• Jan 23, 2011
2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

With fuel prices anticipated to rise, General Motors anticipates increased demand for the Chevrolet Volt. To stay ahead of the game, the automaker reportedly plans to double production capacity for the plug-in hybrid.

Production was originally pegged at 10,000 this year and 60,000 next year, but if the increased capacity comes to pass, those figures could increase to 25,000 this year and 120,000 units next year. This strategy depends on parts availability, however, and if the outsourced parts necessary to build more Volts can't be ramped up by OEM suppliers, the plans could be cut short.

As has been reported, in addition to the Volt itself, GM is evaluating possibilities to apply the car's gasoline-electric drivetrain to a range of additional products across different GM brands.



Photos copyright ©2011 Chris Paukert / AOL

[Source: Bloomberg]


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  • 65 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the Volt is ugly. They look like Japanese or Korean. American cars should look "American", as they did back in the good old days. You could feel the pride and confidence from the design. Though I'm a Japanese my self, those are the American cars I fell in love with. Japanese cars may be good industrial product, but they do not offer the passion and philosophy like American cars used to offer. I hope American cars don't try to fight with those cars at the same level.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Clearly not many of you read the article where massive amounts of Prius owners are attempting to get out of their leases early and switch to the Volt.

      120k Volt by the second year would be very impressive, approaching Prius sales numbers.
        • 3 Years Ago
        From here

        http://www.hybridcarblog.com/mistakes-many-prius-drivers-would-rather-drive-a-volt/

        "When the Chevy Volt finally went on sale after years of marketing, the folks over at LeaseTrader.com expected a number of Toyota Prius lessees to inquire about turning in their Prius leases in order to pursue a Chevy Volt purchase or lease.

        Well, that early Volt marketing worked better than LeaseTrader expected, as the volume of calls they have received has far exceeded expectations according to the company."
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should figure out how to make a cheaper version for the Aveo-Sonic.

      Two ways to achieve fuel efficiency: 1) small, light car and 2) advanced efficient drivetrain.

      Why won't automakers put these two things together??
        • 3 Years Ago
        The heart of the American car market is the mid-size sedan. This should be GM's first target to gain wide acceptance. The Volt is already on the smallish size, being based on the Cruze platform, however, this also makes it more suitably sized for Europe.

        Also, adding a hybrid powertrain to a Fit/Yaris/Aveo sized car provides an even worse cost/benefit ratio, as these cars are already more fuel efficient. If you are already making close to 40mpg in your regular car, you aren't going to gain nearly as much by adding a bunch of hybrid hardware and heavy batteries.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Some automakers do combine small/light with efficient drivetrain. Go shop for a Lotus, but bring your wallet.
        • 3 Years Ago
        GM's BAS eAssist (e.g. LaCrosse) and Large Truck hybrids (i.e. Suburban / Yukon) are fantastic, and would give vastly better overall CAFE results than any hybrid or subcompact mileage push.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think thats looking at it backwards, although rating the manufacturers with the current CAFE standards leads us to believe otherwise.
        Given the large % of sales are trucks, if they instead told the manufacturers to increase mpg's by percentage, they would spend more energy improving the mileage of the larger vehicles, such as trucks(some of us will always need a pickup). Saving 20% of 15 mpg saves a lot more than 20% of 30mpg.
      • 3 Years Ago
      @nastinupe

      I have looked.
      Why do you love the Ayatollah? Hugo Chavez? The House of Saud? All of whom have, are, or desire to send home Americans in flag draped coffins. Americans we send around the world to protect our oil interests.
      Why are you fighting against independence from those who would do us harm?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nasti

        Exactly what do you think those cars you mentioned would cost if they added $10k worth of batteries, electronics and motors? This is not a car designed to pamper you in luxury, it is a car that is designed to reduce your gas consumption to nearly zero.

        Your complaint is like complaining that a $40k Ford F-550 commercial truck isn't as luxurious as a Lexus. They have different purposes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Meh, I'll stick with something simple if I want a fuel-stingy vehicle. Sonic Turbo 6 speed manual at 40 mpg.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I prefer my Ironhorse Outlaw. Even simpler, faster than a Viper (until the twisties), and have gotten 47mpg on a long Interstate cruise.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Remember that the buyers get a $7,500 US Government rebate for buying a Volt. If they really sell 100,000 that means that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT will give Government Motors ANOTHER $750 MILLION BAILOUT. Will the gravy train ever end for GM. I'd built a car too if it meant I'd get another BILLION from Uncle Sap.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Its actually not a tax rebate. Its a tax *CREDIT*.

        There is a huge difference between the two. So the figures you came up with are not correct. The amount that it cost the government varies depending on what the persons anual income is.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It is not a bailout to GM, it is an incentive for buyers to take the risk of buying a radically different car, one that could pave the way to the US dramatically lowering oil imports. This is a radical transformation in vehicle drivetrains. It is expensive. Without government subsidies, this technology may never get off the ground until mass production can bring the costs down. And then we are just stuck with the same old modest, incremental improvements that take decades to have any real impact.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Jerry, the Nissan Leaf also qualifies for the $7500 credit and there were past credits for Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen and many others. And how about all the Tif's, tax rebates, tax waivers, taxpayer funded infrastructure improvements, 3 and 5 year property tax waivers and construction permit waivers granted to the transplants by State and local governments amounting to tens of billions of taxpayer money lost forever.
        A bit narrow minded to single out GM, would'nt you agree?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would really like a peek at GM's internal sales projections. I find it really hard to believe that an anticipated rise in fuel cost will spike demand for a vehicle that starts at $40k before charges, taxes and incentives.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They want to make more of them because the more they make the cheaper it gets to make them. Economies of scale. And yeah, there might not be 100,000 people who want a Volt for $41k... but what about in a year when there's no shortage and you can lease it for $350 a month? Or what about if they dropped the price to $35k before rebate? If they can even cut $5000-7000 out of the price of this car they can sell 100,000.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Greg, there were no reviews of those C-Maxes at the auto show. There are no cars to review yet!

        Greg. The GM Global Delta II platform has the capability to use multiple drivetrains, as evidenced by it being offered currently as a gas Cruze and an EREV Volt.

        It's bizarre you make a stink about changing a tunnel in the middle of the floor pan for GM while on the Ford side you are lumping the C-Max and Focus together despite much larger changes than that.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Production goals are one thing... Sales are another!!!

        This GM forecast was developed BEFORE anyone saw the new Ford Focus Electric, C-Max Energi and C-Max Hybrid introduced to strong reviews at the Detroit Auto Show!!!

        Ford's electrification strategy is Superior to GM's dedicated Volt platform, where Ford can leverage 2 Million global Focus platform sales to lower the cost of Focus/C-Max electric vehicles... and increase profits!!! vs. GM's single dedicated Volt platform...duh!

        Plus, Ford is also developing battery technology "In-House" where they can reduce costs and gain competitive advantage over GM... Ford has a better idea!!!!

        And... Ford's Focus plant is flexible to make all 4-drive-trains on the same production line - Gas/EcoBoost, EV, Plug-In and Hybrid... vs. GM's dedicated Volt plant...!!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        The volt is not built on a dedicated platform (shares with the cruze, verano and astra) and is not built at a dedicated plant (it also builds buicks and cadillacs)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @alex: Right - the Volt was developed utilizing the existing platform Delta II platform. However, it still does not explain or justify why GM thinks it needs to double its Volt production capacity for 2012.

        I've noticed a lot of people accusing those asking questions as being blind naysayers, but I genuinely would like to GM to succeed, not fail by not letting the market demand speak for itself.
        • 3 Years Ago
        My point is - the Ford Global C-Platform, based on 2 Million annual sales, has the flexibility to change drive-trains in the same Focus vehicle - Gas/EcoBoost, EV, Hybrid or Plug-in..

        GM can NOT do that with the Volt platform as the batteries are placed down the central console/drive-shaft tunnel... that is NOT the same as the Cruze platform... sorry!!! It does NOT have the same drive-train flexibility as Ford's C-platform... or the cost advantage!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Meanwhile we spend +/- $5 billion a month on war in the middle east. Wars we would not be in if not for oil.

      If we could get out of the middle east et al and cut our defense budget by 1/3rd,
      we could flat out buy 7.5 million Volts. Every year.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tweaker

        Not to get all political on an auto thread, but the crap that's going on in the middle east is more about religion and the political and religious right believing that they need to be on the side of Isreal in order to be right with baby Jesus before The End of Days. And the fallout of supporting a group that basically took over someone elses country because of European backing.

        Although I'm an American, I see the wrong with the whole issue, as many people in Washington did

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/06/AR2008050602447.html

        I feel like the US should discontinue support for the state of Isreal and move on.

        And the war on Iraq was Bush's plan to stay president and win support by focusing America's fustration after the 9/11 attacks. Americans just wanted someone to pay, it didn't matter who it was. Since the "terrorist" claimed Islam, any Islamic country would do, so why not Iraq? We hated them any way and they were an easy target and assumed victory.

        If Bush had any balls he would have attacked Iran because we also knew that Iran housed terroist and truly had weapons of mass destruction and were attempting to build a nuclear weapon, however, Bush knew that that war would be a very unpopular war that we could not win quickly without many casualties.

        I could go on and on, but basically, it comes down to our soilders are being used as pawns... as they always have throughout history. I feel sorry for anyone who has to fight in these useless conflicts that do nothing but fill the purses of the leaders of the countries who don't have relatives that have to suffer the atrocities of war.


      • 3 Years Ago
      I am still puzzle about the serie-hybrid design where the gas engine is not designed to recharge the battry.

      So far only when the battery is empty (below 50% ?), the gas engine is used to generate electricity (or to move the car directly...?).

      When doing longer trip than the 35-50 electric range, I wonder if it would not be nice to have a "highway" mode, a little bit like the "mountain" mode.

      So when above 45mph you will use the gas engine, thus allowing you to use the electric mode when reaching your destination.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You know what.

        I'm not convinced either case will work for sure. You might have to pull over and turn the engine off and back on in either case. Or at least some to a stop and let the engine turn off.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm not sure why you'd want to save your EV for at the end. The Volt isn't a pure series hybrid, if you are in CS (gas) mode and you are at highway speeds, the engine is driving the wheels directly.

        But if you do want to do it, I think I figured out two ways to do it:
        1. Put the car in mountain mode at the start of your journey. This will reserve about 10 miles EV range capacity. Then just click it off mountain mode 10 miles before your journey ends. I'm certain this will work.
        2. If you press the start button on the car when the hood is up, the engine starts, even if the battery is full. So theoretically, you could pop the hood, start the car, close the hood and drive off in CS (gas) mode. Then I guess at the end you pull over, turn the car off and back on and do the rest in CD (EV) mode? I'm not sure this would work. The car might turn off the engine when you close the hood.

        These theories come from riding in my friend's Volt and driving it too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The fact is that hardly anyone in Manhattan, Philly, Boston, DC, etc... could get a Volt even if they wanted to.

      Street parking=no access to A/C=No Volt.

      This is not going to ever change either, unless these charging stations are everywhere and free and quick, which is also never going to happen.

      Making a car for the masses that a large chunk of the population couldn't buy even if they wanted to, is a recipe for failure on some level.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You are never required to plug a Volt in. It runs on gas too, you know.

        Charging stations will be on the street some day, even some day soon. But there will still of course be many many places where they are not present. Even if there's a charger on your block but you can't get that spot, what good does the charger do you?

        Even though the average person drives less than 35 miles on most days, and these people probably drive even fewer than that, I do agree for now, most inner city car buyers probably wouldn't see much advantage from a Volt. But those who live on the edge of the city and drive in very well might.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Don't know what it matters. It's not like Manhattan is a giant car market. Sure, a lot of people live and work there, but not many people that live there actually own any car at all.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should think about making a bigger version of the Voltec engine for the Malibu,Regal etc.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think that GM.. and other US brands should start selling diesels in the US. If you build them... and gas prices go up... people will buy them.... fast..
      don
        • 3 Years Ago
        Diesels suck. They stink, and they sound terrible. I don't want one.
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