DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is guaranteeing the battery in its Chevrolet Volt electric car for eight years or 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) in an effort to inspire confidence in the new technology.
The guarantee is better than warranties on GM's conventional car engines and transmissions, which run for five years or 100,000 miles.
The rechargeable Volt is due in showrooms this November. The vehicle can travel 40 miles (65 kilometers) on battery power before a small gasoline engine takes over to power the car for longer distances.
A longer warranty will help GM convince skeptical buyers that the Volt's lithium-ion battery will last for many years. The batteries are similar to the chemical composition of cell phone and computer batteries, which often wear out and are relatively expensive to replace. The Volt battery weighs 400 pounds (181 kilograms) and can cost thousands of dollars to replace.
Texas, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, California and Washington, D.C., will be the first locations where the Volt will go on sale, GM CEO Ed Whitacre said earlier this month. The automaker plans to produce 10,000 Volts by the end of the 2011 calendar year and an additional 30,000 in 2012.
A GM official said last month it was still working out computer software issues in the Volt, mainly in areas that monitor the car's complex electric power system.
The Volt is expected to cost around $35,000, though official pricing hasn't been announced yet. That price will be lower after federal tax credits for electric cars.
Other automakers are rolling out electric cars. Shortly after the Volt goes on sale, Nissan Motor Co. will begin selling the Leaf, which the company says will get up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) on a single charge. The Leaf will not have a gasoline engine, but will be cheaper than the Volt.
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