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GM's Electric Volt: Is Hype Getting Out Of Hand?

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I'm hearing the same question over and over as we move closer to the unveiling of the Chevy Volt: Will this car really work?

Every time I answer this question and explain that there's no reason to think it won't deliver everything GM has promised I am hit with follow-ups and skepticism. It's lead me to wonder if GM is perhaps getting too far in front of itself with the Volt hype.

GM is in a tricky spot. Clearly, it wants to be and plans to be the first major automaker to come out with a mass market electric car. The pay-off will be huge for not only being first, but first with a model that changes the auto industry. I can't blame these guys for wanting to get that "halo" effect. And in fairness to GM execs, they always temper their comments with the caveat that this is new technology and it may not do everything that's been promised.

But the more the Volt pops up in GM commercials, or in comments from the company, the greater the expectation. Particularly when it comes to whether or not this car will be ready by the end of 2010. So what happens if there is a slight delay? Or if Volt's battery falls short of what we have come to believe it will offer?

This is the tight rope GM must walk. We'll hear more about this within the next month when we finally see the production version of the Volt.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com