The Chevy Volt is an electric car plagued by nagging problems, with rumors as late as June that the vehicle might not even make it into production. But even as GM reports losses of $1.2 billion, the company wants us all to know that the Volt is on track for its November 2010 release dates--and most of the car's kinks have already been worked out.
Among the Volt engineers' biggest challenges: cutting down on road noise in electric mode, lengthening battery life, and making sure the Volt's battery could still run in extremely hot and cold climates. GM is so confident that its new batteries are up to snuff that it believes it will have big a competitive advantage over other EVs. That's a surprising amount of bluster for a company that was berated by the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry earlier this year for being a whole generation behind Toyota on green powertrain development.
Admittedly, GM still has some work to do before the Volt can go into production. The Volt's engineering team is still trying to figure out the optimal size for the Volt's fuel tank, and the vehicle's 440-pound battery pack is a little heavier than GM would like. And of course, the Volt's $30,000-$40,000 price tag could use some work as well. But if a major auto company can actually make a decent product with the government's stimulus funds, we're all for it.