General Motors ramped up its marketing of the Chevy Volt electric vehicle with the announcement of an extended battery warranty. GM’s standard five-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty will be extended to eight years and 100,000 miles for the Volt. This will be a benefit to not only the primary owner but to all subsequent owners as the extended warranty is transferable to other owners at no additional cost.

The battery system in hybrid and electric vehicles is expensive and the replacement price often factors in to a consumer’s decision to buy a vehicle with this technology. General Motors is targeting this specific purchase barrier with the extended warranty. According to GM, the warranty will cover all of the 161 battery components, the thermal management system, charging system, and electric drive components.

The majority of the components used in the Volt’s battery were designed and engineered by GM. The company’s Brownstown Township plant in Michigan has been building prototype batteries since January but will soon begin to build production batteries. The switch to regular battery production is just the latest step on GM’s path to bringing the Chevy Volt to market.

In related Chevy Volt news, yesterday President Obama visited the Compact Power battery plant in Holland, Michigan and received a first-hand look at the Volt. Obama was in Holland to discuss the influx in green jobs in the region thanks to Recovery Act funding for advanced battery technology research and development. The Chevy Volt is directly benefiting from this push to create more advanced batteries here in the United States.

The Chevy Volt, which is expected to be available in California, Washington, D.C., and Michigan in late 2010, is unlike other electric vehicles coming to market in the next year. The Volt runs in electric-only mode for the first 40 miles and then the car can run for another 300 miles on a full tank of gas. With the vast majority of commuter trips falling beneath the 40-mile mark, Volt owners are likely to run in electric only mode most of the time.