It appears as if everyones favorite series-hybrid may make it into production as early as 2010. This news comes courtesy of General Motors Larry Burns, GM's vice president for research and development and Jim Queen, group vice president of global engineering. It is no secret that the Volt was a huge hit for GM at the Detroit Auto Show this year, and as our own statistics show, it was a hit with consumers who research their vehicles on the internet as well. Another positive point for the Volt's production possibilities is that Bob Lutz is behind the project, and as "the man" in charge of global product development, as he wishes, GM does.
Last week, Burns said that the next-gen Delta platform would underpin the Volt. Because this same platform is expected under the next-generation of the Chevy Cobalt, the same plant in Lordstown, Ohio might get the nod to produce the Volt as well. Although the vehicle is expected to be produced in America, it is also hoped by GM that the Volt could be sold in other parts of the world, and the platform can accept other methods to charge the batteries, such as a diesel engine in Europe.
According to this article on Automotive News (subscription required), GM has decided to go ahead with the development of both the original Volt concept with its internal combustion engine powering a generator which is capable of charging the on-board lithium ion batteries as well as the more recent fuel cell platform which uses an on-board hydrogen fuel-cell to provide a range-extending charge to said batteries. Speaking of which, the batteries are currently the largest stumbling block to seeing the Volt in your local Chevy dealer's lot. Assuming that suppliers can get the high-tech batteries and their associated systems working in time, it looks like the Volt is "a go"; which is great news indeed. Could the General be seen as the new green automaker, taking the lead from stalwarts such as Honda and Toyota? They could, and the Volt would be an excellent opening salvo in making that possibility a reality.
Update: According to a GM spokesman no plant has yet been selected as the production site for the E-Flex vehicles although planning and development are proceeding full speed ahead. Since Lordstown is the current plant for the Chevy Cobalt, it's obviously in the running but is not a shoe-in.
Click here for our initial coverage of the Volt.
[Source: Automotive News (subscription required)