Think GM's Volt Is Failing? Think Again
Kevin Bullis, energy editor of the MIT Technology Review, recently wrote an essay titled "As GM Volt Sales Increase, That Doesn't Mean It's Successful." He remains skeptical. "It is too early to know how things are going," Bullis said, in an interview. "The Volt is doing well, but still falling far short of what GM had originally claimed it would be doing by this point.
"The costs are very high because battery costs are still high and the whole architecture of the Volt is expensive," he said. "It has everything you put in an ordinary car, plus a more expensive and complicated transmission, a huge battery, and all the power electronics that go into controlling the battery. There is no way this kind of architecture will ever be as cheap as a pure electric vehicle or a pure internal combustion engine.
However, "over time, battery costs come down," he said. "GM has made a lot of investment in bringing down battery costs and there are a lot of interesting technologies around. Then you start to talk about does it make sense economically (if) it pays for itself in a few years.
"I don't want to come across as thinking this cannot work," he said.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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