While I applaud GM's newest entry in the EV game, I am concerned when they say the batteries are not yet viable. I would hope that the media would ask the most glaringly obvious question, "What are the specs for a viable battery for the Volt?". Once GM tells us what they are considering viable, then, and only then, can we determine whether they are serious. I say this because it's the opinion of many in the EV community that viable LiIon batteries exist today.
It was reported in the MIT Technology Review:
"GM says the timeline for commercializing the vehicles will depend on the development of the battery systems. But such systems may not be far off. GM representatives say that they have already seen lithium-ion cells that have the performance required for both plug-in and series-hybrid applications. What remains to be done is to combine these cells into large, complex battery packs and make sure they work well together in an actual vehicle. Last week, GM announced that it has a contract with two sets of companies for building lithium-ion-based battery packs and control systems for plug-in hybrids."
If all that remains to be done is combine cells, that have been deemed acceptable in terms of performance, into large packs, why does that take 3-5 years? Let's get the answers to these questions now.
The last time AutoblogGreen readers heard from Paul, it was when I spoke with him at the Alt Car Expo last month. You can listen to him at the link below. Read all about the Chevy Volt here (includes dozens of high-resolution images) and see all of our coverage of the Detroit Auto show here.