• Oct 16, 2010
2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Doug Parks, General Motor's global vehicle line executive for electric vehicles, revealed that the automaker's production capacity for the Chevrolet Volt is slightly more flexible than we've been led to believe. According to Parks, The General aims to build "10,000 or 15,000" Volts in 2011, followed by up to 60,000 in 2012.

Back in July, GM upped 2012 production capacity from its previous target of 30,000 to 45,000. Speaking to the Detroit News on the sidelines of the 2010 Business of Plugging In conference, Parks let some production details fly, stating:
Starting in 2012, we'll be in this max rate of 60,000. We have the ability to increase volume and crank that up. We don't have any firm plans yet but we're flexible.
Parks also confirmed that GM is inching closer to winning final approval from the EPA and should be able to apply a fuel economy sticker to the Volt's window "within a month." He also notes that the EPA will tag the vehicle's expected electric range with a number between the 25- to 50-mile span that GM recently announced, but there's also a slight chance that the final rating could be below the company's long-promised 40-mile electric-only range.



[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 48 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      33 MPG is with the cruize control set at 78MPH which is quite agressive so the Mileage at 65MPH is SC should be above 40MPG. well that is still well below the 50MPG that GM promised in the first place, but that's what it is. The problem of GM now is that Toyota is about to offer a Prius plug-in with more limited EV range but a much better Mileage in SC and at a lower cost than the Volt so, we'll see...
        • 4 Years Ago
        The original 50mpg GM claim was also with a 1.0L 3cyl turbo engine. Bumping that up to a 1.4L non-turbo 4cyl is largely the reason for the decrease. Plus, that 3cyl engine would be essentially a one-off which would increase the development cost. They went with a 1.4L N/A 4cyl since it's an engine that's already available, but that did decrease the mileage estimate a bit.

        I'm not sure that the Prius Plug-in(PPI) is as large a threat as you might think. On paper, they seem similar enough to matter, but in reality(as test have shown so far), the Volt has the ability to decrease gasoline usage far below what a PPI can provide due to its increased EV range and the fact that the ICE does not run at all during the EV mode. The PPI, on the other hand, does not have a powerful enough electric motor to keep it in EV mode under medium to heavy acceleration and it will kick on the ICE even if you still have a full battery if it feels the need to.

        This of course can be rectified if the PPI were fitted with a larger battery and more powerful electric motor, but as it sits now, the Volt trumps it on both and that allows it to achieve better overall mileage than a PPI.

        Still, as I've stated numerous times before, if long distance driving is common for you(which is uncommon), the Volt is not the right vehicle for you, get a Prius, Diesel, or a smaller economy car and enjoy your highway mileage figure. If your driving habits are more typical, a Volt, PPI, or even an EV may suit you better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is significant news. To me, that number says GM is serious about the Volt. Let's see how they follow up. Hopefully the price will come down a lot in year two.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I believe the price will start coming down with the 2012 production. I don't believe GM expects to sell 45k+ Volts at $41k even with the rebate. If they drop it by $4k the rebate will bring the purchase price below the magic $30k barrier. They will need to do this to sell over 45k Volts for the 2012 model year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And people thought GM was serious when they sank $1 billion into the EV-1.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "They should have been killed WAY back."

      "But with cheerleaders like you supporting this pathetic company, why should they bother?"

      We just like rubbing you disgruntled GM deathwatchers faces in it, sorry your deathwatch thing didn't work out. LOL
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey man...it's your tax money they screwed you out of....hope it didn't burn too much...perhaps it will for your kids?
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's typical, that miniscule tax refund you got while the previous administration was running the country's economy down the gutter is way more than important than saving 100,000+ jobs, and the expence that would have cost in unemployment alone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm curious to see why GM is not realeasing any numbers on confirmed orders. If they are doing well, why is GM marketing not boasting ? That seems outside the norm ...
        • 4 Years Ago
        There has been a lot of speculation on this. The most reasonable I have seen relates to the method of GM sales vs Nissan's model. Nissan took orders directly from customers and gave them a ticket they could take to the dealer of their choice to get their car. GM gave dealers an "allotment", so from this point of view all 10k cars have already been sold (from GM to dealers), but the dealers may or may not have sold their allotment. In general the dealers that committed to selling at MSRP or just up to $2k markup, have sold their allotment. There are quite a few dealers who think they can get much higher markup and some even announced they wanted $10k more. These dealers have not sold their allotment, and no one has reported actually finding a buyer at that price. In any case these dealers are holding out until they actually have cars on their lot, which they will then sell to the highest bidder. All this is out of GM's control so they cannot announce how many have been sold.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        EVNOW:

        That's exactly my point...if it's such a great product, GM should be touting this thing like crazy and putting the technology into just about every car they can pump out. Apparently some people here don't get it no matter what.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Has it been available for order yet?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, any production increases are good news. Since this is global production, it is still less than 1/9th of what Nissan/Renault have announced so far, but is a step in the right direction. I wonder what percentage will end up in the US. I'm not sure how Europe or Asia will react to this car (especially because the gasoline mileage is less than many typical cars in those countries), so we may end up with quite a few. I can assume that the US government and Michigan state will buy up a few thousand.

      However, you may see a sales peak in early 2014. By that time, Nissan will have had its US plant cranking out 150,000 LEAFs (and 50K additional batteries for other EV models), which (when combined with previous sales) will have consumed all 200,000 of the tax credits. And the next-generation LEAF is scheduled for a mid-2014 launch. As such, demand for the current LEAF will likely go down (like it did with the previous Prius right before the new one came out) and the Volt (which still qualifies for credits) may sell well. But the next-generation LEAF would likely make that very temporary... This is all assuming there are no other major players in the market by that time.

      There is also a lot of room for improvement on the Volt (Atkinson, etc.), so incremental improvements may also increase sales.
      Noz
      • 4 Years Ago
      All this hype and complexity about this car FOR ONLY barely 40 MPG?

      LOL...GM keeps fking everyone with eyes WIDE open.

      Good job GM.

      They should have been killed WAY back.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Noz
        "All this hype and complexity about this car FOR ONLY barely 40 MPG?"

        Yep. Well, only if you completely ignore the main feature of the Volt. The ability to plug it in and use no gasoline at all for most daily tasks.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Noz
        Yeah and no one so far has been able to prove anything they've said...but we do know that the mileage while driven by independent sources is lousy given all the publicity it's been receiving.

        Give it a break dude...stop cheerleading this crap.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Noz
        Are you kidding? They've been touting the 40 miles electric since day 1. They even came up with some supposed typical driving cycle where they claimed 230 MPG since most of the miles will be electric only.

        They've scaled back to 25 to 50 miles electric. You can get over 40 but you need to drive easy. If you are a lead foot, you'll get 33 or so.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Noz
        If it's such a big point and so great in performance, then GM would be taking advantage of this fact all the way to the bank. The fact that such numbers are not touted by GM is telling.

        But with cheerleaders like you supporting this pathetic company, why should they bother?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, that will probably be far more than people want to buy . . .

      Unless oil prices spike up. And that is a distinct possibility.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Popular Mechanics drove the Volt 900 miles and got an average of 33 miles in EV mode. They also averaged 32-36MPG when the ICE was running, and 37.5-38.2MPG if you include the EV miles. Of course those EV miles are not really "free" going with 8.8kWh usable electricity over the 33 miles = 128MPGe (using the X-Prize spreadsheet) for the EV mode.

      If GM sells that many Volts, I'll be surprised. $41K is a lot to spend on a car that gets less than 40MPG.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why isn't it indicative of normal driving? You'd buy a Volt to just go to the market and back? Spend over $40K for that?

        Give it a break dude...you're trying to justify an overpriced GM product that's a greenwash by squeezing it into a narrow functionality spectrum.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Good discussion. I think the MPG is the number to watch because gasoline prices are going to climb whereas electricity will remain pretty stable (we have lots of coal & natural gas). The Volt seems to have come up a bit short of its goals on AER, gas-only MPG, and price; but it remains an interesting option.

        It is an early adopter vehicle for now, but it is a good start. The future of the Volt will depend heavily on where gasoline prices go and if they can get the price down.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well that test was not very representative of normal driving:

        "Finally, we drove the Volt for nearly 600 miles on the highway only, a tough test for any hybrid since there's no opportunity for brake regeneration. Also, we set the cruise at a typically brisk Michigan highway traffic speed—78 mph."

        600 miles of highway-only driving at nearly 80mph is exactly the type of driving that the Volt would suck at. If you are going to do that kind of driving, get a diesel. The Volt is for typical daily commuting . . . and if you do that, you'll see a huge savings in gasoline usage.

        But the Volt has not had the best showing in its numbers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It sure is a downsizing from the original 230mpg, isn't it?

        I agree with you. I'd be surprised, too, if they sell that many.
        The initial excitement has worn off for me. The Leaf would
        be better in my case, as my commute is 35mi.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hi Neil, you are right, my mpge line was completely wrong, I mixed up mpg with mpge. I wish I had said something like, _GM stated that the Volt will get between 25 and 50 miles all electric and it looks like nearly everyone that wanted to got more than 45 miles range. If you drive like you stole it and it is cold out, you can get less than 30 miles range, but you have to work at it. But if you put a bunch of car journalists in a car, they are going to get horrible mileage because they are pushing it harder than most drivers would ever dream of after their first month or so in the car._
        I drive a little over 12,000 miles a year, and if I get 38 mile AER most days, not 45 like they are getting, I will only use 2 to 3 gallons of gasoline most months, if I get 40 mpg. 3 gallons/1000 miles or 333 mpg, admittedly NOT mpge, I don't know what I was thinking when I put that e on the end. During the summer time I tend to drive more and to use AC quite a bit, so it will probably be more in the line of 6 gallons/1200 miles or 200 mpg. I won't be filling the entire battery every night so it will be something on the order of 30*9 kWh or 270 kWh * 10 cents or $27 per month. Figure $35 per month for electricity with pack conditioning included. So worst case is 6 * $3 or $18 for gas and $35 for elec means I will be spending $53 to $56 for energy instead of the $150 to $180 a month I am paying for gas now.
        And the vast majority of my energy use will be American produced electricity rather than foreign oil. The Volt will be a hit, but after the early adopters get one, GM will either have to drop the price or watch them sit on the lot.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Volt looks like it will get 38+ miles AER if you drive like you own it, less if you flog it. And the charge sustaining mpg will be 40-45 mpg which is pretty good. Since 80%+ of your miles will be using electricity not gas, 230 mpge is not unreasonable to expect. GM will sell 10,000 the first year with no problems, and 45,000 the second year with some rebates from GM. But by 2013 GM will either have to reduce the MSRP by a significant amount or their cars will sit on the lot. Even a BEV will look good compared to an EREV that is irritatingly overpriced by 2013. And $41k is going to be offensive within a few years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ ziv If you are able to drive 50 miles on the ~8.8kWh, then that number is 193MPGe. if you manage just 25 miles (which is also in the range that GM has recently said), that is equivalent to 97MPGe.

        So, 25-50 miles translates to 97-193MPGe, if you are do a straight BTU conversion (I used the X-Prize spreadsheet: http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/files/downloads/auto/MPGe_Calculator.xls ).

        Sincerely, Neil
        • 4 Years Ago
        I meant to include the link to the Popular Mechanics article:

        http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/reviews/hybrid-electric/volt-reliability-report-test

        Sincerely, Neil
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just hope the sticker includes CS mpg numbers at least, besides from the expected range rating.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ok, great, let's see GM actually do it...and it should make the price drop quite a bit as well if they really do.

      We will see. Talk is cheap.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Spec,
        I mean producing 60,000 of them per year starting in 2012
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not sure what you mean . . . they've done it. The car is ready. They've already handed out several of them to people. Many are on the road right now. Reporters & magazines are all getting their shot at testing it out.

        I think they fell a little short of their goals and the car is too expensive, but it is a pretty good start. I look forward to seeing how the product line develops.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, but if that volume lets them drop the price then it would be a huge step forward. A $35k price before rebates, etc would change this car's outlook completely. At around $23k, after federal and state tax breaks, in states like Ca and Ga, they could make a hell of a lot of sells.

        But they really will have to drop the price. That is just too high.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ah . . . yeah. I think they'll have more problems selling 60,000 of them but yeah, they could have problems build 60,000 if all the suppliers are not ready.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder how long it will be before some hacked firmware opens up more of the battery to users.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm thinking that may occur from GM themselves in a few years if not before. If they can prove that the batteries can handle it, I'd imagine that they could release a software update to allow that. Bumping the EV range from 40mi to 60-80mi would be a neat trick for the coming model years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Would I do anything that might void a warranty?

        On an iPhone? Possibly.

        On the Volt? Not likely.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes, yes, yes. We've all heard that before, but how many have they actually built NOW???
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