On page four of a five-page BusinessWeek article entitled "The Inside Story of GM's Comeback and Mary Barra's Rise," there's a single paragraph that mentions General Motors CEO Dan Akerson hinting at "a next generation of electric vehicle.... [A] compact car that can go 200 miles on a charge and carry a generator, too." The article says "it will be similar to the Volt," however it notes that the candidate generators "could run on gas, diesel, or natural gas," and the package is being mooted to sell for $30,000. With all that, you have the makings of a range-extended electric vehicle that could be similar to the current Volt or, just as likely, be very different from it.

None of that's new, though – we heard the same talk and specs in September when Akerson was on a tear about beating Tesla, and GM exec Doug Parks let loose the numbers for this coming electric offering. But reportage at that time didn't include Akerson's hope that this future vehicle "be a moon shot so we can surprise the competition."

That would be a great market segment for a moon shot, since we can't see how GM plans to shock and awe the premium competition with its Cadillac ELR, and this new model would seemingly avoid fisticuffs with Tesla when their entry-level car is due in 2016. If GM can achieve its lunar target for the electric compact, in three years, consumers might have less humbug about the $25,000 price ceiling and be more willing to give it a chance.

Assuming it happens, do you think such a vehicle would make sense as a Volt replacement? Or would it be better as an expansion to the franchise, the start of a Volt family? Have your say in Comments.

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