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GM's Volt: Not Ready To "Electrify" Anybody Yet

Chevy Volt Concept
Chevy Volt Concept

It still hasn't been built and it may not hit showrooms by the time people have been projecting. Yet, it's causing a puzzling amount of angst for investors and auto fans.

I'm talking about the Chevy Volt, an electrically driven car GM is developing. Yesterday, in an on-line chat, GM Chairman Rick Wagoner said the Volt may not be ready by 2010 as originally projected. The reaction on Wall Street puzzled me--GM stock sold off.

GM has never said it's a sure thing the Volt will roll into showrooms by 2010. Sure, they said that the goal is to be ready by then, but in every interview I've ever done or seen with GM execs have always said that their are numerous technological hurdles to overcome. Apparently nobody listened to those words of caution.

These days, to build a conventional car/truck/SUV as fast as possible, it's at least a 2.5 to 3 year process. There's endless work that goes into designing, engineering, testing and building a new model---AND THAT'S FOR A CONVENTIONAL NEW MODEL. Now imagine doing that with a brand new vehicle powered by all new technology.

Maybe we all need to dial back our expectations and wait until we actually see the Volt before we get worked up and anoint it as the magic bullet that will change the auto industry.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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