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I first saw the basic Volt design in a car in 1979. You can find an article on the car in the online archives of a magazine called "The Mother Earth News". Additionally, you will find articles about the first efforts to convert cars to run on ethanol. I mention that because anyone interested in the Volt will find some very interesting reading there as well as plans to build your own serial hybrid with a battery pack that can be completey replaced for around $250 at todays prices. I was a young GM engineer at the time and I turned in a suggestion to build it then which was turned down. But back to the main reason for this post:
THIS DESIGN HAS BEEN WORKING FOR 29 YEARS WITH LEAD-ACID BATTERIES! No, you can't drive it for 40 miles before cranking the generator (which should be an ultimate goal and would be a great advance for a serial hybrid). But the point is, a serial hybrid would leapfrog the competition w/o that great advance. They are simple and inexpensive to build and thus could be profitable now or even 25 years ago.
BOB, PLEASE BUILD IT NOW AND ADD THE 40 MILE ALL-ELECTRIC FEATURE IN 2011! GO GM!
 

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I agree. GM should offer the Volt in 2 configurations. A lower cost non plug in version and a plug-in version with more battery capacity "Volt PI" version. Make the non plug in version upgradeable. Some of us (apartment dwellers etc.) will not be able to take advantage of the plug-in version but would like a more fuel efficient car. So why pay for the larger battery?
 

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I agree. GM should offer the Volt in 2 configurations. A lower cost non plug in version and a plug-in version with more battery capacity "Volt PI" version. Make the non plug in version upgradeable. Some of us (apartment dwellers etc.) will not be able to take advantage of the plug-in version but would like a more fuel efficient car. So why pay for the larger battery?
I agree. Aditionally if the battery is the holdup the non plug in version could be avaliable shortly and be useful for making improvements on the eventual plug in hybrid version.
 

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I don't believe anything can be available in a much shorter time frame than we have now. It is already fast tracked big time.

Don't under estimate the factory tool up time for the Volt. Not to mention getting the suppliers in line for the newly designed parts and ramped up to provide large quantities of reliable components.

This car is not a derivation of another model or previous line. Electric motors, regen brakes, sofeware development, etc. I would be suprised if the batteries are an actual hold up to the availability of the car. Maybe the batteries will limit the numbers initially produced, but not the predicted delivery deadlines.
 

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I honestly think it should be developed with the standard NiMH batteries that are available now, with plug in capability, and when the Lithium Ion batteries become available for a reasonable price, have A123 build the new battery pack with the same dimensions as the initial NiMH and offer them up as a dealer installed upgrade.
 
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