It didn't pull the plug on General Motor's electric car, but in its report on the company's future, the Obama administration has concluded that "while the Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term," according to a report in The Detroit News.
Despite the media hoopla surrounding the car often billed as the future of the auto industry, the government's analysis of the vehicle couldn't overlook the fact that the Volt "is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable."
Lagging behind other automakers in hybrid technology, GM has been hoping that the Volt would help the company leapfrog competitors like Toyota and Ford, and become the first mass marketed plug-in hybrid vehicle to hit the marketplace.
Expected to cost around $40,000 when it goes on sale as a 2011 model, GM says the Volt will be able to travel up to 40 miles on electric power alone, only tapping into a small internal combustion engine to power the electric motors when the battery runs down.
The government analysis of the car echoes a recent study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University which also concluded that the design concept behind the Volt is "not cost effective in any scenario."