Volt Can't Be Built

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.

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  • Alex

    If i remember have not alot of people configured their priuses to be a PHEV with a range greater than the the 40 miles. With an extra cost of $10,000. For some reason GM has made the Volt cost as much as an Ferrari. How does that happen when people can make $35,000 PHEV ,but a global megacorporation has to spend hundreds of thousand of dollars. This Volt is for good PR. Anyone can make a PHEV with $35,000 and a few phone calls.

  • jcwinnie

    I agree with Alex and it should be that if the conversion of HEVs (Hybrid Electric Vehicles) can be done by private concerns, it stands to reason that auto makers could do it for less than $35K. Which, some would argue, is why the show… to discourage entrepreneurs from making PHEV40 vehicles available. If they become more than an oddity then a market is created and that is something distasteful to our Big Oil Masters. :(

  • Daniel

    The volt is good PR for GM, but thats about it. Unless they got some super secret battery they are deveolping for deployment in 2008. I use to be a GM fan, but no longer. GM is no guilty until proven inocent. They say 2010-2011 … okay how much? and what will the comp. from Japan be at the time? How much will the Japan versions cost? Sorry GM to little to late, and you aint here yet. :upset

  • DAVE

    What happened with the EV1 all electic car GM had 12 years ago… they cant do is hogwash, they have already done it, big oil doesnt want it done, raise cafe standards and lets see how fast we can come up with better fuel economy.

  • Old Man Crowder

    Somebody better tell Tesla that high-powered, long-range batteries can’t be made. Quick! Before they start to build an EV! :p

  • Ken Bancroft

    How about I rip out the 3cyl from my aging Insight, and do the impossable. Fully electric, with close to 100mile range.
    Think I can?