GM's global vehicle line executive for the Volt, Frank Weber, said yesterday at the Chicago auto show that GM will upgrade the its forthcoming 2010 Chevrolet Volt quicker than a conventional vehicle.
The technology that powers GM's electric car allows for future iterations to be completed much faster than on a typical car. "This is almost like getting software updates into your car," Weber said. "This is not a mechanical world. So, even within a vehicle lifecycle you will see updates that are very significant."
The biggest focus for the second generation of the vehicle will be the battery. Weber's top priorities are to reduce the size and cost of the battery, rather than extending the range. "My goal is not to go from 40 to 60 miles in the next generation vehicles," he said. Instead, he said, the battery would be half the size and half the cost of the batteries that will go into the first generation of the Volt.
Although there has been talk of applying the Voltec technology to other vehicles in GM's lineup-or building altogether new vehicles designed around it, like the Cadillac Converj concept shown at this year's North American International Auto Show-Weber said that is not a possibility right now. "Before we talk about diversification on the portfolio side, there is enough market for a vehicle that provides this level of functionality and performance."
GM wants to keep the Voltec technology viable for several generations, claiming that battery technology will not progress to the point of being able to sustain travel for hundreds of miles with pure electricity at an affordable price for some time, according to Weber.
Source: Automotive News