This article discusses what has to happen for battery EVs to become the major form of transportation. The problem with this is a better solution exists, and it is probably sitting in your driveway. Extended range hybrid technology such as in your Volt would mitigate or resolve many of this issues discussed in the article. Here´s is list of issues discussed and the reasons why an extended range hybrid (ERH) would work better.
(1) The cost of building motors and components will have to continue to decrease. The current estimated price of an EV powertrain is $16,000 compared to $6,000 for a conventional car. If for example, the cost of the conventional car powertrain breaks down to $4,000 for the ICE and supporting infrastructure like exhaust, radiator and fuel tank. Plus $2,000 for the automatic transmission. What is the cost bogy for an ERH? In the case of the Volt, the Voltec transmission is about the same as a conventional automatic transmission, so the cost bogy is the ICE, or about $4,000. This cost difference has to be contrasted to the cost of the powertrain in the pure EV. The major bits being the motor, inverter, charging electronics and large battery. The ERH has all the same components but the battery used in an ERH is much smaller. So the major cost factor of a pure EV over an ERH is the larger battery. Todays EVs have 60 KWH batteries and range around 250 miles. An ERH with a 15 KWH battery has an AER of about 50 miles. But it is important to understand that 50 miles is enough range to satisfy about 90% of an ordinary person´s driving. What about the other 10%, we will discuss that later. That extra 45 KWHs of battery have costs, first the battery itself and then the additional weight and size has also to be accommodated. GM estimates battery cost will fall to $150/KWH soon. So the raw cost of the additional 45 KWHs of battery is $6750. I am assuming that the battery support infrastructure such as cooling and inverters is the same for both. This cost difference already overcomes the estimated $4,000 cost bogy of the ERH over a pure battery EV. Conclusion, an ERH like the Volt is an EV, drives like an EV but costs less than a pure EV.
(2) There must be a steady, affordable supply of the resources required to make batteries. Yes, but this problem is greatly mitigated if the battery used is only 1/4 the size such as in the ERH.
(3) More charging stations will need to be built, and they´ll need to charge faster. An ERH, like a pure EV can be charged overnight at home and get enough charge to handle most daily commute requirements. This means about 10% of the trips require energy from a source other than home power. The ERH does this by simply pulling in to a gas station and filling up in about 5 minutes. The pure EV has to find a much scarcer charger and spend 30-45 minutes to get recharge to achieve much less range than the ERH. Remember, chargers are currently not only scarcer, but because of the longer charge time their availability reduces proportionality to the charge time ratio, i.e., a 5 minute fill with gas compared to a 30 minute charge with electricity reduces availability by a factor of 6. Availability if further reduced by how much range is achieved. If 30 minutes buys you 100 miles of range and 5 minutes at the pump gives you 300 miles, availability is further reduced by a factor of 10 because the EV drivers need to find a charger 10X more often.
(4) Drivers will have to shed their attachment to the sound, smell and feel of gas-powered engines. Yes and no. Yes, drivers will have to get used to electric drive which is easy as it has a much more premium feel with instant torque, less powertrain vibrations and noise.
ERH like the Volt are EVs. Until their battery is depleted all propulsion is essentially identical to a pure EV. Which is good, but ERH can only do this 90% of the time, the rest of the time the ICE has to be fired up to supply electricity. However, this will usually occur on long trips on the highways, at highway speed. So the issue of intrusive ICE noise and vibration is not so bad. The article discusses performance of electric over gas with 0-60 times. The current ERHs tend to be slower than ICE cars, but that´s because they were designed to be support economy. There is no reason why an ERH could offer superior performance simply by increase the output or the number of traction motors. Current Formula 1 race cars are hybrids, there is no reason I can think of why there couldn't be an ERH Corvette.
(5) The car industry will have to leave some of its old methods of production by the side of the road. I don´t thinks so, the Volt is produced on the same assembly line as conventional ICE power cars. If the majority of cars were ERHs production of auto propulsion components would continue. Governments would lose fuel tax revenues, but these lost revenues could be made up by simply imposing a road tax on EVs and ERH instead of a fuel tax. The article says dealers will have to streamline their networks to compete with the paradyme set by Tesla. If dealer franchise laws are dropped online purchasing will happen, but I doubt it and you will still need the dealers for service and repair.
Not mentioned is one of the main pushes for EVs and that is environmental considerations. Putting aside the environmental impacts of building an EV or ERH, which I am assuming as about the same, the operating impact of an EV in terms of greenhouse emissions is zero. The ERH can´t make this claim. But in one sense the ERH is superior because it better promotes the transition to electricity than a pure EV. Public fears and concerns of a transition to electricity are greatly reduced with an ERH and so I believe it is better to have 90% of the population driving ERHs where 10% of their driving is using gas, then 10% driving pure EVs with zero emissions.