Jan. 21, 2007: Detroit Free Press—GM Places Bets on Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Summary: "By showing the Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric concept car this month at the North American International Auto Show, General Motors Corp. has staked its reputation—and a large chunk of change—on developing cars and trucks that can be propelled by something other than just gasoline.

To make it happen, GM quietly appointed Denise Gray last fall to be its battery czar.

A Michigan native and career GM engineer and manager, Gray’s actual title is director of hybrid energy storage systems.

Her charge is to lead the team that will engineer energy storage systems—you probably call them batteries—that can store enough energy pulled from an electrical plug, fuel cell, a tank of vegetable oil or good old gasoline to run a vehicle that will run beyond a GM warranty and won’t overheat."

It’s great that GM has a unit devoted to battery research; such emphasis may signal that the company is taking a serious look at alternative powertrains. However, battery technology would almost certainly be much further along if GM had not scrapped its EV1 program.

And as for the Volt, note that Gray herself won’t go on record as saying a marketable battery will be made in the near future.

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