March 23, 2007: The Detroit News—GM Tries to Unplug Volt Hype

Tantalizing glimpses like this may be all we ever see of GM’s experiment with series hybrid powertrains.

Summary: Cynics said it was vaporware while idealists added their names to waiting lists; some realists did both.

"Production depends on advances in battery technology that could be years away. The uncertainty led to intense debate within GM over whether it was wise to show the Volt in Detroit. And now that the world’s waiting for GM to deliver what could be the biggest environmental breakthrough so far this century, company officials are actively trying to temper expectations.

"The enormity of GM’s challenge was evident last week when it called journalists to a backgrounder to explain the technological hurdles facing the Volt project — and reiterate that it can’t guarantee the futuristic car will ever hit the road."

It looks like the cynics win this round. But GM insists that it’s still trying, even if it is toning down its earlier grandiose gestures.

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