Where are those NiMH batteries from the EV1
Lithium is an immature technology rampant with risks and uncertainties. Even the basic chemistry is not settled, with Lithium Manganese being the latest more promising combination. So let's be honest; vehicle ready Lithium batteries are 5 years away.
HOWEVER, 10 years ago GM was in production of a car that got 130 to 150 miles on a charge. Since then those NiMH (nickel metal hydride) batteries have powered almost every hybrid made and many have well over 100,000 miles on them in all kinds of climates and driving conditions. Toyota Rav4 EV owners have yet to change out any battery packs and many have over 100,000 miles and that's while driving ONLY ON THE BATTERIES, since the Rav4 EV is not a hybrid.
The concept of a hybrid is to NOT require so much of the batteries, as the generator can keep the batteries at any SOC level it chooses and even assist the batteries when continued high current is called for. So instead of 1000 lbs of NiMH batteries to get 130 miles, the volt could use 300lbs to get it's 40 mile "all-electric" range. This is the right choice for the Volt, and when Lithium is mature, what's the big deal; start putting Lithium in and make it a 100 mile range vehicle without changing much of anything else in the car.
So it makes you wonder; WHY is GM embroiled in hatching a new battery technology when America needs this car NOW, and lots more models like it. Let's get out of the Lithium quicksand and go build this car.