GM's bankruptcy will obviously have an impact on the release of its prized electric vehicle (EV), the Chevy Volt, but what exactly will that impact be? As of right now, no one is sure.
In an interview with The Washington Post, auto industry consultant William Holstein stated, "We don't know whether GM will be able to introduce the Volt or not. It would have been, and could still be, a breakthrough vehicle." But Rob Holstein, manager of Electric Vehicle Communications at GM, claims that there will be no impact on production. And Rob Peterson, a spokesman for GM's EV communications, says that the company will begin building preproduction Volts next week in Warren, Michigan. By October, Peterson believes that 80 Volts will be on the road as press cars and test vehicles.
Even if test cars are readied, GM CEO Fritz Henderson says that the company will have to improve profit margins across its entire fleet to have the resources to invest in advanced technologies like the Volt. As of right now, though, GM still plans on releasing the car in November of next year.
With so many different predictions, it's hard to remain upbeat about the Volt—and the prospect of EVs in the near future from the Big Three manufacturers in general. Fortunately, we still have plenty of other EVs to look forward to from start-ups such as Tesla, ZAP, and Fisker. In the end, we may look to these start-ups and other small car companies that don't have long histories of financial issues for our auto needs.