In an interview with Design News, GM Vice President for R&D and Strategic Planning Larry Burns reiterated the company’s intention to have the lithium ion battery pack last essentially the life of the car. Since early on the program, GM officials have set the target lifespan of the battery pack as 10 years and 150,000 miles. Since the battery is such an integral part of making the car work, the company needs to ensure its durability. In his response Burns indicated that the battery would be covered under warranty for that time frame although at this point it far too early to know what the details of such a warranty might be. Regular 12V car batteries typically have pro-rated warranties that that cover less as the age of the battery increases. With only a three year development time for the Volt GM will have a tough time validating the durability of the battery although a lot of accelerated testing is happening. The pack itself will have 200-300 cells inside and will have to be carefully manufactured so that all the connections are robust. Beyond the Volt, Burns expects all of GM’s cars to eventually be electrically driven either with batteries or fuel cells. He indicated that a commercial fuel cell market should be going by about 2012-14 although that depends on the expansion of fuel availability.
[Source: Design News]