Chevrolet’s hybrid plug-in, or as they call it; an electric vehicle with range extender, debuted in Detroit about 14 months ago. Last April, GoodCarBadCar declared the Volt to be the fourth-best recent small car concept. The Good Car Guy was impressed by the exterior design of the Volt when seen in sitting near a new Malibu back in September at the Milford Proving Grounds.
In October of 2007, General Motors somehow allowed a leak of future product plans that included the Volt. Before the end of the month, a dorky video was released with a Volt in… no, wait; it wasn’t slow motion. Had us fooled, eh? Come November and we all learned of the Volt’s horrible aerodynamics.
This is April, and the chief engineer behind the Volt is quoted by Edmunds.com as saying that the Volt is, “the No. 1 priority project we have at GM.” What causes the development of this particular Chevrolet so difficult? “The challenge is predicting 10 years of battery life with just two years of testing time.”
The following challenge will be finding a price point at which General Motors can lose as little money as possible to produce the Volt without creating an overpriced vehicle we’ll all remember as GM’s biggest mistake of the next decade. Introducing the car with a low enough price to fill the roads with Volts may enhance the need for Suburban/Tahoe/Silverado sales to cover the losses, but it’ll also begin to drastically alter the public image of Chevrolet and its parent company.