Chevrolet plans to introduce two versions of the redesigned 2016 Volt -- a standard model and a lower-priced hybrid having a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range, reports Reuters citing supplier sources. Sources also told Automobilwoche that Opel is also planning a smaller version of the new Volt.
The redesigned Volt is due to be built around 16 months at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck site. Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano remarked that they have found a formula that works for Volt customers and they are going to “deviate from that formula."
In 2013, GM North America President Mark Reuss said that the carmaker could take "thousands of dollars" out of the cost of new Volt. Since launching the first-generation Volt 39 months ago, Chevrolet has so far sold just 58,158 units, despite cutting prices and offering heavy discounts.
GM recently announced that it will invest $384 million to upgrade tooling and equipment at Detroit-Hamtramck to build the next-generation Volt "and two future products."
Detroit-area suppliers privy with GM's plans told Reuters said the future products are a new flagship sedan for Cadillac in late 2015 and a redesigned Buick LaCrosse midsize sedan in spring 2016.
According to suppliers, the 2016 Volt will have the same underpinnings as the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze, which production will commence in late 2015 or early 2016. The standard Volt won’t be heavily modified away from the current model, which has starting price of just under $35,000 and has a driving range of up to 380 miles (610 km).
The lower-cost Volt will have a starting price of just over $30,000 and will have a driving range of less than 300 miles (480 km), and will have less equipment. Chevrolet’s Volt strategy is similar to Tesla Motors Inc., originally offered its Model S with a choice of three different battery packs at three different price points.
Chevrolet Volt boasts a Voltec propulsion system at its core. This system combines together an efficient, range-extending engine and a pure electric drive, giving the car a range of up to 350 miles.
Moreover, the Volt uses a 5.5-ft., 435-lb. T-shaped, 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that has a long life and that delivers energy to an advanced, 149-hp electric drive unit in order to power the vehicle. With only the battery energy, the Volt delivers 25-50 miles of pure electric driving that's tailpipe emissions- and fuel-free, depending on driving techniques, temperature, and terrain.
This battery, which is covered by an 8-year and 100,000-mile warranty, has been designed to provide safety, value, performance, reliability, durability, and quality. Since 2007, engineers for GM have completed over 4 million hours and a million miles of validation testing for Volt battery packs, including 288 prismatic cells and 9 modules for each pack. The GM development, test, and validation teams were able to meet countless of specifications and had validated every single one of the Volt battery pack's 161 components, a big portion of which has been designed and engineered by GM.
Micky Bly, executive director for global electrical systems at GM, noted that customers are committing to technology that can help lessen the dependence on petroleum. In turn, he said that they are committed to offer the highest standards for safety, quality, value, reliability, and performance to their customers.