Is it possible that we'll see a Ford Volt at some time in the not to distant future? If a story in the Detroit News is to be believed, yes! Ford and General Motors are apparently in talks to share the E-Flex powertrain technology that underpins the Volt. It wouldn't be the first time that Ford and GM have collaborated. The front wheel drive 6-speed automatic transmissions used in the larger cars and crossovers (Flex, Taurus, Acadia, etc) was jointly developed by the two companies. GM has also collaborated with Daimler, Chrysler and BMW on the Two-Mode hybrid system.

Sharing the E-Flex hardware would allow GM to more rapidly ramp up production volumes and drive down costs. At the same time Ford would be able to pick up an advanced powertrain that they are currently lacking. GM reportedly approached Ford and the Dearborn board of directors approved negotiations. Several meetings have been held but nothing has been agreed to yet. At the same 2007 Detroit Auto Show where the Volt Concept debuted, Ford showed its own Airstream concept with a plug-in fuel cell series hybrid powertrain. Ford has had a prototype Edge running with that powertrain since November 2006 and could provide some controls and system integration experience to the collaboration. GM is likely well ahead of Ford on the battery development side at this point.

[Source: Detroit News]



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