The Chevrolet Volt isn't changing much for the 2015 model year. According to specifications uncovered by Inside EVs, though, the new Volt's battery does have a slightly larger capacity. According to the spec sheet, this doesn't translate to increased range. Real world driving, though, might tell a different story.

The 2015 Volt's battery storage is slightly higher than the outgoing model's, up from 16.5 kilowatt-hours to 17.1 kWh. According to GM's manager of electrification technology communications, Kevin Kelly, speaking to Green Car Reports, the increased capacity is "a late change done in the cell... just another continuous improvement to surprise and delight our customers." The stated electric range, however, stays at 38 miles.

Inside EVs followed up on its original report, and found that drivers could see some advantage to the battery tweak. When they spoke to Kelly, he told them, "As a result of this change, we would expect that some customers may see a slight improvement in overall EV range." It's worth noting that when battery capacity increased from 16 kWh to 16.5 kWh for the 2013 Volt, electric range increased by three miles to the current 38, while MPGe went from 94 to 98.

The price of the 2015 Chevrolet Volt remains steady, at $34,995. The actual cost to the customer is considerably less with the $7,500 federal tax credit, as well as any local incentives.


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  • 41 Comments
      Naturenut99
      • 5 Months Ago
      According to GM's manager of electrification technology communications, Kevin Kelly, speaking to Green Car Reports, the increased capacity is "a late change done in the cell... just another continuous improvement to surprise and delight our customers." The stated electric range, however, stays at 38 miles. Inside EVs followed up on its original report, and found that drivers could see some advantage to the battery tweak. When they spoke to Kelly, he told them, "As a result of this change, we would expect that some customers may see a slight improvement in overall EV range." I copied all if that since people didn't read it before commenting. Or maybe just didn't understand it. GM has been all about under promise over deliver. Just because they didn't raise that number doesn't mean they won't get more miles. Just like the GM official was quoted as saying.
        jeff
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Naturenut99
        That is GM speak for we do not want to waste time and money doing the EPA testing all over again since a new generation is scheduled for the following year...
      Smurf
      • 5 Months Ago
      I gave the guy a $50 bill and he asked if I had something smaller. I looked in my wallet and told him. "They are all the same size"...
      FordGo
      • 5 Months Ago
      Just want to thank the Volt Owners for their Patriotism, Saudi Exports are Down this year. EV's and hybrids might be starting to be an effective countermeasure to Saudi Funded terrorism.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 5 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        Just wait till we get to about 2020 and thereafter as battery prices will have continued to fall to the point that PHEV options become no brainers from most car purchases (~$20k and over) and people really realize they can just fill up on $1.25 gallon electricity at homeā€¦this is only the beginning.
        Ziv
        • 5 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        Sasparilla Fizz, it looks like battery prices have been dropping around 7% per year of late and are in the$300-$400 per kWh range for most car makers, lower if you have passive thermal management and higher if you go Volt-like and baby it. If that keeps up for a few years we are looking at: 2014 $300 $400 2017 $241 $322 2020 $194 $259 And that doesn't take into account the likelihood that future battery chemistries will need less thermal management, nor the fact that a breakthrough technology is always possible. Elon may claim his packs cost less than $300 per kWh but I am not too sure that he is taking the entire pack including pack management into his claim. Anyway, I think the first breakthrough EREV/PHEV will probably be a Volt-lite and it might be the Ford Fusion Energi in a couple years. They punch up the AER and keep the price down and that would be a phenomenal car. My Volt lease ends in 24 months, so I am looking at the scuttlebutt on the 2017's closely.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 5 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        People be loving their Volts. GM should be doing more to educate potential Volt buyers to the benefits of the vehicle via commercials. Don't watch that much TV since Netflix is available but have not seen any Volt commercials when I do. Mostly pickups and SUV commercials.
      thecommentator2013
      • 5 Months Ago
      Since I have my Volt it delivers more than it promised. I just have to say, if GM does gets it right, they get it bloody right.
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 5 Months Ago
      The coolest car from GM ever ^^ getting better for a still reasonable $35k price The Volt would be epic if it used a compact diesel engine generator that is more energy efficient as a generator than the 1.4L turbo gasoline engine the current volt uses. The hybrid mode fuel economy and range could be increased by 30% by swapping out current turbo gas engine with a smaller displacement higher torque output slower spinning diesel generator engine set.
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        In other news, automotive lithium ion energy storage solutions are improving by about 7 to 9 % per year in terms of both their electrical performance and cost reductions :) There will be iterative improvements to the battery energy storage system that add up to significant improvements over time. In the Mid 2020's for example we can expect an 85kWh battery like the 1300lb version used in the current Model S to weigh 700lbs and the price for such a battery should come down in the the $13K range. The future battery will also accept charge 3x faster, be 5x less sensitive to heat induced degradation, and have at least 2x the cycle and calender life.
          Ryan
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Your $ number is overly inflated. The figure you posted would bring it to $153 per kwh. At current pricing you can get a new volt battery with no core charge for $144 per kwh. I hope when 10 years go by the price would actually be much lower esp with teslas giga plant being built.
      John Lucas
      • 5 Months Ago
      This writer is not being honest about the Volt battery. In the headline, he says the batter is larger and that is inaccurate. The battery capacity has been increased while the battery remains the same physical size.
        Ziv
        • 5 Months Ago
        @John Lucas
        I look at it as more of a Grammar Nazi sort of comment, not a troll. John is right, the headline is either ambiguous, at best, or wrong. The new battery has more capacity but it is exactly the same size, so it is not "larger". I hold blogs to a lower standard than a newspaper, so the headline didn't bother me.
          j
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          Wet, warm, semantic, drivel. The capacity is .6KW's bigger. This headline clearly captures the sense of the change, if not the scale. You can go back to sleep now. Nothing to see here.
        John Hansen
        • 5 Months Ago
        @John Lucas
        Is this a very subtle troll?
      2 wheeled menace
      • 5 Months Ago
      600 watt hours isn't a lot of extra juice. Running a low state of charge cycle with ~10% extra capacity will extend the battery life to survive about 10% longer though, which is probably why they added it. It will also reduce internal resistance a little. But it is a shame that they haven't added more electric range to the car. More range would increase the value of the car, for sure.
        Naturenut99
        • 5 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        It does add range, they just didn't change the number.
          Jim
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Naturenut99
          I just wanted to point out that it only adds electric range if the car's programming allows it (i.e. it all depends on when the ICE kicks in).
          Naturenut99
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Naturenut99
          Granted, if it's only that 600 watts that would be a hair over 2 mi. EPA rated. Or a max of 3 under the most perfect of conditions. Also if they had to divide that 600 by 65% usable that would only be above 1 mi. more which also could be why they didn't raise it. Why raise it from 38 to 39. It might seem too trivial ?
      Juventas
      • 5 Months Ago
      Best car in the world nuff said
        PeterScott
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Juventas
        You go a little far. But I think it is best overall PHEV in the world. Most other PHEVs suck in EV mode. The Volt is practically 100% capable in EV mode. IIRC the Volt is actually faster in EV mode than BMW i8 $135000 PHEV "supercar". I can think of a single other PHEV that is either not great as EV, or not great when running on Gas. Volt is pretty great running on both. GM should be commended for getting that right, while the newer contenders still can't do it right.
        jeff
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Juventas
        Best plug in by far, but prefer the Tesla Model S over all...
      Spec
      • 5 Months Ago
      That would make me feel like if I got a 2014 model, they are abusing the battery to meet the range.
        Naturenut99
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Also, we get 10 + kWh's to use. However we use it. Wether we drive fast or slow. The computer doesn't give 38 EV miles no matter how efficiently we were driving. Meaning, it couldn't be stressed to get the range. Because it isn't calculated by the miles. We use the energy that's available however we choose or need. It wouldn't struggle to get to 38 if we are flogging it. It would get to the end of usable and switch over to gas. So they are absolutely not abusing the battery to get the range. That's Nissan.
        UnhappyCracker
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Spec
        They chose not to have the car re-rated by the EPA.
        Naturenut99
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Spec
        No, they just didn't choose to up the number. The ELR has a usable of over 12 kWh. vs the Volts 10.8 Yet it doesn't necessarily use more. I know Volt owners who were given extended test drives 2+ days, they easily went above 50 miles vs the stated 35 EV miles for the ELR. The fact that they didn't up the number is just under promise over deliver which GM has been doing consistently with the Volt and ELR.
          Naturenut99
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Naturenut99
          Volt pack 16.5 ELR pack 16.5 Volt usable 10.7, ELR above 12 kWh Volt EPA EV miles 38. ELR 35 Most people for 3/4's of the year get 40-47 EV miles in the Volt. Myself included. They under promise over deliver.
          Ziv
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Naturenut99
          I was at 47-48 with my 2013, now I am way down, to 46-47. Dang AC. Not looking forward to January, though...
      JB
      • 5 Months Ago
      Does the Volt as a PHEV really need more EV range? NO
        Ziv
        • 5 Months Ago
        @JB
        JB, I upvoted you even though I disagree. Kind of. It doesn't NEED more range, but if my Volt 50 miles instead of 46 miles (non-winter) I would like it even more. And GM can do that by just changing the percentage of the battery that is used, plus the 6% gain that the existing battery has gotten since December 2010. BUT, I don't want them to do that if they expect that that would cause a lot of people to need a new/refurb battery while under warrantee. I want GM to make enough money on the Volt that they build more EREV type vehicles. Lower MSRP More AER Roomier Backseats Faster Charging And I do realize that wish 1 and 2 are difficult to combine.
          JB
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          Yes, I agree that adding options to the powertrain adds cost for GM, but that does not stop car companies for offering engine options, and a load of other trim options. Have you seen what they charge for GPS navigation???
          Ziv
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          JB, I agree wholeheartedly. Choices make sense. I would guess that the problem with this is that GM has gamed the numbers and it doesn't make enough money to make sense. Which sucks. But given the fact that GM has consistently shot Volt sales in the foot, I am not sure that the Volt as it is isn't simply a placeholder on which GM loses a thousand dollars a pop. That theory would at least make GM's mismanagement of the Volt make sense. Case in point, the Volt initially had a base MSRP of $40,145, so the first articles bashing the Volt could say, "AND IT COSTS MORE THAN $40,000!!!" If they had dropped the MSRP of the base model to $39,145 they would have taken that headline away from the haters. And it would have cost GM comparatively little since only 1/3 of the Volts sold in 2010-11 were base it would have cost them just 7671 / 3 = 2,557 * 1,000 = $2,557,000 $2.5Mn and the public perception of the Volt would have been noticeably different.
          JB
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          I don't know why they don't sell PHEV with options of 15, 25, 35 .... mile ranges. If you only need 15 miles AER for your commute then you could save ~$6000 and 160 lb of battery. Loosing that weight can help acceleration and fuel economy.
        jeff
        • 5 Months Ago
        @JB
        Yes, I say 50 miles in the dead of winter....
      FordGo
      • 5 Months Ago
      It gets better and better. The only think I could as for is a Wagon version, so it could hold hunting and camping equipment. How hard could it possibly be to build a wagon version already?!? That could also lead to more small business, commercial sales!
        jmallx
        • 5 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        The Volt is a hard sell. We got one back in Feb/March 2014 and my neighbor walked up to me and asked why I bought it? I started talking about how cheap it was to operate/own and he stated "You can't drive it to California." My response was "HUH???" "Sure you can, it's got an on-board generator." Even after being on the market for 4ish years people still don't understand the car. Once I took my neighbor for a test drive and explained that it was cheaper than a base model Cruze, Malibu, Fusion, Accord, Civic and Prius he was enthralled. Once I explained how long the brakes will last (due to Regen braking), that we won't need an oil change this year (75% and rising EV miles now that work has changed) and the feel of instant acceleration (torque) he is in the market for one. GM marketing has done a terrible dis-service to the Volt.
          • 5 Months Ago
          @jmallx
          My Volt experience is similar to yours (but worse in regard to blatant ignorance of the general public...) My 2012 Volt exceeded my expectations. I'm past 26,000 miles and have used less than 40 gallons of gas, driving nearly all electric as cheaply as I did when I was a senior in high school in 1970 (on a mile-per-mile basis) and gasoline was 37 cents per gallon back then. About $3 out of my pocket could propel my 1970 Camaro down the road around 100 miles. My Volt running on electricity can go PAST 100 miles for three buck in electricity and in the process, I'm sticking it to OPEC one electron at a time. The 2012 Volt blew me away and I ordered a 2015 Volt on May 16 and I was told it might be here next week. I've never-EVER bought the same car "back-to-back" and sometimes even skipped my loyalty to the car maker going from GM to a couple of Volkswagen TDS.... But this time I'm going with a second Volt and if the 2016 (generation 2) impresses me and isn't "watered-down" as I am concerned that GM will make it cheaper somehow, I might just trade our 2013 Malibu ECO in on a 2016 Volt and will have "three of a kind." GM talking about switching the 4-banger ICE for a 3-banger ICE has me concerned about smoothness, noise and vibration though, so I'll take a wait and see attitude on the 2016 Volt.
          jeff
          • 5 Months Ago
          @jmallx
          I agree, GM did a terrible job marketing this car.... Having the Republicans go on a pointless rant agains the Volt to try and score political votes did not help either. It was trashed for nearly two years daily on Fox News and right wing radio... The truly sad part is that I think, in the end, these senseless rants actually hurt the republicans more than it helped them...
          Naturenut99
          • 5 Months Ago
          @jmallx
          Luke, While, yes you have to wait and see the exact details when they release gen. 2. I would be surprised if they were not going to deliver more than the naysayers are saying. I would bet you will get the 3rd.
        Ziv
        • 5 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        FordGo, it gives this old conservative/libertarian great pleasure to read one of your posts that I completely agree with!
        DarylMc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        Hi Luke Warm Good to hear your experiences with the Volt. I've only owned diesel vehicles for the last 20 years but I now own a 3 cylinder VW and it doesn't seem too bad for noise or vibration. If you are mainly running off battery power that would be even less of a concern. A bit less engine and a bit more battery sounds a good idea to me for the next generation Volt.
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