Early powertrain development mules have been running for several months now and GM insiders claim the lithium ion battery packs are exceeding performance expectations so far. The big question at this point seems to be cost. With everyone focused on GM's cash burn rate, the company is hoping that showing the production version of the extended range electric vehicle will divert attention to something positive. However, without some serious cost reduction of the battery and some hefty tax breaks from the government, the Volt may just end up making things even worse. GM desperately needs the Volt to be successful, but with the current financial situation, one has to wonder how long they will be able to build Volts at a loss?