During the Detroit Auto Show media previews this week, General Motors vice-chairman Bob Lutz reportedly told a reporter the automaker would indeed proceed with production of a battery-only version of the Chevrolet Volt. Way back in December 2006 when we got our first preview of the Volt concept, the powertrain was still called E-Flex rather than Voltec as it is today. The name arose out of the fact that it was designed to accommodate a number of variants as technology developed, including a fuel cell range extender and a full battery electric drive. The BEV was predicated on the availability of adequate battery range and cost.
Apparently, GM is feeling the pressure from the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric and will proceed with a comparable version of the Volt sooner rather than later. It should be interesting to compare an ER-EV Volt against a BEV with a bigger, heavier pack for a 100-mile nominal range.
Even with the current pack configuration, it's no secret or surprise that the electric range will vary depending on driving conditions. Lutz also reportedly told reporters that driving a pre-production Volt home recently during the cold snap that we've had here in Michigan he only got 28 miles on a charge. Lutz acknowledged that electric vehicle range varies more based on conditions than a comparable ICE vehicle, something that correlates well with the experiences of other EV drivers.