Despite pundits in the motor trade making loud noises that electric vehicles will never work General Motors plans to launch electric vehicles named Chevrolet Volt in China by the end of 2011.
Bear in mind this is GM where the president of the company, years ago, memorably said, "What’s good for General Motors is good for the United States." One would not have thought the distinct possibility of bankruptcy would have generally have been thought of as being to a nation’s advantage.
Ding Lei, general manager of Shanghai General Motors, a Chinese subsidiary of GM said, correctly, the electric vehicle industry is a new direction for the whole auto industry in the world, however, there are still a lot of obstacles in the industry, such as rechargeable batteries and electric charging infrastructure facilities. (Those obstacles, incidentally, are greater in the United States and Britain than they are in China.)
A rechargeable battery is an important part for an electric vehicle, especially its rechargeable ability, capacity, use life, cruising ability and cost. And it needs power to charge it and it must be able to be recharged quickly. But, given the will and the money, it can be done.
Ding says the current plan is to introduce electric vehicles in certain areas like high-tech development Zones and added that the company will keep talking with the Chinese government to improve the electric charging system.
Also, in the United States, GM is getting serious about electric cars. General Motors chief Fritz Henderson says a new $43 million plant in Michigan will assemble battery packs for the company’s upcoming rechargeable electric car, as the automaker continues relying on suppliers for key elements of the batteries.
Note the Volt can run on batteries alone within a 40-mile range. It has a small internal-combustion engine that kicks in after the battery runs out of juice. Also note that 200 miles is the target every company has set itself. And there is no doubt it will be met.
The Volt’s battery pack can be recharged from a standard home outlet.
Reve, which seems to be a website devoted to alternative vehicles, reported GM said this week it expects the Volt to sell initially at $40,000. It will not be many at that price: a quarter of that price would be more like it. In fact, Fritz Henderson promised the cost of its electric vehicles will fall with volume and technical progress.