GM will do 'whatever it takes' to get Volt on the road

GM will do 'whatever it takes' to get Volt on the road
WARREN -- The battery for General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Volt will be one-third as heavy and more than two feet shorter than those that powered the automaker's infamous EV1 electric cars of the 1990s, the company said today.
GM, under intense pressure to deliver the battery-powered Volt by its self-imposed 2010 deadline, said it's ready to begin testing the battery packs in actual vehicles.
Frank Weber, the lead executive on the Volt project, said the Volt is GM's top priority and that the company is ready to spend as necessary to get the vehicle on the road.
"Whatever it takes to do, we will do," he said.
Officials from GM will spend today disclosing select details about the Volt's design and engineering to journalists and auto analysts gathered in Warren.
GM still displays a red EV1, a battery-powered car GM produced a decade ago and then eliminated amid much controversy, in the Warren lab where Volt battery testing is taking place.
The EV1 battery used nickel metal hydride, stands 92 inches tall and weighs 1,200 pounds. The Volt battery, a T-shaped pack of cells like the EV1 battery pack, is 64 inches tall and weighs about 400 pounds. Both produce the same amount of power.
The Volt would be powered by a system called E-Flex with a range of about 40 miles. An onboard motor, which GM plans to make compatible with a range of fuels including gasoline and ethanol, would recharge the battery on the road.
GM said two years of battery testing will be required to determine whether the batteries can withstand 10 years of use, the goal GM said it must meet for a battery viable in the mass market.
The automaker will evaluate the batteries in extreme temperatures to exaggerate conditions and accelerate the test results.
"Does that mean know how the battery will perform in 10 years? It does not," said battery engineer Roland Matthe. "But we're working on a more ambitious timeline than 10 years."
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