General Motors Co. is moving to boost the confidence of car buyers in the durability of its new Chevrolet Volt electric car with an eight-year warranty on its battery.
The Detroit automaker made the announcement at the factory in Brownstown Township, Michigan, where the batteries will be built. Next year, GM will build 10,000 of the cars, which run on all-electric drive for 40 miles before a gasoline engine recharges the battery. The Volt will initially be sold in Texas, New York, Michigan, California and Washington, D.C.
GM is seeking to use the Volt to challenge the high-tech image Toyota Motor Corp. won with the success of the Prius hybrid, said Jim Hall, principal of consulting firm 2953 Analytics in Birmingham, Michigan. Doing so will require GM to ensure the car performs and to stand behind it with a strong warranty, he said.
“Toyota defined what a hybrid was with Prius,” Hall said. “GM can define an extended-range electric vehicle, but if the car doesn’t perform well, you have a fiasco.”