will work on time and as promised. In spite of the difficulties GM has had getting Volt technology up-to-speed within its timeframes, the man upstairs is apparently as confident as ever.
Lutz said that engineers have driven the car to and above its 40-mile pure electric range already. Two companies are still trying to win the lithium-ion battery pack contract, although LG Chem says it has a 3rd-gen unit that's ready to go. Another hurdle is the car's internal combustion range extender starting up, which Lutz described as "noisy and still a little rough."
And of course, it wouldn't be a Lutz piece without him taking a shot at something. Speaking of Toyota's delay in rolling out lithium-ion batteries (although there could be another reason for that), Lutz said Toyota should have faced a bit more scrutiny for that decision. "They told the world that GM was taking a huge risk, that lithium ion batteries were prone to explode and that we were putting our customers at risk and that they would stay with the tried and true. When it comes to Toyota, let me tell you, the press has a short memory." After all of this, if the Volt doesn't show up on time and as promised, GM will need to retool one of its plants to make humble pies.
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[Source: Reuters UK]