Chevy Volt on Track for 2010 Debut

Posted: May 02, 2008 10:49 a.m.

Reuters reports, "General Motors Corp Chief Executive Rick Wagoner on Thursday said the No. 1 U.S. automaker had not hit any obstacles yet that would force it to delay the planned 2010 launch of its plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt."  Though Wagoner "had earlier suggested that GM's target of launching the electric vehicle could slip," he now says the plug-in hybrid Volt is on target for 2010.   Development of an all-electric Volt continues, with no date set for its release.

CNET reports that Wagoner "said that prototype testing for the battery packs for the Chevy Volt had been quite encouraging and that GM remained focused on the target of getting the Volt into Chevy showrooms in the U.S. by the end of 2010."

It's easy to see why GM is in a rush to complete the car.  According to Blorge.com, "J.D. Power and Associates [is] predicting that GM will sell 300,000 Chevy Volts by 2014."

Canada's Globe and Mail says that "one of the many barriers" to getting the Volt ready "is price. Analysts have estimated the cost of the lithium ion battery pack for the Volt at about $10,000" alone.  Yet battery research is bringing the cost down, and "as fuel prices continue their steady climb, plug-in hybrids might make more sense economically."

Autoblog notes that the timing of the update is significant, "because the car that will battle the 'lectro-Chevy for the hearts, minds and greenbacks of the enviro-chic," the third-generation Toyota Prius, "will throw down the gauntlet in the General's backyard come January."

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