- The 2014 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid has one powertrain, but the redesigned model debuting in late 2015 will give buyers two choices, Edmunds has learned.
- The base model likely will carry a lower sticker price.
- The next-generation battery pack and electric motor will give the Volt a longer range.
DETROIT — The 2014 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid has one powertrain, but the redesigned model debuting in late 2015 will give buyers two choices, Edmunds has learned.
General Motors will introduce a new electric powertrain that includes a more efficient electric motor and next-generation lithium-ion batteries that will contribute to an increase in vehicle range.
Additionally, GM will continue to offer the current plug-in hybrid powertrain in a Volt model that likely will carry a sticker price possibly thousands less than the current car.
"Basically, there will be two (powertrain) choices, kind of like a car might have a four-cylinder engine and a V6 option," said an industry source who asked not to be identified. "This would be kind of the same thing."
Earlier this month, media reports suggested GM would develop a smaller, less-expensive plug-in hybrid powertrain for the Volt that would have a smaller battery pack and a shorter range.
"I think there is a misunderstanding," the source said. "They are not planning to go backwards. The battery pack they have today, they are paying off right now and will continue to use. There is nothing wrong with it. GM is expected to offer it at a lower price."
However, the redesigned Volt with the next-generation battery pack and electric motor will give the car a longer range and it will be priced above the base model. The battery pack also will be more compact than the one in today's car.
Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano told Edmunds: "The current Volt continues to do well in its current stage with the current technology. Volt customers, according to J.D. Power, are the happiest customers on the face of the earth. We found a winning formula and we are not going to change it."
The 2014 Volt has a 380-mile range with a full charge and a full tank of gas, according to Chevrolet. The car can run in pure electric mode for about 38 miles. The redesigned model is expected to run in pure electric mode for about 60 miles and have a longer overall range, the source said.
The front-wheel-drive 2014 Volt is primarily powered by an electric motor that puts out 149 horsepower. The electric motor is fed by a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack until the battery charge is 70 percent depleted, at which point, the Volt's 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine powers the electric motor.
Back in January 2013, Mark Reuss, who is now GM's executive vice president of global product development, told journalists the automaker can cut thousands of dollars in costs through better design of the battery pack and the electric motor.
Edmunds says: Future Volt buyers should see a new-and-improved model, along with more choices.