GM will take shortcuts to bring Volt to market

GM will take shortcuts to bring Volt to market

GM is determined to keep its promise of delivering the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car by the end of the decade but unfortunately it will likely have to cut a few corners to get there. Already we’ve seen officials raise the car’s expected price tag, from an initial $30,000 to about $35,000, and even at this point there may have to be some major subsidies. Now officials are claiming that first-generation Volt models will be using redundant electronic systems because there’s not enough time to engineer new ones.

Some of the redundant features include things like windshield wipers and high-powered audio systems. The older systems will be eliminated later, probably in the second generation of the Volt, after engineers have had time to rework them for the new world of electric propulsion. "Because we're going as fast as we're going to get this to market, some of the systems will have to be redundant," GM spokesman Dee Allen revealed to Canwest News.

In ordinary petrol and diesel cars, these electrical systems draw power directly from the engine. This power can be enormous, especially in the case of modern stereo systems, which in a car with an electrical propulsion system will mean a greatly reduced range per charge whenever the devices are in use.

"What we've ended up doing is having to re-engineer things most people take for granted," Allen said. The engineers have no doubt they can rework the electrical utilities of the car to meet modern demands, but not in the timeframe given to them by GM vice chairman Bob Lutz to bring Volt to market.”