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by Tim Beissmann

General Motors has announced the lithium-ion battery packs in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt will be backed by a standard eight-year/100,000-mile warranty as the company aims to convince customers that the all-new plug-in hybrid will go the distance.

The most comprehensive battery warranty offered for any electric vehicle includes all 161 battery components as well as the vehicle’s thermal management system, electric drive components and charging system.

Set to hit US showrooms in the fourth quarter, GM executive director global electric systems, Micky Bly, said the Volt’s battery had exceed all performance targets and was ready to hit the road.

“Our customers are making a commitment to technology that will help reduce our dependence on petroleum. In turn, we are making a commitment to our customers to deliver the highest standards for value, safety, quality, performance and reliability for an unprecedented eight years/100,000 miles,” Mr Bly said.

GM confirmed that since 2007 its engineers have completed more than 1.6 million kilometres and four million hours testing the battery packs. The 16kWh unit – capable of powering the Volt for 64km on pure battery power and extending its range to just under 550km with the help of the petrol generator – is equally effective between -25 degrees and 50 degrees Celsius.

Prototype battery production began in January at GM’s Brownstown Township plant, and plant manager, Nancy Laubenthal, said the Volt remained on track for a late-2010 launch.

“Last August we announced the investment in the Brownstown facility and in January built our first completed battery pack. Now we are finishing pre-production batteries and soon we will begin building production batteries for Chevrolet Volts that will be delivered to dealers before the end of the year,” said Ms Laubenthal.




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