More info:GM's Volt: More ice-breaker than game-changer in electric car tech
Posted Aug 26th 2008 3:35PM by Joseph Lazzaro
Filed under: Products and services, Consumer experience, General Motors (GM)
Will the Volt provide the jolt that turns General Motors' (NYSE: GM) around?
In the interpretation of one critic, Chevrolet's Volt plug-in hybrid may end up being not so much a game-changer as an ice-breaker.
Stock Analyst C. Leonard Bauer, whose ownership of high-performance sports cars through the years has been exceeded only by, perhaps, Mario Andretti, says he doesn't expect the Volt, Chevrolet's extended-range electric vehicle, to overwhelm the public or generate rave reviews from critics, but those two conclusions still won't blot out Volt's positives.
"The key point, and one many have overlooked, is not the Volt, but the infrastructure behind the Volt," Bauer said. "The Volt as a model will most likely underwhelm, but the processes GM has put in place will pay dividends when advances occur." Bauer added that he does not own shares in or have a rating on any auto manufacturer.
Amped-up R & D
GM, Bauer says, has now committed a large amount of resources to electric and hybrid technologies, whereas previous commitments were modest. Moreover, "it would take an act of idiocy or $10 a barrel oil" for GM to dismantle its current research platform. Bauer expects neither, and as a result, he expects the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations of Volt and its companions to achieve both battery power storage and power delivery advances not possible during GM's previous electric vehicle projects.