DETROIT — The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will be available in limited markets, including California and Oregon, this fall, General Motors said on Tuesday. But an improved version of the 2017 Volt will arrive at Chevrolet dealerships this spring.
"Chevrolet has a shortened model year for the 2016 Chevy Volt," said GM in a statement. "As a result, we have limited distribution to our strongest EREV markets, of which California and other select states play a significant role (accounting for more than 45 percent of our overall sales volume). Dealers nationwide will be able to begin ordering 2017 Chevrolet Volts in December, just a few months after states with the largest initial demand.
The 2017 Volt will include more "convenience features," said Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano in a phone conversation with Edmunds.
"The features won't affect range or performance," Albano said.
Adaptive cruise control is expected to be one of the new Volt features.
Albano said the 2016 Volt's limited availability "has always been the plan." Production of the 2016 Volt has started and it will be available in select markets in the next few weeks.
"This is a strategy used on products like the Chevrolet Trax," he said. "Certain markets are targeted first."
When asked if the shortened model year for the 2016 Volt is a reaction to the high-profile launch of the 2016 Toyota Prius hybrid, Albano said: "Absolutely not."
He added: "We're getting great reception to the range of the 2016 Volt."
The 2016 Volt delivers a 53-mile range in electric mode, according to the EPA, an improvement that is expected to be a major selling point for car shoppers. The Volt's range is up nearly 40 percent from the first-generation model.
The EPA said the Volt has a total driving range of 430 miles, more than GM's original estimated total driving range of 400 miles.
GM sold 8,315 Volts through August, down 36.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
Edmunds says: Some car shoppers who were considering the 2016 Volt may have to readjust their plans. But an enhanced 2017 Volt is in the pipeline.