Volt battery decision soon, and 20 mile EV option possible

Much has been said recently about both the potential cost of the Chevy Volt and who will supply the batteries for the production car. During our recent chat, Bob Lutz he told us that the current mule vehicles are all being tested with packs from only one of the two development suppliers although units from the other supplier are still being tested in the lab. Now, Volt Vehicle Line Executive Tony Posawatz has told reporters that a final production sourcing decision will almost certainly happen by the end of summer. Most of the speculation has been that LG Chem/CPI will get the nod although Continental/A123 Systems remains possible. CPI delivered its first prototype pack to GM more than 2 months before Continental and is already preparing to build lithium batteries in Korea for hybrid applications at other carmakers.

When it comes to the question of cost, we still don't know how much a Volt will cost, although Lutz acknowledged it would be higher than originally hoped. A sticker price closer to $40K than $30K seems likely. As one alternative to help curb costs, Posawatz revealed that sometime after launch, the company could offer a version with an 8kWh battery pack that drops the EV range to only 20 miles from the 40 miles that will normally be available. With rumored battery costs running over $10,000, this could potentially slash the cost by several thousand dollars.

[Source: Reuters]

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