The grand venture that is the Chevrolet Volt (concept pictured) has appeared at alternate times to be almost certainly doomed and almost a sure thing. The latest pronouncement from GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz leaves an 'almost' in the car's future, but is the most positive statement in recent times that the Volt will be on-schedule and as expected.

Testing for the car's drivetrain has been underway for some time as last-generation Chevy Malibu mules outfitted with the Volt's batteries and motor have been seen driving in and around Detroit. Those tests are apparently going well, according to Lutz, reports Automotive News.

"I would say there's almost no reasonable doubt in our minds anymore that this is going to work," he said.

The test mules have been driving in all-electric mode for mile ranges in the "high 30s, [and] low 40s" according to Lutz, "and they go up hills with it and everything" he noted.

Thirty to 40 miles per charge puts the engineering prototype powertrains very close to the Volt's target range of 40mi on electricity alone, although sourcing the battery for mass production is another hurdle to clear. The company is reportedly close to naming a supplier, but it has not yet made an official announcement.