The race for an all-electric vehicle from the major carmakers is on, and General Motors has lept off the blocks first with its claim to have an electric vehicle in production by 2010. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz admits the only factor holding GM back from releasing a production version of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid concept is whether or not lithium-ion batteries can be manufactured economically and safely.

Speaking with reporters at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, Lutz said "GM has set an internal target of production in 2010. Whether we can make that or not, this is still kind of an unpredictable program for us." According to Reuters, GM will be testing a working prototype of the Volt concept by the end of the year.

The market is demanding a reliable electric vehicle. You only have to look at the popularity of the Tesla Roadster to understand how quickly these cars will sell. GM killed off its original EV1 electric car during the 1990’s, a decision that its CEO Rick Wagoner admits was a bad move but believes a production version of the Volt will fix that mistake. One thing’s for certain, the production model won’t look anything like the Volt concept. "The whole shape of the car is going to have to be a little more traditional," Lutz said.