Long before General Motors unveiled its new electric car, the Chevy Volt, there was a buzz around GM that this car should be a winner. That's right, I used the words: should be. Predicting any car will be a hit is often a fool's game.
So why is GMso optimistic about the Volt?
• The biggest technical hurdles have been cleared. From the battery pack to the electronics, engineers have solved most of the biggest issues surrounding the Volt. That's not to say GM doesn't have other challenges for the Volt, but they are unlikely to be deal-breakers.
• The design is different but not weird. GM wants a car that will be recognizable while not standing out like a sore thumb. Like the Prius and other hybrids, the Volt features a sloped wind shield to make it more aerodynamic so the mileage is better.
• The Volt could enjoy the fruits of being the first mass market electric car in showrooms. With apologies to Tesla and other niche electric cars, GM's Volt should be the first electric car from a mass market brand. Yes, others are working on their own models, but if the Volt is first AND works, the GM could capture the halo-effect of leading the electric car revolution.
Do I think the Volt will be a winner? On paper I say yes. But in reality, I want to put it through it's paces over an extended period of time. That should happen by the end of 2010.
- GM unit Opel wants to sell electric car in 2011
- GM unveils Volt on company's 100th anniversary
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