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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Opel Ampera – Click above for high-res image gallery

2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet Orlando concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet Voltec CUV design patent – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet Voltec CUV design patent – Click above for high-res image gallery

Vauxhall / Opel Ampera – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors realizes that it will need to get the cost of its Voltec drivetrain down in order to stay competitive and allow it to more easily be integrated into other, differently-sized vehicles. Since the battery is the most expensive part of the system, that's where the focus on cost-cutting will go. Among the approaches GM will take for the third generation of the pack, according to the head of its Opel/Vauxhall operations Nick Reilly, is the use of a smaller battery that will not have the

Chevy Volt going through a shake test as part of its durability evaluation - Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet Orlando concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet Orlando concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

UPDATE: bumped this post to remind readers to join the chat if interested.

The next-generation Buick Excelle has been spotted testing in the usual camouflage. The existing Excelle is only sold in China, but now that General Motors has decided that Buick will be one of its four core brands in the U.S. market, it seems likely that it could come over as part of an expanded lineup. The new Excelle is based on the same Delta II platform as other compacts - including the Opel Astra, Chevy Cruze and, of course, the Chevy Volt.

Now that President Obama had appointed the task force that will study the future of the auto industry in this country, its time for them to get to work. The team spent last week looking over the latest viability plans from General Motors and Chrysler. Today, Steven Rattner and Ron Bloom, advisers to the task force will come to Michigan where they will sit down with officials at both GM and Chrysler to discuss the plans and learn more about both company's future product directions. While they are

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Opel Ampera concept

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Opel Ampera concept

General Motors has said that it will continually update the software that runs its upcoming Chevy Volt. Unlike more traditional powertrains that center around an internal combustion engine, major parameters that govern how the Volt functions can and will be modified as real-world conditions require, and this process will not be dependent on new versions of the vehicle entering production.

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