There’s been a lot of speculation about what General Motors has planned for the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, but now we know that we’ll get a first-hand look at the new electric vehicle at the 2015 Detroit auto show. Chevrolet global chief market officer Tim Mahoney made the announcement today at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefings, stressing the success of the current Chevrolet Volt thus far since its introduction as a 2011 model.
Mahoney said that over 65,000 units of the Chevrolet Volt have sold since it hit the market. Sales of the Volt are slightly down year-to-date through July, down to 10,635 from 11,643 at this point in 2013, but sales went up 13 percent this past month compared with last July. When we do see the 2016 Chevrolet Volt in January, it’s likely it will ride on a new platform and boast an increased all-electric range. For now, GM has not officially detailed anything more on the car other than a teaser photo of its rear (pictured above).
Former GM CEO Dan Akerson said in the past that he was pushing to increase the Volt’s all-electric range by at least 20 percent. While the current Chevrolet Volt uses a 1.4-liter four-cylinder as a range-extender and generator for the Volt’s battery and electric motor, the next Volt could switch to a smaller and lighter turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder mill. We also expect the 2016 Chevrolet Volt will leave behind its Delta platform in favor of a new architecture that’s better suited with extended-range electric vehicle technology.
GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant will build the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, as it has done since the car’s introduction, with a $449-million backing from General Motors for upgrading and retooling the facility. The plant will also produce another still-unrevealed electric vehicle, which could have a much larger range of up to 200 miles thanks to new LG Chem batteries. Those new batteries could also be used for the Volt, too, as the current car's batteries are also sourced from LG Chem.
While the Volt was a trailblazer when it debuted, winning our Automobile of the Year award in 2011, the marketplace is becoming ever-more populated with hybrid and electric vehicles. The 2016 Chevrolet Volt will face far more competition than its predecessor, including the planned all-electric Tesla Model 3, which may be priced in a bracket just above the Volt somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 when it arrives in a few years' time.
Look for more details on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt as we approach the 2015 Detroit auto show in January.