2014 Chevy Volt Battery Pack Upgraded to 17 kWh; UPDATE: Gov’t (MTO) Source Was Wrong – GM

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 34

2014 Chevy Volt Clearly Listed at 17 kWh

2014 Chevy Volt Clearly Listed at 17 kWh

Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation has apparently leaked the first bit of news on the 2014 Chevrolet Volt.

2013 Chevrolt Volt EPA Sticker

2013 Chevrolt Volt EPA Sticker – Range Did Increase Slightly in 2013

It appears as though the 2014 Volt will get a slight bump in battery capacity, as it moves from the 16.5 kWh listed for Model Year 2013 to 17 kWh for the 2014 Volt.

UPDATE (July 8th – 10:45am):  Because this story broke on the weekend, we have just now gotten in direct contact with GM about the battery upgrade, and GM rep Michelle Malcho at Chevrolet Communications has said the Ontario government put their foot in it a bit:

Good morning Jay (who also writes here at InsideEVs) – Just wanted to touch base…There were no changes in the battery capacity between 2013 and 2014. Unfortunately, there is an error on the MOT website.  We are working with them to correct it.”

Was this a leak on the Ontario MTO site?  Well, if the 2014 Volt gets upgraded to 17 kWh, then it’ll qualify for the provinces full $8,500 credit, which takes roughly 3 weeks to receive once the purchase process is complete.  Previous Model Year Volts only qualified for $8,231.

Production of 2014 Volt Will Begin on July 15

Production of 2014 Volt Will Begin on July 15

If you recall, when General Motors bumped capacity from 16 kWh (2012) to 16.5 kWh (2013), the Volt’s electric-only range moved from 35 to 38 miles.  If this holds true for 2014, then the Volt could break past that 40-mile mark with an electric-only range of 41 miles.  This is speculative for now, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if the 2014 Volt’s window sticker ends up showing 41 miles.

We expect an official announcement from General Motors on the 2014 Model Year Chevrolet Volt soon as production is set to commence on July 15th.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation

 

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34 responses to "2014 Chevy Volt Battery Pack Upgraded to 17 kWh; UPDATE: Gov’t (MTO) Source Was Wrong – GM"

  1. David Murray says:

    This has been floating around on the GM-Volt.com website. I’m not yet convinced it isn’t a mistake. However, I am hopeful that it is true!

  2. Assaf says:

    Nice news!

    I just had my first real-life spotting of a Volt being charged, in the parking lot of Westin hotel in Waltham outside Boston. That parking structure has 2 trickle-charge outlet in every floor. Their EVSE is very cool looking compared to our Leaf’s!

    Just like the affordable EVs, every mile of added range to the Volt means a lot in terms of electric-only usability and gas savings.

  3. Jay Cole says:

    Random/sorta on topic, I’ve gotten a EV rebate check or two from the Ontario, and they are really quick, once in about 10 days.

    Really wish the US system would go to this, especially if the i3 doesn’t launch until January…not looking forward to a 14x month wait time on the $7,500:

    …Ontario government is kinda ambitious on the “1 in 20 by 2020 notation” though, they are right around 1,200ish sales total since 2011. Plug-ins have not been strong sellers in Canada.

    1. Gary H says:

      On a random day, would you be spotted driving a Tesla Model S on Roehampton Avenue near Yonge-Eglinton? Just wondering…don’t know how many Model S’s there are in Toronto but I saw my first there a couple of weeks ago.

    2. David Ransdell says:

      You do know that you can reduce your tax withholding to get the money back sooner don’t you?
      7500 / 12 = $625 /month

    3. Josh says:

      Didn’t know your legal first name was “J”

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Men In Black owe me royalties big time

  4. alohart says:

    I wonder whether GM is actually changing the battery pack with each 0.5 kWh capacity increase or is merely tweaking the battery pack management firmware to use more of the battery pack’s full capacity.

    1. WopOnTour says:

      NOT the latter…

  5. notGarth says:

    great news! I live in silicon valley, California. There isn’t a day that goes by that I dont see a few Teslas, leafs, and Volts. I own a 13 Volt, by the way.

    1. Foo says:

      I’ve seen several Ford Focus Electrics around the valley too… the “stealth EV”.

  6. George B says:

    Thanks for picking this up, Jay! It surfaced on Facebook the other day, and the news seems to travel fast :-)

  7. Josh says:

    I really hope they make use of a larger portion of the pack on top of the capacity increase and bump the range to EPA 50 miles. That, in combination with an MSRP drop, would really draw lots of positive attention to the Volt.

    1. acevolt says:

      I agree, leaving 6 kWh of reserve seems way to conservative. 50 would be great!

  8. evnow says:

    Not clear why they would do this. Any thoughts ?

    1. Mark H says:

      I agree. Other than wanting the future EREV range to be 50 and BEV at 100-150, the current method will hopefully keep the life of the Volt battery lasting long beyond the warrantee. Either 50 EREV / 100-150 BEV OR future battery chemistry that does not degrade in cold weather then the current ranges in both cases are acceptable.

    2. Dave R says:

      LG keeps on improving their battery chemistry – GM has the option of either using the latest chemistry at basically no change in cost or re-engineering the pack to use slightly smaller cells.

      Cheaper for GM to say give me the latest chemistry and more EV range = more desirable plug-in.

      Too bad Nissan / AESC isn’t as good as GM / LG at getting incremental updates to their core production to the customer, otherwise Nissan would be selling a LEAF with a 25.5 kWh battery soon instead of the same 24 kWh battery after 2 years.

    3. scottf200 says:

      As some LEAF owners (some also own Volt) have pointed out the effective “comfortable” range of many of the “100 miles BEVs” is more like high 50s and low 60s. Some 2013 Volt owners are getting 50+ already. 2014 owner would get 50+ more easily. So since Volt work as EREV (like BEV for first X miles even under hard accel or up to 100 MPH) then it can mainly be driven “exactly” like a BEV and many do. Also extra EV miles are helpful for cooler climates.

    4. Anthony says:

      There are lots of people who still think the battery range is too low (even if it meets 80% of their daily driving needs). Improving range by 3 miles per year is a big deal – because after 3 years that another 9 miles of EV range, and what was 35 miles is now 44 miles.

      The road to electric driving will be long. Incremental changes like this (and the improvement for MY2013) eventually add up to something big.

      What I wonder is if it’ll be 3 miles or smaller – .5kWh is about 2 miles, so maybe it ends up with an range of 40 miles.

  9. kdawg says:

    More is better

    1. Mark H says:

      Yeah, but with the current battery chemistry, stressing it will be less. I think the Volt got it very right from the get go. Future chemistries hopefully will change all of this but for the moment the Volt parameters may very well be superior in execution.

      1. kdawg says:

        Not following, how is adding more kWh a bad thing? They are not digging deeper into the battery, this would be additional battery.

        (i’m still skeptical any of this is true anyway)

        1. Mark H says:

          Adding more kWh by adding to the battery size/cells is a great thing and more is better. I was commenting on the statement of stealing the kWh simply by reprogramming the limits of the existing battery. That is what I would consider bad.

  10. Stuart22 says:

    This is good news, but as I regularly get 45+ miles per charge before the generator kicks in with my 2012 please forgive me if I am not in celebration mode.

    If owners of 2014s find they can get 50+ mpc without much trouble than I will be happily envious.

  11. EV says:

    LOL what? i know many people that get 50+ electric range in their volts

  12. Cavaron says:

    Mh… three years ago I hoped for more capacity improvement than 0,5 kwh a year…
    But I guess their main focus is getting the price down.

  13. Martin T says:

    Every little bit helps!
    Wonder in 10 years time will there be 3rd parties or GM themselves offering “battery” upgrades as there will be a big change by then.

  14. Jay Cole says:

    Just as an update, I spoke with GM this morning about this upgrade, and apparently the MTO (Ministry of Transportation) made an error and GM is in contact with them to fix it now.

    /we adjusted story to reflect
    //kind of a let-down

    1. Anthony says:

      Sad, maybe the 0.5kWh boost only happens every other year…

    2. bloggin says:

      They also had an error on the size of the C-MAX Energi pack as .1 smaller than the Fusion Energi pack. I sent an email yesterday for a correction. Fueleconemy.gov was a bit quicker with their response, as they had a link for the Volvo C60? tied to the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid. They sent an email stating they are working on that correction.

      I am sure these agencies have their hands full trying to keep up with the new technologies and all the new vehicles and their details at the same time.

  15. Aaron says:

    How are they only able to get 40 miles out of a 17kWh pack? I can easily get 1.5x that distance out of a 16kWh pack. The Volt must be heavy.

  16. Ocean Railroader says:

    I saw my first Chevy volt driving on the local highway in Virginia it was a red one. Oddly I have never seen a fully EV car but I have seen a ton of plug in hybrids in Virginia.

  17. Joseph Wallace says:

    More wishful thinking on my part? I think what happened is GM came up with a slightly improved battery with a capacity of 17 KWH, letting Ontario in on the news for rebate purposes. GM thinking Canada will keep it hush. Then GM decided it was better to take a notch of the center of the battery bringing it back down to 16.5 KWH, in order to turn the Volt into a 5 seater. The extra seat would bring in sales better than an extra 3 mile range. Hope I am right.

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