The first three images show off the nose of the next-gen model and come from a fan event in Los Angeles. What we can see is a sleeker front end, with an evolution of the silver grille inserts previously seen on the original Volt and Spark EV. Gone is the current car's split upper grille, in favor of a more conventional arrangement. The sharper, more angular headlights are also an evolution of the lamps seen on the current Volt.
Chevrolet also took the opportunity to announce a new location-based charging system that uses GPS to adjust the vehicle's charge settings, including the charge level, while also announcing that the next-gen car will feature more intuitive charge indicators that will be better able to inform owners of their car's charging level. The tech will mean that the Volt 'knows' when it is parked at home, and can thus automatically optimize charging for off-peak times, and so on.
Take a look at the teaser images at the top of the page, and then head below for Chevy's press release announcing the new features.
GPS makes charging more convenient
Portable charger is easier to access
Intuitive visual cues show charge status
DETROIT – If there's one thing Chevrolet Volt owners love about their cars, it's being able to recharge the battery easily. Evidence of that is a U.S. Department of Energy study that shows more than 80 percent of all trips by Volt owners did not use the range extender.
Chevrolet has made the charging system in the next-generation Volt even easier for customers to recharge the battery – and to check the charge status. The next-generation Volt debuts in January at the North American International Auto Show.
"Chevrolet used the real-world experiences of today's Volt owners to make the charging process simpler and more convenient in the next-generation Volt," said Andrew Farah, chief engineer for the Volt. "The new Volt will give owners greater flexibility for charging it on their terms."
The new and enhanced features include:
GPS location-based charging
Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for their "home" charging location and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at that location. The car will recognize when it arrives "home" based on GPS data.
This will allow owners to pre-set their charging level (8 amps or 12 amps on 120V only) and whether they wish to charge immediately, set a departure time for each day of the week, or set a departure time and a utility rate schedule to charge only at off-peak rates. Owners can input their local utility's rate schedule into their Volt to assure they're charging using the cheapest electricity rates. They will only have to program the system once and the Volt will return to these settings every time it is at its home location.
New, more intuitive charge status indicators
The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. The new status system features a specially designed tone that indicates when charging has begun, with additional tones for delayed charging. It will even indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging but before entering the vehicle.
With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. In addition, an available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark as well as indicate approximate charge level through a series of flashes.
Portable cord set enhancements
A new 120V portable cord set includes a cord nearly 25 feet long, longer than the current 120V portable cord. It can be locked using a small padlock to deter unauthorized removal during charging. Based directly on customer feedback, a new storage bin for the cord is now located on the left side of the Volt's rear cargo area, above the load floor, for improved accessibility.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.