Hybrid Vehicles Chevrolet Volt Concept 2007

Published on April 11th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


2016 Chevy Volt Could Offer Shorter Range, Lower Cost Version

Chevrolet Volt Concept 2007

In an effort to boost sales and find a wider appeal, a lower-priced, shorter range version of the Chevy Volt is reportedly planned. With GM investing $450 million into the Hamtramck factory where the Volt is built, the automaker is doubling down on a plug-in hybrid that has seen sales stagnate even as competitor sales surge.

The Volt has already undergone a $5,000 price cut, and when you apply the $7,500 tax credit, the price comes down to $27,500. But that tax credit is already about a quarter used up, with Chevy selling over 58,000 Volts of the 200,000 that government will subsidize. So even if sales have stagnated, it will only take a few more years before that tax credit disappears.

Enter a shorter range, cheaper Chevy Volt with fewer features, a new look, and a starting price at or under $30,000. While the standard Volt is good for up to 38 miles of all-electric range, a cheaper Volt might make due with 25 miles or less, like many competitors do. The Ford C-Max Energi is rated at 21 miles, and the Prius Plug-In switches over to the gas generator after only 13 miles. The Volt has the most all-electric mileage of any hybrid under $40,000, but that hasn’t helped sales in recent months.

Meanwhile, competitors have copied the Volt’s design but with smaller batteries and lower costs, and the results have been promising. While the Volt remains top dog in overall sales, the number of other options has eaten into GM’s dominance of the market. A cheaper alternative with wider appeal could be the way to go…though there have also been rumors that GM is working on a Volt with 200 miles of pure electric range as well.

So which is it? Less range? More range? Both? We probably won’t find out until sometime next year, though GM could still surprise us next week at the New York Auto Show. Keep your fingers crossed.

Source: Reuters

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Neil

    Humm… Well, the tiny volt doesn’t work for families with car seats and it’s an ugly 4seater… Make a decent normal plugin and masses will like it better.

    The energi by fords range I think is too low on miles and eats the trunk of the fusion. What about a nice 3 row cross-over.. I think the Mitsubishi plugin will do well if decently priced & ever brought to the USA.

  • Naugh Toekneesfwend

    No, this is totally backwards thinking. The range needs to increase. All they really need to do is give it a more distinctive design, and then they need to actually advertise it. The Volt is the next generation beyond the Prius, but most people still don’t what it is and what it can do. If people actually knew what the car is, there would be huge interest. And if people could spot one from afar, a la the Prius, the car would overtake the Prius and become the next badge of the environmentalists. As it is, there’s no advertising for the Volt and most people don’t even know this amazing car exists.

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