Jan. 20, 2007: Orlando Sentinel—Electric Vibes for a Car That Can’t Be Built
Summary: "In a letter to the editor printed in the Orlando Sentinel, a reader complained that we’ve had inadequate coverage of the ‘revolutionary Chevrolet Volt concept car, covered by CNN, MSNBC, Newsweek and other media.’ The Volt, said the reader, ‘can go 40 miles on battery power alone, before its charger-engine even starts up. This machine can free us from foreign-oil dependence and reduce U.S. air pollution by a quarter. Is this not news?’
So allow me to direct this to the letter writer, Hugh E. Webber of Winter Park: Yes, it would be news, except for one thing.
To quote from General Motors’ own press information: ‘A technological breakthrough required to make this concept a reality is a large lithium-ion battery. This type of electric car, which the technical community calls an ‘EV range-extender,’ would require a battery pack that weighs nearly 400 pounds. Some experts predict that such a battery — or a similar battery — could be production-ready by 2010 to 2012.’
And some other experts predict that we are 10 years away from such technology, or even more than that."
Canny auto writer Steven Cole Smith points out that we might never see a Volt for sale, but it was sure good PR for GM to have such an advanced concept on display. Other automakers have taken note; you’ll likely see more vaporware at next year’s show.