Good Cop/Bad Cop: Lutz: 2010 deadline for Chevrolet Volt is firm
General Motors Corp. is "holding tight" to a 2010 deadline for building
the plug-in Chevrolet Volt electric car, even though it has had only two
months of battery tests, vice chairman Bob Lutz said Monday.
The comments from Lutz in a posting on a GM blog come after GM Chairman
Rick Wagoner said in an online chat Thursday that GM "can't guarantee"
that the Volt will roll off an assembly line in 2010.
The Volt, the star of last year's Detroit auto show, is GM's effort to
leap-frog Toyota Motor Co. with a vehicle that could travel 40 miles on
electricity alone, and up to 640 miles using a combination of
electricity, a gasoline engine and 12 gallons of fuel.
Lutz noted that Monday was the one-year anniversary of the Volt's
unveiling and ran down a list of milestones such as receiving the first
battery packs for testing from suppliers. To make the Volt a reality, GM
will need a large supply of new lithium-ion batteries designed
especially for vehicles.
"This program remains a top commitment to the company, and we are
holding tight to our 2010 deadline," Lutz wrote in the GM FastLane blog.
In addition to supplier tests, GM has made other moves aimed at bringing
the Volt to production. The company has shifted several hundred
engineers from research work in advanced technologies to production, and
the Volt was among the vehicles GM pledged to build in Detroit as part
of the new UAW contract signed last year.