GM’s Volt may miss 2010 debut

GM’s Volt may miss 2010 debut

It’s becoming something of a trend for electric-powered cars to fail to meet deadlines and goals - in the case of cars such as the Tesla, repeatedly. GM’s Volt series hybrid has added itself to the list of potential no-shows, stating that a 2010 debut for the Volt couldn’t be ‘guaranteed.’ The potential hang-up in meeting that deadline is whether GM will be able to bring to market a lithium-ion battery capable of the demands it would face in the powertrain of the Volt.

It’s also quite possible that GM is biting off a bit more than it can chew, at least for the limited goal of producing the Volt. Reportedly in the works is a fuel system, called ‘E-Flex,’ that would allow gasoline, diesel or hydrogen fuel cells to provide the power, according to The Detroit News. Why all three are necessary at launch of a vehicle expected to be a gasoline-electric hybrid is unclear - but GM seems to be focusing on developing its technology more than meeting production deadlines for the Volt. Other details of the Volt continue to be hidden, but GM does seem to be staking it’s future on the Volt, or at least the technology inside it.

Some in the industry have criticized the Volt as nothing but a publicity stunt, designed to grab a slice of the ‘green’ media market and show GM is paying attention to the area, but without having to actually produce anything substantial. The recently leaked teaser photos seemed to indicate GM was heading in a very production-oriented direction with the Volt. But the latest news of GM’s difficulty with such a fundamental part of the series hybrid drivetrain as the batteries brings that into question. And even if GM is serious about Volt production - and it seems likely that it is - could this delay be just the start of a series of problems, a la Tesla? It looks like we’ll have to wait at least two years to know for sure.