Bloomberg (11/15, Koenig) reports that "General Motors Corp. said it will have prototypes of its Volt electric car ready for testing in 2008's first quarter, as the automaker challenges Toyota Motor Corp.'s hybrid technology." According to Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, GM "will take Chevrolet Malibu cars and install Volt underbodies for the prototypes," adding that they will also use lithium-ion batteries. Meanwhile, "Toyota is touting its hybrid strategy, saying its Prius gasoline-electric car uses market-ready technology while the Volt depends on batteries that don't yet exist." Detroit-based "GM may sell the Volt, a so-called plug-in hybrid, as early as 2010. Toyota is planning the first tests, in the U.S. and Japan, of plug-in Prius cars that can recharge from home outlets." Bloomberg points out, "The Volt, like the Prius, combines an electric motor powered by batteries with a gasoline engine."
The Financial Times (11/15, Simon) adds, "The biggest test of General Motors' ability to regain the loyalty of North American car buyers has begun to unfold at dealerships across the U.S. and Canada with the arrival of the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu family [sedan]." If Malibu is successful enough "in eating into the market share of Toyota's top-selling Camry [it] could also help determine whether GM can retain its 76-year title as the world's biggest carmaker against Toyota." Notably, "GM sold just 10,000 vehicles more than Toyota globally in the first nine months of this year."
snipped from ASEE's First Bell online newsletter