GM Ventures, a division of GM that invests in startups, thinks it may have found a company that could hold the key to unlocking the Volt's value. Newark, California-based Envia Systems
claims that they have technology to double the battery electric range of the Volt and
reduce the cost of the battery by half.
A few years ago, it was widely known that manufacturers were paying roughly $1,000 per kWh of battery capacity. Do the math and the Volt's 16kWh looks to be pretty expensive (though we expect prices to be less than that now). But Envia claims they can bring that price down even further, with a target of $125 per kWh. If that seems ambitious, consider that they also claim to pack 400 Wh of energy into 1 kg of battery. That's 10x that of the Prius and more than twice that of today's best.
"I think we've got better than a 50-50 chance to develop a car that will go to 200 miles on a charge," says GM CEO Dan Akerson. According to the report from The Detroit Bureau,
this "game changing" tech could mean EVs with similar powertrain costs to an internal combustion engine.
They don't say how it will happen, nor when. But we can say that if it does, there will be a greater value to electric cars than green image consciousness and early adopter excitement. EVs will become the way to save on energy with more efficient transportation.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau