General Motors Corporation says it will do the “heavy lifting” to help achieve the grand goal set by United States President Barack Obama of having 1 million plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on the US roads by 2015. Major US-based makers of automobiles, including General Motors, have been planning an array of electric-drive vehicles aimed at meeting higher fuel-economy standards and also an expected rise in the demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
General Motors is launching its rechargeable Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle by the end of 2010. It plans to build a total of 14 hybrid models by 2012.
According to a top executive of General Motors, in order to meet the US federal government’s goal of having 1 million plug-in hybrid cars within 6 years, there has to be an increased supply of batteries. Five or more battery manufacturers will be needed to make the sufficient number of batteries for 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles.
General Motors has designed the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid to carry a lithium-ion battery with an all-electric driving range of 40 miles. For longer trips, a small gasoline engine will power the battery. The Chevy Volt is likely to cost around $40,000. However, federal tax incentives could help make the car available to consumers at about $32,500.
General Motors says that the costliest component in the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid is its 400-pound (181-kilogram) battery pack.