As we know, another major automaker investing heavily in electrified vehicles is General Motors, and it's doing things much differently than rivals BMW, Ford or Nissan. The Chevrolet Volt extended-range EV is a modest seller at its $35,000 sticker price but a huge hit with owners. The Chevy Spark BEV, still in limited availability, puts smiley faces on its owners and drivers. The just-introduced Cadillac ELR, a sharp-looking, fun-driving $76,000 luxocoupe take on the Volt's EREV mechanicals, has admittedly low sales expectations.

With this interesting trio in showrooms and much more in the works, the third vehicle electrification leader I collared for an interview at Detroit's North American International Auto Show (see #1 and #2) was Pam Fletcher, GM's executive chief engineer, Electrified Vehicles.

ABG: Why do your EREVs need four-cylinder power to extend their range when BMW's i3 makes do with an optional 650 cc two-banger?

"We designed [the Volt and the ELR] to go anywhere, any time" - Pam Fletcher

PF: I get that question all the time: why not something smaller? You don't really need that much. You use the electric to its ability, then you just need to limp. But we designed those cars to go anywhere, any time, and we don't want their performance to be compromised. If you're driving through the mountains, we don't want you to be crawling up grades, or to be limited on any terrain. So it's optimized to be able to travel literally the biggest grades and mountain roads around the globe at posted speeds. Because what if you can't?

Another good reason: when the engine is on, you have to run it wide open throttle, max speed, most of the time. And while we can do a lot with acoustics, and the ELR has active noise cancelation, a small-displacement, low cylinder-count engine at high speed, high load all the time isn't something you want to live with. That's how we came up with the balance we did among the key factors of performance, NVH [noise, vibration and harshness] and range.

Chevy Spark EV

ABG: Where you go from here? Is the range-extender engine due for an update?

PF: We know and love the current Volt, and there is still a lot of acclaim about it, so we think it's a good recipe. But we are heavily in the midst of engineering the next-generation car, which I think everyone will love and be excited about. The acclaim of the Volt, and the Spark EV, has exceeded expectations, so our intent is to continue rolling out products that surprise and delight and exceed customers' expectations. The next-gen Volt will continue that success.

ABG: Will we see more electrified vehicles coming from GM?

PF: There will be more electrified vehicles. We have said that we expect to have fairly high production by the 2017 timeframe, and it will take multiple solutions to achieve the kind of volumes we've discussed. As with conventional cars, one solution does not meet everyone's needs. So we will have to offer a variety of solutions, which will come in different architectures, sizes and body styles, as well as different technologies.

ABG: Are we likely to see other GM vehicles and brands with EREV capability?

PF: Everything is possible.

ABG: What about a small crossover, maybe about Buick Encore size?

"Why would it be any different for electrified vehicles?"

PF: In conventional vehicles, we see huge appetites for crossovers, from small ones like the Encore, which has exceeded both customers' and our expectations, to full-size crossovers. So why would it be any different for electrified vehicles? I'll take that under advisement [laughs].

Opel Ampera

ABG: Is the Opel Ampera essentially a European Volt, and how successful has it been?

PF: Yes, the Ampera is essentially the same car except for what each one needs for compliance in its own market, and some differences in customer preference. And it has won its own acclaim in that market. It has been very well received and has won a lot of awards.

ABG: What will be the primary missions of that next-generation Volt beyond a next-generation EREV powertrain?

"This [EV] technology is still expensive."

PF: The idea first is just to make it a great product. We want to continue coming out with products that just blow people away and exceed their expectations, because as you go through different segments of the market, what blows people away differs. But the other side is the cost equation. This technology is still expensive, so we are working very hard on trying to get further down the cost curve.

ABG: Does it matter much to the EREV buyer how far it can go on battery before the engine starts? With this next generation, would it make sense to add battery and/or improve vehicle efficiency to boost EV range by a few miles, or is the higher priority getting the cost down?

PF: Of the 50,000-plus Volts out there, on average 82 percent of the energy they use comes from a plug, not a pump. The battery is the most expensive asset on the car, so if we look at asset utilization, I think we got the balance about right, and it's meeting most customers needs. In the beginning, we had to place a bet, 40 miles was it, and it's looking like a pretty good bet. Would we like to make that 82 percent a different percentage? Maybe. I think that getting to where most people's daily needs are met electrically is a priority, but so is getting the cost down. If we put more battery in the car, it will cost more. If we put less in, it will cost less. As much as people love the car, their number one complaint is that it costs too much, so that is a huge priority.

ABG: If you can improve the vehicle's efficiency, you could get a few more miles out of the current-size battery? Or downsize it to take some cost out without reducing the EV range.

PF: Those are all options.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 114 Comments
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      " $40,000 sticker price" Not that I ever expect corrections around here when facts are horribly wrong, but maybe just this once the folks at ABG could correct this big whopper? MSRP starts at $35,000 now.
        dan.frederiksen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        maybe once you could realize that it wasn't like that when it first came on the scene
      Aaron
      • 1 Year Ago
      Answer to question 1: The Volt is not an EREV. When all three of its clutches are engaged, its four-cylinder engine assists in propelling the vehicle. The BMW i3's does not. ABG: You really need to call the Volt a PHEV because of its direct connection between the ICE and the drivetrain. It is a parallel hybrid. The Fisker Karma and BMW i3 are serial hybrids. That's why they are EREVs.
        GoodCheer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aaron
        Comparing the terms "EREV" to "PHEV", "Series Hybrid" etc. is like comparing the term "Scrubbing Bubbles" to the term "emulsifier". The former are marketing terms invented by companies to seem catchy and compelling, the latter are technical terms. Because GM invented the term “EREV”, it can mean whatever they wish it to mean. Since they wish it to apply to the Volt, it does. Debating whether the Volt is an EREV or a PHEV is like debating whether a light blue Volt is “Silver Topaz Metallic” or light blue.
        elctrNmbliT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aaron
        But it only has a direct connection under very limited circumstances. It never engages in EV mode even above 70 mph. It's only when the battery is depleted AND the car is driven over 70 mph. In the 12,000 miles I've driven mine so far that may have happened twice for me. I drive often on the freeway in EV mode at 70 or above but rarely do I need to use the range extender. And when I have I don't recall if I was going 70 or over or not.
        John Hansen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aaron
        That's not even technically correct. Since it runs without any direct engine assistance for the first 38 miles, that makes it an EREV. If the engine directly drove the wheels any time during that first 38 miles you would be correct, but it does not. I know you hate the Volt, but try to get the facts right at least.
          mycommentemail
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          Yup. I was mistaken. I thought it did this under any situation, but it appears that it only does it when the battery is low as you state.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          --" that makes it an EREV" --" EREV is not an engineering term, but a marketing term invented by GM in about 2008, it can mean whatever they want it to mean. It has no design or operational implications at all." Exactly correct. It is a PHEV with different modes of operation from other PHEVs like the Prius. The whole argument is as silly as calling a car an "overhead cam" car and not an "Internal Combustion" car. Trying to define vehicles by the same metric that GM's marketing team came up with, is just ridiculous.
          theflew
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          @mycommentemail, While there is charge the Volt can do 1 - 100mph all electric as long as there is sufficient battery power. So the Volt is an electric EREV. After that it can be a serial or a parallel hybrid depending on speed a demand. The engine has no reason to mechanically engage if there is battery power.
          John Hansen
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          @mycommentemail, that only happens after the battery has been completely depleted.
          mycommentemail
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          I believe that at highway speeds the engine is actually mechanically connected to the wheels to directly provide motive power. Turns out this is more efficient than running as a purely serial hybrid.
        mycommentemail
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aaron
        While you may be technically correct, who cares? KW of electricity consumed. Gallons of gasoline consumed. Cost per mile. These are important things to know about. Whether it is an EREV, PHEV or WTFV is completely pedantic and wholly irrelevant.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mycommentemail
          Mark my words... someday, years from now, I will hear the term WTFV again.
          Jon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mycommentemail
          Aaron is not technically correct. A car does not have to be a series hybrid to be considered an EREV. Yes, the volt is a parallel hybrid and yes the Volt is an EREV. What makes an EREV? Full performance in EV mode. When the battery is full and you floor the gas pedal you get full acceleration all the way to top speed with the engine never coming on. That makes it an EREV.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mycommentemail
          --" EREV is not an engineering term, but a marketing term invented by GM in about 2008, it can mean whatever they want it to mean. It has no design or operational implications at all." Exactly correct. It is a PHEV with different modes of operation from other PHEVs like the Prius. The whole argument is as silly as calling a car an "overhead cam" car and not an "Internal Combustion" car
          GoodCheer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mycommentemail
          "What makes an EREV? Full performance in EV mode." Then the Volt isn't an EREV. If there were no performance advantage in clutching the ICE to the drive, then they wouldn't have bothered with the added cost, weight, and complexity. Or more correctly, since EREV is not an engineering term, but a marketing term invented by GM in about 2008, it can mean whatever they want it to mean. It has no design or operational implications at all.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why you'll be buying a Volt, Solar Power now cheaper then All Other Energy in TEXAS. http://www.the9billion.com/2014/03/16/solar-power-more-economical-than-gas-coal-nuclear-in-texas/
        GoodCheer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        That's awesome news. The cheapest PV contract I'd heard of prior to this was an LA Water & Power PPA for (IIRC) $0.094/kWh. Every month the price comes down.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Yeah, I think we are on the cusp of a solar power revolution. I would not want to own electric utility stocks these days. They are in for some trouble. And their efforts to fight against solar PV is going to make them look like jerks. Personally, I get all my home's electricity and my EV's electricity from my PV system and I've still built up a huge surplus that will only grow bigger as summer approaches. Of course, part of that is due to the fact that I work at home most days of the week. But even if I start working on site full time, I should be able to cover that with my excess.
      FREEPAT75014
      • 1 Year Ago
      Also let me add that with their current
      markrogo
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Of the 50,000-plus Volts out there, on average 82 percent of the energy they use comes from a plug, not a pump." Um, the number is 62%, not 82%.. My source? Well, it's Chevy's own web site, updated in real time since the Volt's launch more or less, so I'm pretty sure it's accurate. http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car.html I think we'd all be happy with 82%. The question is whether we should consider 62% some sort of amazing achievement. I'd say we shouldn't. Oh, and I have a Volt.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @markrogo
        Another source is voltstats.net where users sign their cars up to have their cars send their data via OnStar to the website, and the data can be sorted by lots of different metrics. Over the last 2 years, only 1 month has dipped below 70% EV usage on that website. The typical month for voltstats.net users is in the mid-70% range, with 2013/2014 Volts (with more available battery-only range) averaging a bit over 10% more travel in EV mode compared to 2011 Volts. Only 2011 Volt owners saw EV% usage in the 60% range like markrogo referred to. My guess is that his data is old, and is based upon the original Volt with a shorter EV range. I'm not sure how the 81% or 82% of Energy numbers are calculated compared to driving in EV mode on average in the mid 70% of the number of miles driven. Obviously there is some math that has to be applied somehow when translating percent of miles driven into percent of Energy used to drive those miles. But I certainly don't see enough evidence to rebuke the claim in the story based upon what has been presented here. All the other evidence tends to support numbers at least closer to the number in the story than the number in the low 60's
          markrogo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          My data is FROM GM. It's available publicly to anyone who goes to the page on GM's website. It's real. It's not wrong. I can't even believe this is being refuted.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @markrogo
        --" The average Volt owner travels more than 81 percent of the time in pure electric mode– only using the gasoline-powered generator for longer trips" http://www.gm.com/vision/greener_vehicles.html The page you linked is a 'SCREENSHOT' of some random mobile phone app user named Justin.
          markrogo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          And I'm still right.... And you're still wrong... GM is making up the 82% figure... It's using "commute miles" only to get there... The 62% figure is the real Volt miles figure, available for all the world to see at the link I provided. Don't believe me? You're still wrong, but feel free to read the comments here: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1090936_2016-chevrolet-volt-to-launch-next-year-what-we-know-so-far#comment-1292361670 They prove I'm right. And that these downvotes and upvotes are all 100% backwards. And that you're still wrong.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          In fact, from April to June of 2013 (heavy long distance driving months)... the EV mode percentage only got as low as 75% http://avt.inl.gov/pdf/EVProj/EVProjectChevroletVoltQ22013.pdf It is very reasonable to see how the annual average could be 82% now that most drivers have gotten used to driving the Volt efficiently.
          markrogo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          The page I linked is not some random user named Justin, you moron. It's the sum total of every single Volt user ever. 418 million EV miles 670 million total miles That's GM's own data They link to various user stories on those pages... But the TOTALS are for everyone combined. I love how ABG readers are so dumb they downvoted my 100% correct comment and upvoted your nearly 100% incorrect one. Even the guy interviewed above got it wrong. The 81% figure from the quoted link you posted is about 81% >of trips< not miles. Above, the guy makes the mistake of conflating trips with miles. Maybe GMs own people should check GM's own facts and get GM's own story straight.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          --" 82 percent of the energy they use" Not "trips" ... total energy. You are confusing Total percentage, with the current average percentage. Your source is counting every Volt mile driven, ever. Even before EV drivers got used to driving the Volt. That is NOT a running average.... and will continue to increase as the total moves toward the average. Volt drivers in 2014 are doing MUCH better than the 2011 drivers. The current average, is 82%. It may dip down into the 70s over summer. But the annual average is no where near 62%.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          And my source, GM, owns your source. And is dated March 2nd, 2014
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      The actual truth is that it's a big heavy car and the BMW is not, due to their extensive use of carbon fiber. BMW could have gone with a ~900cc engine and not suffered performance like it does in range extending mode. Your car needs another 500cc of displacement to move due to all the extra weight. If GM went with an aluminum body and optimized the aerodynamics better, they could get by with a smaller engine. But you know, that would require them actually spending money to improve the car.
        Dave R
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        You make it sound so easy! I love armchair quarterbacks. And despite the Volt weighing quite a bit (about 500 lbs more than a LEAF), it's efficiency is still basically the same as all other comparable EVs and PHEVs. That i3 you are comparing it to? Costs quite a bit more than the Volt. We are likely to see more aluminum and high strength steel in the next Volt. But for a 1st gen product I think they got the overall balance of cost / performance / weight down pretty well.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave R
          Hm.. i thought an improvement in aerodynamics and weight was pretty easy to understand. This same company did produce an electric vehicle that could go about double the distance as a Nissan Leaf on the same size battery over a decade ago. If the company that made the most efficient production electric car *in the world * did it in 2001 with 2001-era technology, am i really so outlandish for suggesting that they can improve on the Volt?
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave R
          LTAW... the $80k cost in 1996 was due mainly from the low volume (compliance) nature of their production. Hand build any vehicle, and the costs would be enormous. If the EV-1 was built loosely on an existing platform (like the Volt on the Cruze's platform)... and build in the same number... we would be looking at a MUCH lower cost.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave R
          No LTAW, the production cost of the EV1 would not be 120k today. Not even. The largest battery it had was an oldschool NiMH with a 24-27kw-hr capacity. A new lithium ion battery would cost a hell of a lot less. There is no reason that an aluminum body, better aerodynamics, and a smaller engine would = 4x the cost.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave R
          @ 2 Wheel Yep, no one has really done a great job on aerodynamics except Tesla. @Aaron Well, the iMiEV only has a 16KWH battery which has much less range and that reduces the weight a lot.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave R
          Please keep in mind the difference in the production costs between the EV-1 and the Volt. $80k in 1996 (please correct my cost est. if you've got better numbers) would be around $120k today. No doubt GM could make a better Volt, but then that better Volt would be much more expensive, and price is already a major complaint about the Volt.
        John Hansen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        The BMW is crippled with an engine that is too small to give full performance after the battery runs out. If GM was willing to make that compromise, they could have put a smaller engine in it as well. If, on the other hand, BMW wanted 100% performance all the time, they would have needed a larger engine.
          AndY1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          @spec: Yes, on flat ground. What about autobahn speeds (130+km/h) over the Austrian Alps, fully loaded? Well, my Ampera did very well without using the mountain mode, never getting any Reduced Power messages. And these are stats: - 831km done driving from Ljubljana, Slovenia to Muenchen Germany - average gasoline consumption: 5.1l/100km (at autobahn speeds - speed chart pic added) http://shrani.si/f/3y/Hf/1P5lclL2/20131017220950.jpg Trip back: http://shrani.si/f/2s/NL/QC1Md3f/sc20131018-063601.png http://shrani.si/f/28/rX/3z3JMboi/20131017222839.jpg My current Lifetime consumption, after owning Ampera for 20 months, driven almost 44.000km is 0.59l/100km, 260 liters of gasoline, all the rest on electricity.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          Meh. It loses some performance but it is generally not very noticeable unless you want to quickly drive up some long hills. The little 2-cylinder can power the i3 at freeway speeds on flat ground. I'm more annoyed by the tiny gas tank and the lack of a larger battery as an option.
        Aaron
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Carbon fiber is one reason the BMW i3 is light, but the Mitsubishi i-MiEV actually weighs less and is made from steel. The BMW is about 8 inches longer and a few inches wider, but carries the same number of people (4) and actually has less cargo room.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Aaron
          Yah, the i-MiEV is very small, not very aerodynamic ( small frontal area, but bad cD ) and has a tiny battery though.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I think you did not read all of my post.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          one car has a 650cc engine, the other has a 1400cc engine. One car has an insufficient engine and could go with 900cc, but the larger and heavier car needs that 1400cc to move, otherwise it suffers the same problem as the BMW when the gasoline engine kicks in.. Which fact above is incorrect?
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Which fact?
          John Hansen
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I did, but you got the facts wrong.
          John Hansen
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          "Your car needs another 500cc of displacement to move due to all the extra weight." That is your quote. The correct reason that the Volt has a larger engine is (as I stated above) that having the larger engine allows it to run at 100% power at all times, vs going into limp-home mode like the BMW. This is also stated clearly in the article.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      that concept volt should have been the real volt
        Aaron
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        It looked cool, but its aerodynamics would have greatly reduced its electric and gasoline range.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM has to be working on more exciting electric vehicles, but they still need to sell the volt for few years so that is all they want to talk about right now.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the Volt/Ampera ! I have since it was first announced. It's a great car, and perfectly suited for the needs of most motorists. In my opinion, the reason the Volt has sold more isn't so much the price, (although a price cut would be appreciated) , but that GM hasn't marketed the Volt all that well. That's understandable, GM was recovering from the humiliation of bankruptcy, the recession in the US economy, the GEC, and as a pioneer EREV it encountered a lot of opposition and resistance from all a wide range of critic's. These included EV purists, Fox news, haters of GM, Obama, government loans, false stories about fires, dealers and traditional ICE fans, etc etc. GM didn't respond with any real confidence, sales were hampered by a lack of supply and distribution. In Europe, despite winning many awards, (even Top Gear sung it's praises) GM's Opel division has been very unenthusiastic about marketing the Ampera. It's my experience that if the product is good, but the 'No 1', is about price, then the manufacturer hasn't sold enough value to justify the price to potential buyers. GM has grown timid in it's expert marketing of the Volt/Ampera. The vehicle has the technical ability to become as successful as the Prius, but lacks Toyota's marketing determination. There's no excitement around the Volt/Ampera. GM needs to rev up it marketing machine, rather than just try to reduce the Volt by a few dollars. The Volt needs a Buick version, the ELR will help, but it needs the sort of lift, Lexus hybrids gave Prius. Anyway, that's opinion....
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marco Polo
        The funny thing about the Volt is that it has a huge customer satisfaction rating. So does the Tesla Model S. The Model S has owners convince their friends and neighbors to buy one. GM really failed to capitalize on that satisfaction. They could have given their owners a referral fee that Tesla was unwilling to do. Something, anything, to build on the positivity that the Volt/Ampera has. I love the car and am totally disappointed with GM's handling of the powerhouse that the Volt could have been for them.
          paulwesterberg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          I agree that GM failed to sell the volt. I think that the biggest problem is that GM and GM dealerships are still primarily focused on selling a traditional vehicles. The Volt would have a lot more sales if it produced by a start-up company with its own stores and a sales force dedicated to selling the vehicle. When Gm launched the Volt they should have been trying to get as many vehicles out the door as possible, but a lot of dealers were adding surcharges and price gouging when supply was low - I think that this turned off a lot of potential buyers. Also when dealers offer a wide range of GM vehicles buyers may come in looking for a vehicle with good mileage, but after looking at sticker prices and interior room they drive off in a cruze or suv.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Which lends credence to Tesla's statement that traditional dealerships lack the motivation to sell the "weird" car and take the effort to teach about its strengths.
      fuzzter
      • 1 Year Ago
      You know what would be great - battery options. Instead of one size fits all, what if GM had a 10 kWh, a 16.5 kWh and a 24 kWh option. People could buy what they need and GM could be competitive across a spectrum of buyers. Battery options and an CUV/Crossover body style would win the day, IMHO.
        David Murray
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fuzzter
        I have considered this as well. And, as others have mentioned, when you drop the capacity you typically also drop the max power output. A compromise to that situation would be having the engine run when extra power is needed like the Ford Energi models do. However, I'm not convinced that is the right track to go on considering the falling prices of the batteries. Current theory is the Volt's battery cells now run around $3,000 to $5,000. If you cut the size of the battery in half, you'd only shave $1,500 off the price of the car. I suspect most people would be happy to pay $1,500 to get the full EV range.
          Ziv
          • 1 Year Ago
          @David Murray
          David, I agree with most of what you say but $3,000 for a new Volt battery is probably low. You can apparently get a replacement battery for $2900, but you have to return your old one to get that price. If GM is building the entire pack with the pack management system for less than $6,000 I would be surprised. And I believe Reuss and Lutz have said the pack management is nearly $2,000 so the pack cells would be around $4,000 at $6k and $5,000 at a pack price of $7k. Back in 2010, Patil said the entire 16 kWh pack (with pack management) cost around $625 per kWh or right around $10,000 and prices have definitely come down, but I doubt the packs cost less than $6k and the individual cells cost less than $4k ($4k would be $242 per kWh of cell). I would love to be wrong, though.
        SublimeKnight
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fuzzter
        Unless the battery tech improves they can't offer a smaller battery pack without losing pure EV mode or at least a good deal of power in that mode. The batteries won't be able to output the power to get you full performance. As it is, it's pretty remarkable that they drive a 111kW motor with a 16.5kW pack. To put it in other terms, that would be like driving the 310kW Tesla Model S P85 motor with a pack just double that of a Nissan LEAF.
      BillFrac the Car Guy
      Any thoughts or conjecture that the next generation Volt will be on the next Gen Cruze due as a 2015/16? Hopefully not. I wish for a dedicated chassis with a 5th seat to eliminate that big hurdle and justify the pricing. Also, I agree with an earlier poster that there is a disconnect with dealers selling 4 Passenger ICE's next to the Volt for half the price of the Volt. (I have witnessed disinterest / lack of knowledge/zeal by both salespeople and managers) Perhaps a "boutique" store would have been better, with dedicated, "hip" techies ala Apple and Best Buy (instead of old school salespeople like me!) , not unlike the Fiat store we have in our area, in a high end, high-traffic strip or outlet mall away from other vehicles. The new Spark EV would be a nice second offering to this sales model.
      needforsuv
      • 11 Months Ago
      or to be limited on any terrain pfffttt
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