GM Will Produce the Volt in Detroit ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: GM Will Produce the Volt in Detroit

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

GM Will Produce the Volt in Detroit

As part of the new deal with the UAW, GM revealed their future line-up for their factories in Detroit. As part of that, GM has promised that, if the Chevy Volt gets built, it will be American (Detroit) made.

The Chevy Volt was a concept car introduced back in January, and quickly grabbed the attention of the major media as well as hybrid enthusiasts in the US (See the Volt in Action and then again see the Volt being shown off in D.C.). The Volt is a plug-in hybrid vehicle which is unlike any of the hybrid cars out there today.

While plug-ins are not new, Chevy's approach is. Instead of the electric motor and gas engine working in tandem (full hybrid) or the electric motor assists the gas engine (mild or assist hybrid), the Volt uses a small gas engine to recharge the electric motor, which propels the car. In other words, only the electric motor is capable of moving the vehicle. By plugging in overnight, the oversized battery pack is capable of running the vehicle (at least in design) up to 40 miles before any gas is used.

But it was only a concept. When GM saw how popular the idea was, they decided to run with it. They put together a production team, showed it off at various locations, and brought in bloggers and media to show how serious they were about producing it. At the same time, however, GM has been up front with the limitations they face with the Volt.

You see, the biggest hurdle facing the Volt is the battery pack. And the problem is the Lithium-Ion battery pack has not been successfully demonstrated or produced. But if the do manage to iron out those battery issues (overheating, catching fire, that sort of thing) and the costs, GM has promised the Union they will build it at their Poletown assembly plant.

Well, that is, if people go ahead and buy them.

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