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Update: Volt Hitting Range Milestones, On Schedule for Start of Regular Production

Recent calibration drives of pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicles have achieved up to 39.9 miles (64.2 km) of emission-free, electric-only driving range, chief engineer Andrew Farah said Monday during a media update on the program.

The Volt recently completed a round of cold weather testing in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada (earlier post), and will undergo additional hot weather testing in Yuma, AZ, in June and July.

The Volt remains on schedule for start of regular production in the fourth quarter. Farah, chief engineer for the Volt and the Opel Ampera, said more than 500,000 test miles (805,000 km) have already been put on the pre-production Volt vehicles.

Farah said engineers at GM’s Warren, Mich., Technical Center will begin building pre-production versions of the Ampera later this month in preparation for its launch in Europe for the 2012 model year.

Micky Bly, GM’s executive director of global electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles & batteries said more than 300 pre-production packs were slated to be built at GM’s Brownstown, Mich., battery plant. (Earlier post.)

So far, more than 850,000 miles (1.4 million km) of customer use lab testing have been completed on the battery pack design for the Volt and Ampera. Bly said the team continues to study additional applications of the Voltec battery-based propulsion system in future vehicles, although no details were provided.

GM separately announced plans to invest an additional $8 million to double the size of its automotive battery lab in Warren. (Earlier post.)

Comments

Bryan

Hopefully they can hit their price milestone! It won't really matter in terms of sales as I'm sure there will be a sufficient number of early adopters willing to pay the premium, it's more for the media reaction.

danm

What matters is how soon GM drops the price, after the 'early adoptors' market is over. AND, the price of gas.

Bryan

True story. Within a reasonably level of predictably almost all new technologies become cheaper to produce over time, though.

ToppaTom

The Volt, like the Prius, (to some degree) are specialty cars that appeal to early adopters willing to pay the premium.

Unfortunately their low sales and high price are not driven by low demand (like a two place sports car) – I believe the demand is there.

Their low sales are driven by high intrinsic cost (of batteries).

Battery technology must advance before mass production can drive prices down to where they need to be.

The technology seems to be coming, but no one can actually know – breakthroughs are needed.

ToppaTom

Oh, and "up to 39.9 miles" does not sound good.

This would hurt it's image.
In the real world, 37 vs. 40 mile range is not such a big deal, but we are talking "halo" here.

A (more recent?) news release said;
"Farah said he got 41.5 miles and 42.5 miles on his last two electric cycles of the Volt, which he said were under normal driving conditions running errands to buy tax preparation software, basketballs and baked goods".


Not with the heater on full, I'll wager.

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