Chevy Volt Powers Up
POSTED: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 5:11pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 11:52pm
Highly anticipated electric hybrid rolls off the assembly line.
The vehicle some believe could help to "charge-up" the future for General Motors rolled off the assembly line outside of Detroit Tuesday morning.
"The Volt is a game changer!" declared General Motors CEO Dan Akerson.
But just how big is that change?
GM will only build about 10,000 in the first year of production and ramp-up to only 45,000 Volts by 2012.
"The Volt is more media hype than anything else," argues Morningstar auto equity analyst David Whiston.
GM officials insist volt is the link to the future of transportation.
"I think 20-years, 30-years from now we'll look back at this car and it will be like the Model T was back in the early 1900s," says Akerson.
The Volt still has a gasoline powered back-up engine which will extend the range of the car to 344 miles, much further than Nissan's soon to be released Leaf, a purely electric vehicle that is limited to just over 70 miles on a charge.
"I think it's a pretty useful configuration between giving you extended range but at the same time being about to use an electric car around town," Akerson says.
Electric vehicles still face a bumpy road ahead.
There's a lack of charging stations, batteries are costly and so is the Volt itself, listing at around $41,000.
"I really don't see the benefit in spending, even after subsidies, $20-30,000 to use that just to drive to work," Whiston says.
GM argues not only does the Volt make sense, it also serves notice that the embattled automaker is once again running on all cylinders.
Even the most optimistic advocates of electric cars predict the vehicles will only account for about 10-percent of vehicle sales worldwide by the year 2020.