Yesterday, Sam pointed out in a late-night posting that GM might be planning on producing as many as 60,000 Volts in its first year of manufacture. It is thought that GM could make a profit on the vehicle if it sold that many for a bit under $30,000. But, is it possible?
According to Menahem Anderman, president of Advanced Automotive Batteries, maybe not. He said, A 60,000-unit target "is totally ridiculous at this point. To reach that level by 2010, they'd need to be placing the orders right now." He went on to suggest that A123, GM's battery supplier of choice, does not have "experience in high-volume manufacturing on such a scale."
What does Toyota think about all of this conjecture? According to Irv Miller from Toyota, "We have consistently affirmed that there are many issues that need to be resolved, beyond the safety and reliability of lithium-ion batteries, before a commercial lithium-ion-equipped hybrid – and what we're talking about here is the so-called plug-in hybrid, or PHEV - is ready for the market.
"These issues include battery cost, availability, performance and packaging. All of the car makers face the same problems when it comes to these issues. The answers, unfortunately, are not just around the corner... They will appear only when our high standards are met."
So, what do you think? Will GM beat Toyota to market with a plug-in hybrid using lithium ion batteries? Will they be able to make 60,000 of them in the first year of production? You have the floor.
[Source: Bloomberg and Toyota's blog]