GM Gambles All on the Volt

Electric car a massive gamble
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2008 12:38 PM CDT
Bob Boniface, GM Director of E-Flex Systems Design, addresses the crowd at a press briefing for the Volt's visit to South Florida on Thursday, October 18 at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Chevy Volt will either revolutionize cars forever and rocket GM back to the top of the automotive world, or it’ll be an embarrassing disaster that will further cripple the giant. And right now, lots of industry types are betting on the latter. GM is so desperate to get the car out by 2010 that it’s developing car and battery simultaneously—a stunning gamble that could easily backfire, the Atlantic reports, in a detailed look at GM's equivalent of the space race.

“John Kennedy didn’t say, ‘Let’s go to the moon and, you know, we’ll get there as soon as we can,’” says CEO Rick Wagoner in describing the quest for the almost-entirely-electric car. The company, long focused on small innovations, is now banking on a technological leap, says the car’s designer. “It’s not a program for the faint of heart.”