As it prepares for the much anticipated launch of its new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, General Motors Company has announced that it will offer buyers an eight-year / 100,000-mile warranty on its lithium-ion battery.
GM said that, in addition to all 161 components of the battery, the warranty will also cover the vehicle’s charging system, the battery’s thermal management and charging systems as well as the electric-drive components.
GM says the new Volt can run on pure battery power for up to 40 miles before switching to its gasoline-powered engine. Battery charging can be accomplished in eight to 10 hours using a 120-volt residential power outlet and in as little as four hours using a 240-volt outlet.
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is scheduled to go on sale this October or November.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday at the company’s battery plant in Brownstown Township, Michigan, GM’s executive director of global electrical systems, Micky Bly, said the guarantee is designed to increase consumer’s confidence in the automaker’s new plug-in technology.
He said offering the warranty will mean “one less question for the dealer.” Although GM has not yet divulged the details of the Volt’s gasoline engine warranty, Bly said he expects it to be at least as good as the automaker’s standard engine warranty, which covers five-years or 100,000 miles.
HIS Global Insights director of automotive consulting, Philip G. Gott, says the warranty should go a long way toward allaying consumers’ concerns about the Volt’s electric battery system. He said, “Everybody has been sensitized to batteries and battery-life issues. You don’t want to be stuck with a four-year old car that needs $4,000 worth of work.”
GM says the Volt will be the first mass-marketed vehicle to use a liquid-powered thermal management system. The Volt’s liquid heating and cooling system prolongs battery life by alternately heating and cooling it to ensure it is kept at an optimal temperature.
Nissan’s new Leaf, all-electric vehicle uses an air-cooled lithium-ion battery system. No details about the Leaf’s battery warranty have been announced. The Leaf is scheduled to go on sale in certain U.S. markets this December.
GM’s Brownstown Township battery plant has been manufacturing prototypes for the Chevrolet Volt since last January.
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