Continental/A123 battery pack not turning up till after the holidays

Our friend Lyle over has a couple of new stories up that deserve a little clarification. For those unfamiliar with the site, it's content is pretty self explanatory from the title. There is usually a pretty lively discussion going on there regarding the most anticipated new car from Detroit in many a year. First up is the issue of the first battery pack delivery from Continental/A123. LG Chem/CPI have already delivered two packs to GM's battery lab. GM had hoped to receive the first A123 pack by the end of this month. It now looks like that won't be happening until early January.

Being a single company, coordination of these efforts is actually easier for LG Chem and CPI because they use common systems. As a relatively new partnership, Continental and A123 are still getting their ducks in a row so they are a little behind. At this point GM is expressing no concerns about A123 and feels everything is well in hand. One thing to recall is that pretty much everyone in the auto industry including suppliers shuts down for the week between Christmas and New Years so anything that doesn't get done by next Friday will just have to wait until January 2nd. Having worked on the supplier side of such prototype delivery programs for 17 years, I can say that this is not at all unusual.

The other subject Lyle posted about the charging ports. In a story on the Wired blog, Marty Jerome reported that the production Volt would have charging ports on both front fenders. Marty attended an episode of the Volt road show in San Francisco this week. GM spokesman Rob Peterson was also there and spoke briefly to Marty. According to Rob, the port on the passenger side is strictly ornamental and the intent for the production car is to only have a driver side port. Presumably Marty saw the passenger side copy and assumed it was a functional port since the cutaway renderings of the car show that one being functional. Unfortunately that is not the case.

[Source: GM-Volt, Wired, General Motors]

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