Dan Akerson wants to see 20 percent improvement in electric-drive range.

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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