General Motors CEO Dan Akerson’s latest comments have all but confirmed rumors of improved electric range for the next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The 2014 Chevrolet Volt achieves an all-electric range of 38 miles according to the EPA, but, in a recent interview with Bloomberg, Akerson said GM hopes to significantly extend the electric range of the next-generation Volt by 20 percent.
Akerson mentioned numbers of up to “50 or 60 miles” in the interview in regards to electric range. He also noted GM is continuing research on battery technology for the next-generation Volt, which should arrive within the next three years.
With rumors of a new three-cylinder, turbocharged engine for the Chevrolet Volt circulating as well, the second-generation car could see improvements in overall range and efficiency as well. The 2014 Chevrolet Volt currently uses a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as a generator for the batteries and achieves an EPA combined number of 37 mpg with the gasoline engine after the electric range has been depleted. The alleged 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, which will make its first appearance in the Opel Adam subcompact in Europe and is reportedly slated for Volt duty in the future, could improve the next Volt’s fuel economy numbers as well which would make for a longer total cruising range when electric range and gasoline range are combined.
Since the Chevrolet Volt’s introduction in 2011, it has seen numerous tweaks and updates, including a recent $5000 price cut for the 2014 Volt. Expect to see more of these small updates leading up to the completely redesigned Volt in 2016, when we will see if Akerson’s claims come true or not.