GM announced at CES this year that they will be releasing a major upgrade to the Volt at the Detroit Auto Show. The CES announcement of the new Chevrolet Volt is just the first salvo in the effort to maximize advertising of their latest upgrades and improve sales. GM has not announced all of the changes that are coming with the new Chevrolet Volt. There are rumors of improved range, performance and other refinements. They hope will contribute to increased sales.
A new T shaped battery that weighs 30 pounds less and stores 20% more energy. A lower center of gravity to contribute to better stability. Two electric drive motors instead of one large one. Improved aerodynamic styling. A new 1.5 litre four cylinder engine to power the generator. The system should operate 12% more efficiently and weigh 100 pounds less than previous models. No news on improvements to the electric range of 40 miles. There is also an expectation of improved mileage from the current average of 37 mpg. They have a long way to go to catch up to the Toyota Prius which boasts over 50mpg combined.
We recently checked out the Toyota Prius. It turned out that not only could I not buy one, I could not even take one for a drive in our area. They are popular and sell out quickly. The Chevrolet Volt has still some maturing to do. They have only been on the market for 7 years compared to 15 years for the Prius in North America. With one or two more major updates, the Chevrolet Volt might just be the car that wins the day in terms of total sales.
With the combined electric drive, gas powered support and the ability to recharge the batters from the electrical grid, it offers flexibility that other electric cars including the Prius do not. Time will tell. let us know your comments.