I was under the impression that GM was developing the Volt, and Voltec technology, for use in other vehicles. We saw a hint of that when GM unveiled a Volt MPV5 at the Beijing Auto Show. To be honest, I’ve had daydreams of a Voltec-powered Camaro that gets 40 mpg and does 0-60 in five seconds.
But Alan Taub, director of GM’s Research & Development, has shattered those dreams. He says that the Voltec technology that underpins the Volt won’t work in cars much larger — or smaller — than the Volt.
In an interview with AutoCar, Taub discusses many things, like the two-wheeled EN-V, which he says is “possible” rather than “probable.” He also touches on one of my favorite subjects, autonomous cars, which he says won’t work in isolation, but with support from local and national governments, could be viable… one day.
But the news that sort of bothered me was that the Voltec technology — GM’s plug-in hybrid system that has a gas engine powering a generator that powers electric motors — will work only on Volt-sized cars. That means no Volt Camaro, or Volt Silverado, or even a Volt Aveo. He says to expect all Volt vehicles to fall between four and five meters long, which if you ask me, is greatly limiting to the potential of the system. I’m sure there are technical reasons why… like maybe the bigger vehicles will just be too heavy to make the plug-in hybrid system work.
How about those smaller cars though? While GM did unveiled a 40 mpg Cruze, a Volt-version of the cruise would be awesome. Maybe there just isn’t enough room for the gas engine, electric motor, battery, and computer control system? Like I said, I am disappointed… and Taub seems to think those larger vehicles will need to run on biofuels or fuel cells, neither of which are exactly viable alternatives yet. I guess my hybrid Camaro will have to wait.
Source: AutoCar | Images: GM