General Motors realizes that it will need to get the cost of its Voltec drivetrain down in order to stay competitive and allow it to more easily be integrated into other, differently-sized vehicles. Since the battery is the most expensive part of the system, that's where the focus on cost-cutting will go. Among the approaches GM will take for the third generation of the pack, according to the head of its Opel/Vauxhall operations Nick Reilly, is the use of a smaller battery that will not have the T-shape or the 10-year life-span of the power pack found in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

Instead, future products with the Voltech powertrain will use a battery that will be more easily replaceable than the current configuration, offered up in a variety of potential ranges. Savings will come from less complicated control systems meant to prolong cell life as well as improvements in energy density. Batteries in the first generation Chevy Volt have 16 kWhs of energy when new, but will only ever use half of that and will likely be extremely expensive to replace.

[Source: Inside Line via GM-Volt.com]

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