GM has said from the beginning that the powertrain underpinning the Chevy Volt would eventually be used in other vehicles. Naturally, I assumed they meant that there would be a bigger, and smaller version of the Volt as a car. But I hadn’t given much thought to the idea of a Volt… minivan.
But if you stop and think about it, the idea makes sense. Minivans are often used for local outings to bring the kids to soccer practices, but are also suitable for long haul drivers where good gas mileage matters. So I’m really not surprised to see these patent filings from Chevy for a Volt MPV.
AutoCar sources report that GM is planning to unveil a Volt MPV at the Beijing Auto Show sometime next week. I suppose if there is a country that could use more minivans, it is China and their 1.3 billion people. While details on the patent are scarce, many of the same technology will carry over from the Volt car. The Volt can go 40 miles on electricity from its batteries alone, and then uses a gas engine to power a generator that keeps the battery pack charged.
GM estimates that the Volt will get about 50 mpg in charge-sustaining mode (i.e. when the engine is running). Although the Volt can go up to 40 miles on an electric charge, a heavier MPV will likely have less range than the car unless they also up the battery capacity. The Volt’s hybrid technology, called Voltec, is being designed to be engineered into a number of different cars. These patent filings show the Volt’s distinct head and tail lights, so it isn’t hard to imagine these styling cues among others might make their way onto other vehicles. Will we see a Volt sports car, wagon, or small pick-up in the near future? My mind is reeling with possibilities.
Source: AutoCar | Images: GM