The Chevrolet Volt's 38-mile electric range leaves something to be desired, despite being able to run nonstop for hundreds more miles when the range-extending gasoline generator kicks in. General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has recognized this and let slip that he wants to see the next-generation Volt get a significant electric-range increase, Bloomberg reports in a recorded interview with Akerson. The CEO says significant to him means 20 percent - "50 to 60 miles, or more," he adds - and remarks that the range improvement could be a reality in three or four years. It's a much bigger deal than the mid-cycle increase that the 2013 Volt got: three electric miles thanks to a half-kWH battery capacity increase.

In a less explicit statement about the next-gen Volt's electric range, but still in context of the expected 20 percent increase, Akerson also tells Bloomberg that he hopes to see breakthroughs in battery technology that could further reduce cost and increase performance over the next couple of years. Already, the Volt's 16.5-kilowatt-hour battery's initial $800 per kWh price has dropped significantly due to volume and improvements in battery technology, according to Akerson. That's without mentioning the current cost to produce a battery, of course.

Last spring Akerson said that GM hopes to trim $10,000 from the Volt's price, currently at $39,145, through cost reductions. The goal is halfway met with the recent announcement of a $5,000 price drop for the 2014 Volt, which Akerson confirms in the interview was possible through "some cost savings by virtue of the evolution of the [battery] technology." Feel free to watch listen to the video below for more details.


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  • 180 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good news ! Continuing improvements to the Voltec technology , and price will help to keep GM's Volt/Ampera an increasingly popular choice in the EREV market. Those living outside the US, are continually amazed by the on-going hate campaign being waged against GM and the Volt in the US. The rest of the world is full of praise for this brilliant product of US industrial innovation, as Volt/Ampera's winning of awards and accolades from a wide diversity of world motoring press, and motoring organizations attests. For once the US has an automotive export which can rival the Europeans and Japanese, in technology and build quality. Surely, it's time for those American critics to put away the political hatred, show some patriotism, and support a great American export product ?.
        benjamin_braddock
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marco Polo
        At least someone thinks so. This has nothing to do with political hatred, just shock at how poor GM is at understanding different global markets. Here in Europe we have it in two forms. As the normal Chevrolet Volt and the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera. The products rival each other. GM should have introduced it under one brand and advertised, advertised and advertised. I have only ever seen the Ampera variant on the road, never a Volt. Very poor numbers here in the UK. This goes to prove that GM doesn't understand the European market and seriously needs to do something about it. If GM wants to do well, it needs to think about the whole range of cars it produce, not just one poorly selling flagship model.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @benjamin_braddock
          That's because Europeans don't care about the environment! ;-)
          ss1591
          • 1 Year Ago
          @benjamin_braddock
          I am not sure where you got your information about the Volt being sold in Europe or the UK but it is not sold there only the Ampera is.
      Brex
      • 1 Year Ago
      The math's a little fuzzy. 60 miles is 58% more than 38 miles. That's HUGE.
      StaceyS
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think I recall some article during the development of the Volt that suggested it was not using all of the capacity of the battery to preserve the battery's health. I believe it was using as little as 1/2 of the total pack capacity to be conservatively safe. If that's true, they may be willing to reduce that buffer as they gain experience with the pack. In combination with improved cells and maybe more of them, I see these range increases as entirely plausible.
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @StaceyS
        The Volt uses 10.8 of the 16.5 kWh pack. It is beginning to look like Volt batteries will last 12-15 years before they need to be replaced. Some will last longer than that. And it would be nice if GM gets confident enough in that life expectancy so that they open up 12.0 instead of 10.8 right from the start. That would get the Volt up to around 42 miles of AER, which would be a nice touch. Add in expected improvements in density over the next couple years and you could easily see 45 miles out of the existing T-shaped pack. But the Gen II may be out soon enough that this won't need to happen. Interesting days.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great to see that they are keen on improvements.
      danwat1234
      • 1 Year Ago
      Saw a red Volt today, so sexy!
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      38*.2 = 7.6 more miles, 45.6 total. But I agree that buyers would be more impressed if they could get 50-60 miles on electricity. Any word on improving the lackluster mileage in extended range mode?(currently 37mpg)
        Julius
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        GM's working on a new small-engine family, most notably a 1.0L DI 3-cylinder (which was the original plan for the Volt's range-extender. IIRC). That should kick the ER mode fuel economy for Gen II up a notch, at least to start.
        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Exceeding the EPA estimate isn't hard, I'm getting 42-44 miles already. 37 MPG is lackluster?? Why? Most of the cars out there claiming more can't deliver in real life.
        Naturenut99
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        I would expect gen2 with the new range extender to be around 45 mpg. Maybe more if we are lucky.
      Chris
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now that it's warm I've gotten as many as 48 miles and regularly get 45 on a charge in my '12 volt. Winter was another story in the Chicago area with some days not even getting up to 30. I can't wait until say 10 yrs from now I can replace my old worn out battery with one that gets twice the aer for a few thousand bucks!
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Chris
        I am getting better but I am still at 46 miles per charge, but I am a Realtor so i do a lot of stopping and starting with clients in the car. Just a few more miles of aer would be very welcome.
      • 1 Year Ago
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        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        'Notice that VW isn't using gasoline engines in their similar systems - they are going diesel' No they are not: 'Group-wide, the Plug-in Hybrid models will combine a 148bhp/184lb ft, 1.4-litre TSI, turbocharged, four-cylinder, petrol engine and a 101bhp/243lb ft VW-manufactured electric motor, which weighs 75lb. The electric motor sits between the engine and the twin-clutch, six-speed gearbox and has its own separate clutch so it can be disengaged to provide a coasting mode. The battery is a 96-cell, 8.8kWh Sanyo unit which weighs 258lb and sits under the rear seats.' http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/car-manufacturers/volkswagen/9900884/Volkswagen-Golf-Plug-in-Hybrid-review.html
        • 1 Year Ago
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        Julius
        • 1 Year Ago
        Laser + "Government Motors" + "VaporVolt" = tl;dr.
        William
        • 1 Year Ago
        Laser, Good points. Now let's discuss the bogus environmental credentials of lithium ions batteries.
      Daryl Cobranchi
      • 1 Year Ago
      I almost bought a '13 Volt a week ago when the rebate was $4000. A day later it was $5000. And then 2 days after that they cut the price $5000 on the '14. I'm glad I bough a Prius, instead. I'd have been pissed for as long as I owned the car.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Daryl Cobranchi
        Now you will just be bored...
        Jonathan Ippolito
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Daryl Cobranchi
        You should be pissed that you bought a pathetic Prius .
        ngiotta
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Daryl Cobranchi
        I bought a GT500 and just cut back on driving. Enjoy your Prius.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM closed at 36 today. So, had you NOT Listened to that ignorant bovine imbecile laughingstock Limbaugh, you would have DOUBLED Your Money IN JUST ONE YEAR. 2014: VOTE DEMOCRAT OR VOTE SENILE.
        AngeloD
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        @CoolWters: GM's 2010 IPO share price was $33. Today the stock is at $36. That's a 9% gain over three years. Not even keeping pace with inflation. The GAO estimates the US Taxpayer will have lost $40 Billion on Obama's input to the GM bailout. And, you can pick a low for any stock and bleat about how much money you would have made since that point. A meaningless exercise.
          CoolWaters
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AngeloD
          No. The right is a propaganda source, of bad information. Attempting to turn GM into a political football cost you big money. You had plenty of opportunities over the last 5 years to get in LOW on GM stock. But, if you chose to be lead by politics instead of common sense, then you lost money. This is about seeing a business opportunity and getting in on it. You could easily pick as worse date then you did: 1/3/2011 the stock was $36, so it's just back to where it started 2.5 years ago. There were 3 buying opportunities since Jan 2011 to buy low on GM. Did you, or did you listen to some fathead. Republicans, born to be lead by their noses to Bad Decisions.
          Michael
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AngeloD
          That $40B investment kept the manufacturing industry in this company afloat. It was worth it to keep all the jobs at GM, Chrysler, Ford and there suppliers in our economy. The bank bailouts on the other hand...
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        My Tesla stock quadrupled in 3 months. What is your point? And GM stock has not doubled. Its not even up 10% in years. You are losing money compared to inflation.
      Rob J
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's pretty impressive how everyone here is either a diehard "government motors" spewing troll or a "GM is pushing the world forward and can do no wrong" supporter. The Volt is still a $35,000 economy car with a pretty terrible glossy black/white center console, I can't see people clamouring over each other to buy one when they can get a high MPG Cruze for about half the price or a city stomping Prius for a bit more.
        NDhawk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob J
        You would actually pay more for a Prius? Less economy, less performance, less refinement and you would pay more. As for the Cruze, can you name one thing that is the same on the Volt as on the Cruze?
          Ziv
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NDhawk
          The bow tie! So there. Sarc/
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NDhawk
          ND, you're looking at the Volt as some kind of investment. It's not, it's a depreciating consumable asset, a "throw away" item when it's at the end of its useful life. An annuity can grow, this only goes down in value. Looking at it this way, it's best to minimize the upfront cost of any appliance, and this type of car should be treated as such. It's also not any kind of performance car in any way whatsoever, so any comparisons regarding performance are spotty at best. Would you be getting a forty+ mpg car for it's 0-60 ability?
          mchica
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NDhawk
          Less economy? The Prius gets gas mileage in the 50's while the Volt is rated at 34mpg and is lucky to get near that.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NDhawk
          He's not entirely wrong. It is built on a Cruze platform (to save chassis development costs), and at the moment, it is still quite expensive compared to a cheap no frills econobox.
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob J
        Rob J, Do you know that most people don't drive on the highway? Do you know that most highways are jam-packed and crowded, that traffic crawls on highways? That there's no why in hell you're going to get highway MPG in rush hour? That the Volt isn't the Cruze, it has tons more standard equipment and higher quality components? Then, how many $35,000 cars do you think GM sells? And the Volt costs more then that if you select options? That the volt OUTSELLS the CORVETTE? And as for "Government Motors", Since when did the "Republican" party stand for the DESTRUCTION OF THE US ECONOMY DURING A RECESSION? That the policy of the US Government was to Make a Recession a DEPRESSION. You "Republicans" have proven you're UTTERLY INCOMPETENT at Economic Policy, with your "Freedom" loving, code for FRAUD in Business, policy. What has your party done to grow the economy back from this Recession? NOTHING. Go take your GOVERNMENT MOTORS and Shove It Up Your ...
        j
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob J
        That is correct. You cannot see that! I believe that 50 miles per gallon vs no-gas-at-all while crawling along in freeway rush hour traffic is called no contest by most standards. ..."pretty terrible glossy black/white center console" and "That's how cars are built, from a parts bin." also says a great deal.
      • 1 Year Ago
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        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        You might have to grow a pair, then. You could say you decided to grow the AMERICAN Economy instead of building the wealth of Abu Dhabi... http://www.visitabudhabi.ae/en/
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
          @ CoolWaters I love the GM Volt/Ampera ! I was an enthusiastic supporter of the vehicle from it's conception. Nor do I have anything against GM. But comments like yours a the reverse side of the inane haters of GM, the Volt etc..,and are just counterproductive. The UAE (of which Abu Dhabi is a member state) is America's largest export market in the Middle East. More than 750 American companies operate in the UAE generating approximately 14.4 billion export dollars a year for the US consisting of a very wide variety of US goods and services. .including machinery, vehicles and manufactured goods. The UAE imports something from every state in the US. More than 140 billion dollars in economic activity is created in the US by UAE/US trade. This translate to nearly 1,460,000 US jobs. The US imports very little oil from the UAE, about $360 million. Do a little research before you keep posting such nonsense.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
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          tankd0g
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
          Oh was it Toyota that took 800 Billion of your tax dollars and then moved jobs to China and Korea?
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          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          CoolWaters
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
          mighty.goo, first let me say that if your service is true, then I and Democrats Appreciate Your Service. And If you just don't like the car, fine. But, if you're not buying it because you need some "plausible deniability", from your right wing friends?, then you need to Lead your friends to the truth about this car. The Right has made this a "political" car, after all, this project was started under Mr. Bush. Like it or not, any car that goes against the mainstream needs a Leader not a Follower.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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          @CoolWaters
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        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        mighty: I own a Volt. And I'm happy to support GM and American workers.
          Ziv
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          yonomo, way to take us from no class all the way to offensive asshattery. I disagree with goo on this in a big way but your comment, yonomo, is too stupid for words.
          hodad66
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          Same here...... I love my Volt, best vehicle that I have ever driven! I've used 9 gallons in two years......
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
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          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
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          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          I'd rather see your GED
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
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          @VL00
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          Ziv
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          yonomo, it is too late for any real discussion. My parents taught me some pretty good lessons and one of them was that two wrongs don\'t make a right. If it is wrong to do it in the first place, doing it in retaliation doesn\'t make it right. Godwins Law says that you lose if you equate someone with a N***, [don\'t want to get modded on this, of all things] and wishing for someones death is, if anything, worse than that. We all hide behind these screen names, but it doesn\'t stop infantile behaviour from being beyond the pale. I love my Volt and I will post my opinions in support of it, but I have also been known to viciously attack GM\'s management team for its mismanagement of the Volt. But I won\'t be wishing Akerson dead at ANY time in the future, nor would I wish death on the most virulent of Volt bashers. This site isn\'t worth it. The subject isn\'t worth it. The media we use may support that sort of activity, but again, it is not worth it.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
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          @VL00
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          @VL00
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          @VL00
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