Chevy Volt.

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

Photo: gmeurope

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

At its 100th birthday party on Tuesday, General Motors unveiled its oh-so-close-to-production model of the Chevrolet Volt –a plug-in hybrid that the automaker swears will be on sale by the end of 2010. GM has been plagued by massive financial problems lately caused mainly by its heavy focus on SUVs, which have largely fallen out of favor with consumers due to sustained high gas prices. In an effort to turn the automaker’s fortunes around, GM has promised big things from the Volt, including an advanced lithium-ion battery (that doesn’t quite exist yet) that GM says will be powerful enough to propel the car some 40 miles on one charge before the gasoline engine kicks in. GM also says the Volt will have an overall range of 400 miles on a full tank and a full charge. “We have to deliver,” said GM’s Elizabeth Lowery. The Volt is “very important to our entire strategy.”