GM did in fact show its new Volt model electric car, on the companies 100 th anniversary. It did not look like the concept car which had sharp lines, low silhouette and had a rather cool appearance. The Volt model displayed by GM looked like the revamped Chevy Malibu that was introduced as a Camry killer.
Some of the problems that GM is going to face is battery technology. The current crop of batteries are limited and improvements in battery technology should take place in the next few years. At least this is what GM is hoping for. Second is cost. The word now is that the Volt will be under $40,000. I certainly hope that GM can get the cost below $30,000 or they will be parking the Volt next to their unsold large SUV’s & pickups. 🙂
Six months after GM unveiled the Volt concept in 2007, Toyota announced it was already test-driving plug-in hybrids — cars that adhere to the two-engine model of all hybrids but allow the battery to plug into the grid and pick up an extra charge while parked. Toyota has been as quiet about its plug-in plans as GM has been loud about the Volt, but it does seem that the Japanese company takes a more skeptical view of lithium technology. “Our thinking is of a smaller battery with a lower initial cost [for the consumer],” says Tasatami Takimoto, Toyota’s executive vice president for green tech.
With GM asking for a $25 Billion dollar loan to retool for the Volt, it will be interesting to see if the Volt actually becomes a reality. Toyota with their Prius may be a tough act to beat.
What do you think? Can GM play catch to the Japanese auto makers? Or is GM, Ford & Chrysler going the way of the dodo?