GM Exec: “Better In Every Way” 2nd Gen Chevrolet Volt “Media Encounters” Coming Soon – Video

3 years ago by Jay Cole 160

Last month GM teased us with a photo of the upcoming 2nd generation of Chevrolet Volt – a car that won’t be fully revealed until the 2015 Detroit Auto Show NAIAS.  However, a few new details on the road to that reveal came recently from Larry Nitz, who is GM’s Powertrain Executive Director, as well as “electrification” boss.

Larry Nitz Talks All Thing Chevy Volt In Recent Interview

Larry Nitz Talks All Thing Chevy Volt In Recent Interview

More specifically, Mr. Nitz says that GM won’t be running fully dark on information pertaining to the next gen Volt in the short term, but that there “will be some specific media encounters along the way between now and January.”

Past these future-teasers, GM’s Powertrain exec says the Volt will be “better in everyway”, but qualifies that statement by also saying that pertains just to the “meaningful things that we think the customers really like”

Mr. Nitz prefaces this bold statement by highlighting things like range, performance and efficiency, but also notes later that charging times aren’t really a concern.

Reading the tea leaves presented to us, we take this to mean significantly more AER, but no fast charging on Volt 2.0.

Checkout the full Autoline After Hours interview with Mr. Nitz (from 15:15 for Volt-related topics), as it is interesting to get a first person account of the project from a GM exec directly…something of a rarity this past 2-3 years.

In case you don’t feel like sifting through the whole video, InsideEVs tipster Eric H provides a nice bullet-list of the tidbits to be had:

More 2nd Gen Volt Teasing Coming Soon

More 2nd Gen Volt Teasing Coming Soon

  • Today’s volt is GM’s highest customer satisfaction vehicle.
  • GM has collected anonymous data on about 2/3 of all volts or about 50,000 units.
  • About 65% of overall driving is electric.
  • About 82% of energy during commuting is from the electric plug.
  • 81% of all trips have no engine start at all.  Some other plugins: only 10% of trips did not have an engine start
  • The promises made are the promised that will be delivered to customers regarding Volt 2.0.  What people want will be delivered and we’ll hit it out of the park and sell in the numbers we want to sell.
  • 60% of volt customers only charge on 110v rather than 240v.
  • 50% of all volts are at home at any one particular time.
  • 8 hour charge is perfectly acceptable for a majority of customers.
  • Regarding customer education, we are going to do more to help the customer understand the proposition of the volt.  If someone can drive the volt for a couple weeks then they get it.
  • There is a customer who drove 10,000 miles and only used 33 gallons of gasoline.
  • “Volts plug in on average 10 times per week, not 7.  That surprised us.  We figured a once a day charge but customers charge more”

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160 responses to "GM Exec: “Better In Every Way” 2nd Gen Chevrolet Volt “Media Encounters” Coming Soon – Video"

  1. Brian says:

    What I want for the Volt is for GM to stand behind it – to really educate the consumers and try to sell it. It sounds like that made the cut, so if true, I will be happy.

    As for me, what I want is a larger form factor. It doesn’t have to be huge, but a true midsized car (like the Leaf) would make the car that much more useful.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I want that too, but it’s pointless if they don’t also get the dealers on board.

      Hopefully they’re able to do both with the next gen Volt.

      1. Jim_NJ says:

        +100

        In hindsight GM really needed a new dealer network dedicated to electric vehicles. At the time that the Chevy Volt was conceived no one could have foreseen the demise of Pontiac/Saturn/Hummer. If GM could have turned Saturn into an plug-in-vehicle-only dealer network, I think we would see higher sales for the Volt.

        In my dreams, if GM could do it all over they should have made the Volt a Buick, built it on the Regal/Impala platform, and called it the Buick Electra. Seating for 5, 7-second 0-60 times. And no one would choke at a $49K starting price on a Buick.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          I agree that a dealer network for electrics (Spark EV), extended range electrics (Volt), and plug in hybrids would be ideal, but I think the plug-ins need to be more mainstream first.

          For example, today many people don’t necessarily think to buy them, so the dealers would be ghost towns. But in 5-10 years time, this absolutely seems to be the way to go, and I couldn’t agree with you more.

        2. Tom says:

          I agree. In late 2010, I tried to get some info on the Volt. My info was forwarded from Chevy’s website to an approved local dealer, where I received two cryptic email replies (complete with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors), neither of which answered my two questions. To me, it suggested they might not understand their potential market. They didn’t seem on point to sell their car.

  2. Anon says:

    Make sure they announce this AFTER the iPhone media storm. GM will not be able to compete against it.

  3. SIvad says:

    “There is a customer who drove 10,000 miles and only used 33 gallons of gasoline.”

    Way to sell it! Sheesh.

    On Volt Stats I’m #408 in EV% with 90% of miles driven in EV. Even then I’ve only used 50 gallons with an MPGcs of 37.22 after a total of 17,800 miles.

    I can find hundreds and hundreds of owners that have used less than 33 gallons of gas in 10,000 miles. At he top of the list there are dozens of owners that have used only 5 gallons for 10,000 miles and at the very top are a few that have used less than 1 gallon for 10,000 miles.

    Why wouldn’t he use those stats? He presents it like this one guy was able to eek out 33 gallons for 10,000 miles like that’s the best scenario for the Volt. Does GM’s powertrain exec. know his own product?

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      While I agree to a certain extent, those Volt owners who drive it like an EV represent a small percent of the overall ownership. I try to only use EV when I can and manage about 81% EV usage (34,823 out of 42,647 miles so far). I take trips and use it as my main car in a two car household.

      There seem to be two distinct types of Volt owners – those who drive it like a normal and only car and those that treat it like an BEV. I fall somewhere in the middle. I would love 6.6kW charging while I think DC fast charging is overkill for the Volt.

      GM is trying to make improvements that affect the majority of potential owners. Most importantly price, seating for five, moderate range increase (50 MPC?), and increased MPG on the range extender.

      1. Surya says:

        Indeed. Picking the people that use it as a BEV is cherry picking and not representative. In fact, I don’t see why anyone would buy a Volt to use it as a BEV. Why pay for and haul around all that ICE stuff when you don’t use it. If that is how you want to drive, you’re better off with a real BEV.

        1. SIvad says:

          @Surya I don’t agree. I have a Volt because I want to use absolutely as many EV miles as possible but still have the ability to go on short trips and the rare long trip without having to rent a car. Also my wife works and commutes round trip 78 miles a day so we wanted a car that could also make that trip in a pinch if here car was in the shop or for when I occasionally go up to visit her. We can’t afford a Tesla (until Model 3) so we decided that the Volt was the best option. In fact when the longer AER 2106 Volt comes out we are getting one for her for her commute. Then in 2-3 years when the Tesla 3 comes out we will probably get one of those for her and keep the Volt 2 for me.

          Our goal is to not have an ICE car but still be able to take all of these intermediate and long range drives on the spot without having to rent a car so a two car solution with a pure BEV and an EREV is ideal until the infrastructure in the near future is finally in place to ditch the EREV.

          1. SIvad says:

            @ Surya. That should have been 2016. 2106 would be a long wait.

          2. Surya says:

            I understand that the Volt is a very useful car, but some people seem to get one to only drive it in all electric mode, in short commutes. Getting a Volt to do just that seems a bit silly. If you actually use it for longer trips, it makes total sense.

            1. nate says:

              I do have to wonder about the few at the very very top of Volt stats.

              I’m a little above average EV usage at 90%. I like to minimize gas usage when it is reasonable to do so. For example, on a trip I’ll inquire about if it is possible to charge at where I am staying, or use plugshare to find a spot near where we happen to be stopping anywhere. Even if there is a charge for the public charger, I still prefer EV mode than burning fuel.

              My co-worker who bought one was less that way – she charges at night at home and isn’t interested in charging on the road.

              I think the car works very well for both types.

              The wording from the exec was suspect here “a customer who drove 10,000 and only used 33 gallons..” There is are many more than 1 person that use about the same amount or less, and we aren’t doing anything all that extreme to do that. If you regularly drive 30-35 miles a day, but occasionally take a longer trip in it, plug in each night (maybe on the road if convenient), you’ll end up using a similar amount of fuel over 10,000 miles. So when I hear “a customer” it sounds like that is an extreme case, but I really don’t think it is.

              Kind of reminds me of the advertisement they use to play that advertised on average people fill up every 900 miles … but failed to mention that a typical fillup is 7.5 gallons. A typical small car a fillup is more like 14 gallons, so the 900 miles doesn’t sound quite as impressive as it really is.

              1. Nate says:

                Now that I’ve had time to watch the video, I see the difference between the bullet point and what he said. He was talking about a family member there.

                Enjoyed the video.

        2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          Because not everyone wants the expense and hassle of buying, insuring and maintaining 2 or more cars, or having to plan extended local trips to involve rentals etc.

          Volt can be your only car, i3 REx can as well, and in a year the Model S should be able to be. Non-Tesla EVs are, to most Americans, second cars.

        3. David Murray says:

          Right now we have a Volt and Leaf. We love both cars.. but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Leaf is going to get replaced with Volt 2.0 when it comes out. Either that or a BMW i3 Rex. I just really like the PHEV concept better than a pure electric at this stage of the game with the limited and unreliable electric infrastructure.

          I think I may feel different when we get to the point a Leaf has 150 miles range and there are DC fast chargers everywhere and functional so you can rely on them working and being nearby when needed.

          1. GSP says:

            +1

            Ubiquitous, *reliable* and dependable DC fast chargers will be a huge enabler for pure BEVs.

            So far, Tesla SuperChargers seem to be the only game in town. Other DC chargers have been unreliable, and have only one station per location, making it much more likely to be unavailable when you arrive in need of a charge. They also are slower, about half the miles range per hour of the Tesla Superchargers.

            GSP

            1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

              I still don’t think QC below 100kW and 40kWh usable is worth much for ‘normals’, at least for intercity use. Tesla really has the winning formula down, and will be at least 2 generations ahead of the rest of the market when they catch on. Hopefully the CCS plugs support at least 80kW from the get-go, even though they should support at least 100kW for max usefulness.

      2. SIvad says:

        I understand but the point I was making is that if you are going to market a product and showcase its entire range of abilities then you should use the best examples for those that don’t know your product even if they are extreme cases.

        I don’t think I’m too much on the extreme part of the spectrum because I do occasionally take my Volt on trips. Also twice a week I take it beyond it’s range round trip but usually plug in at a Blink station at the end of my first leg. Still I only used 50 gallons in 17,800 miles.

        If you go to Volt Stats you will see a cross section of about 1,876 owners who allow their information to be compiled through Onstar. It’s a pretty good cross section with people at the bottom not having any EV miles at all. I’m only in the top 25% of miles driven in EV but I’m still ahead in EV miles to “a customer who drove 10,000 miles and only used 33 gallons of gasoline.” It just bothers me that he makes it sound as if this guy is an anomaly when really he is probably the 1/4th of Volt owners.

      3. Mike says:

        That was probably a graph cut off point, he should have said 10,000 miles and 33 gallons OR BETTER.

      4. Robert says:

        Even if most current Volt owners are happy with slower charging, 3.3 kW onboard is no longer practical to use at most public charging stations that are 30 to 32 amps. So if they don’t include the 6.6 kW onboard as standard, it should be an option!

        DC fast charging: give the Volt a CHAdeMO plug option or a CCS plug option, and read the sales reports! That will tell them what owners want!

        I think having these as base choices in the ELR along with 6.6 kW AC charging would help it sell, too!

    2. Anthony says:

      At first I thought it was a typo and should be 100,000 miles (~3000 MPG). 300 MPG isn’t really anything to write home about.

      1. Huffster says:

        I think he highlighted this because it was a family member rather than a standout GM customer.

        1. Anthony says:

          Yeah, that was more evident when I watched the video.

      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Indeed, 300mpg is pretty easy to maintain even on L1 charging, if your commute is within electric range. Home L2 charging makes 500mpg readily attainable since it allows lots of shorter local errand trips with quick charging between them.

      3. See Through says:

        I think, the exec presented a realistic number. Volt customers get it. If he quoted an absurdly high mpge achieved only by EV fanatics, that would have raised more questions and doubts in the minds of would-be Volt owners.

        But he could have possibly shown the whole chart rather than quote single data point. ( I admit, I didn’t see the video. Only read the bullets here.)

    3. BC says:

      I also have used less than 40 gallons of gas over the course of 27k miles of driving (translates to 95% EV). I have 240v charging at home and am fortunate to be able to charge (110v) while at work.

    4. Huffster says:

      I think he highlighted this 33 gallon 10k miles customer because it was a family member.

      1. SIvad says:

        Ah. I didn’t hear that.

    5. Spec9 says:

      Well if you use 33 gallons for 10,000 miles . . . perhaps you should have got a pure EV and a membership to a car sharing group.

      1. Nate says:

        33 gallons in 10k miles really isn’t all that extreme. That reflects our usage. Most days are all EV and it gets driven around 30 miles. Sometimes something longer comes up and the current BEV’s don’t cut it. Most of those you know in advance and may be able to make arrangements, but the arrangements are still a hassle. Needing to go out and get a different car, install car seats, get the things in it we need for the trip doesn’t sound all that appealing given how hard it is to get young kids out the door without having to do that. Seriously, if you saw us trying to leave the house before a weekend trip you’d see why that idea would probably be a no sale for my wife.

      2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        33 gallons in a Volt, if 35mpg (conservative), is 1,155 miles, implying 88.45% EV. Say your Volt gets EPA 38 EV. Say, like us, you have a regular 105 mile round trip, then each trip would be 67 miles on gas, and that 1,155 miles would be 17.2 trips. That’s a lot of rental hassle to supplement a BEV.

    6. Bonaire says:

      Hey Nitz.

      Jay Leno drove his Volt 10,000 miles and used zero gas.

      1. WopOnTour says:

        If you actually watch the video, Larry Nitz was referring to one of his family members that owns/drives a Volt.
        WOT

    7. william edwards says:

      I would assume the folks at GM would rather quote stats from a reliable source like OnStar data instead of a web site where one can enter any data you like…

      1. WopOnTour says:

        Voltstats is not manually entered data. It is collected from live data transmitted from OnStar.WOT

      2. WopOnTour says:

        Voltstats is not manually entered data. It is collected from live data transmitted from OnStar and privately collected (with owner permission)-WOT

    8. J. Martin says:

      I need to figure out how to see Volt stats. By my calculation, my wife is right around 93.5% EV driving. Only about 1,500 out of 24,000 miles required any gas.

  4. SIvad says:

    So it looks like they will probably be keeping the 3.3 kw onboard charger.

    1. Josh says:

      It certainly sounded like that.

      They are finding that 110v is fine for most people’s home charging needs, but they forget that people effectively get charged twice the price for public charging by not having a 6.6 kW charger. This might sway people’s behavior in not using public charging and running on gas instead.

      1. SIvad says:

        That’s exactly what has happened to me since Blink has decided to switch to by minute pricing here in GA. Twice a week I have to drive round trip about 50 miles. So it varies during summer and winter how much extra I need to top off during the 2 hours at the end of the first leg of my round trip. Used to cost me no more than $2 because I would usually get back to unplug before the beginning of the 3rd hour. But now it ends up being about $4.5. And that’s not even filling it up. I really don’t want to use gas but I hate giving money to Blink’s business model which sucks.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        True, but it seems GM has solidly ‘standardized’ their L1/L2 charging method of single phase, 3.3 kw max, world wide, in that any place in the world will allow up to 16 amps on a single phase circuit. Some countries, that IS the MAX allowed. Its too bad they are discontinuing the Volt/Ampera in so many markets.

        Possibly they will eventually have an Opel branded replacement EV.

        Although I too would like 6.6 kwh, GM apparently hasn’t invested any testing monies to see if the battery could reliably take this fast of a charge. In the interest of frugalness (that is, avoiding extraneous projects when the main goal should be in improving more important metrics, such as value, (low cost), seating, performance, reliabilty, and my favorite, totally electric range. Therefore even though I may personally be disadvantaged, I applaud the decision to stay with 3.3 kw worldwide.

        Its all the other wasted monies these guys spend that bother me. But the 3300 watt system works, and they’re sticking with it, and not investing any more money in it ( I would hope!).

        1. Bill Howland says:

          er….6600 watts not watt-hours

        2. danwat1234 says:

          Bill Howland, the Volt battery pack can take a 6.6KW charge no problem. Heck when regenning it goes over 20KW. Liquid heating and cooling would keep everything in check. 6.6KW is not stressful to the battery. The only reason why Volt 2.0 won’t get it is because of cost to manufacture the charger.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            The other is worldwide standardization. Which one is the more important is splitting hairs, since I’ve never seen GM publically address any of this.

            1. WopOnTour says:

              Bill when it comes to HOME charging (not commercial infrastructure) the “global” adoption implications of 3.3kW vs. 6.6kW charging really isn’t a huge consideration. But it does make it easier to implement in most household breaker boxes. It’s simply more likely that an additional 20A of headroom (and physical space for a pair of ganged 20A breakers) is readily available in older 100A and 125A services that most homes are equipped with. For a 6.6kW charger the electrical overhead to support 40A (and larger cabling out to the EVSE) is necessary. Most people seem to assume all newer houses have a 200A service and breaker panel but many are surprised to find otherwise. So by limiting the charger to 3.3kW in Volt 1 they created a faster charge solution that will less of an impediment to upgrading to 240V charging at the home.-WOT

              1. Raymondjram says:

                AS an EE, I see all modern homes must have at least a 150 Amp service panel, not just for charging EVs, but for HVAC systems and illumination because they are getting larger (more floor space), so allocationg a 50 A or a 60 A breaker for the EVSE will not be any trouble. The EEs who design home wiring must know this by now.

              2. Robert says:

                The most critical vale reason to move up to 6.6 kW charging on board, is for public opportunity charging, particularly for sites that charge by time, since they are not allowed to bill by kWh!

                Also, so that the value equation in terms of time improves when having just 20 minute stops: the 6.6 onboard gives twice as much recoverable EV range.

                If they had to, they could make it an extra cost upgrade option, like the extra 10 kW charger for a Tesla. Those who want faster charging will pay for the upgrade, GM ca make more $$, everyone wins!

                If they were really creative in learning what the buyer wanted, they could add a 3rd option: 9.9 kW charging, so Volt owners in areas with a good number of Clipper Creek, or Sun Country Highway CS100 or CS90, or even CS60 Charging Stations, could take advantage better of these stations, and fill up in 1/3rd the time versus now!

  5. MTN Ranger says:

    Sadly after watching this, it seems that Volt 2.0 will be stuck with 3.3kW charging. That’s a bummer.

    1. Brian says:

      Why? How many people would truly benefit from a faster charger? I used to think along the same lines as you, but realized that for an EREV it just doesn’t really matter.

      Besides, for those who really want it, there is always the aftermarket. People have fit an extra 3.4kW charger in parallel with the 3.3kW charger in older Leafs, I’m fairly certain the same could be done for a Volt.

      1. Josh says:

        As I said above, the big benefit is public charging. Half the time and half the price.

        1. Brian says:

          An how often do you really top off during lunch? Yes, it happens on occasion and it sure would be nice to get more of a charge out of it. But how many owners are doing this? how many days? Do all owners need to pay for a faster charger to accommodate the handful that would benefit? (Naturally an optional 6.6kW charger would be ideal – then you choose for yourself).

          A far better way to increase electric miles is to get easy access to workplace charging. Then you don’t need to top off during lunch – your battery will already be fully charged by the time you leave for lunch!

          1. Josh says:

            Like all things, every situation is unique. The option for 6.6 kW charging would be the right solution. Let the consumer decide if they want it.

            1. SIvad says:

              I agree. My situation would benefit from a 6.6 kw charger. I think as an extra option would make total sense.

              1. Brian says:

                Again, my answer to both of you is the aftermarket. I’m almost positive it’s possible to upgrade a Volt to a faster charger (I haven’t worked through the details, so I can’t say 100%). For the small number who would benefit, this is a reasonable route.

                My point is that there is a very small (overall) fleet benefit to GM offering this, even as an option. I would rather they work on the improvements listed in the article before eventually upgrading the charger.

                1. Josh says:

                  I understand your point. I think it is hard to determine the market size without it being an option. The uptake would probably depend on the cost. If it was a $200 option, lots of people would add it. At $1000, not many would value it.

                  In regards to aftermarket, I would never modify anything in the charging circuit of my plug-in. Failures in that area are the kind that would be catastrophic and possibly effect my house in addition to the car. I know others are more adventurous though.

                  1. Brian says:

                    Fair enough on both points. FWIW, Nissan charges $1,770 for the “charge package” on the Leaf, but that both upgrades the L2 charger and adds CHAdeMO, so it’s impossible to know how much goes to each. Still, at one point, Mitsubishi was offering the CHAdeMO for about $800 extra. Bottom like, I suspect the upgrade would cost much closer to $1000 than $200.

                    And don’t get me wrong, if GM could offer this option AND get to the stuff on the list above, more power to them. I would just hate to see a 6.6kW charger “cut in line” ahead of something that might have more impact on sales.

                    1. Larry Schuler says:

                      Sorry, but you are WRONG about that: The $1,700 upgrade optional charger on the Nissan LEAF is for ChaDEmo ONLY. The LEAF comes STANDARD with 6.6 kW charging – at no additional cost.
                      That the Volt will continue to suck hind teat when it comes to a reasonable rate of charging — is indicative of the numbskulls at GM/Chevy who don’t understand the stats produced by thousands of Volts currently in use.

                    2. Brian says:

                      No, Larry, you are the one who is mistaken. The entry-level Leaf S comes with a 3.3kW charger. One can then purchase a $1,770 option to add both the 6.6kW L2 and the CHAdeMO charger to the S.

                  2. Daniel says:

                    EXACTLY!! Tesla found this out when they assumed many would buy the lesser priced 40KW Model S But at the end of the day it seems more is better and plans to even offer it were scrapped as the majority antied up for the 85KW model because of it’s increaced capability! Whos to say that if 6.6 charging was avilable that the uptake would not pan out. I for one would LOVE to have at least 6.6 and am willing to pay a premium for it

                2. Raymondjram says:

                  I agree that the 6.6 kW onboard charger should be an option for owners who prefer a faster charge. Cost is the major issue. An aftermarket upgrade is highly improbably because it may void the GM factory warranty, and the oldest Volt is less than four years old. Maybe when the warranty ends, someone will do an upgrade and then offer it for sale. Or someone will extract the 6.6 KW charger from a salvaged Leaf and adapt it to his Volt.

            2. pjwood says:

              +1. It spells an option package that goes to 6.6kw, and perhaps also offers the winter package with a few more kwh, heated steering, insulation, heated elements in back, AND front glass, and maybe even a heated seat whose ~50 watt elements extend into the lateral supports, like the Mercedes B-class. Maybe a little over a $1,000 on their end, and happily $1,995 on mine.

            3. Andrew says:

              The problem with extra options is that having the option itself increases cost. This is, famously, why Honda offers basically three configurations of each model with no discrete equipment choices. You can’t get leather without a sunroof, for example, on an Accord. Ford went from 50k+ variations per model to about 75 variations per model under Mullaley to great savings.

              Having 6.6kW charging doesn’t inconvenience anyone who doesn’t want it. The car will still charge at the same languid pace on L1 for those who want to torture themselves.

              However, NOT having 6.6kW (or better) charging will cause buyers who want it to go elsewhere. Having it as an option means a clueless dealer will have maxed-out Volts on their lots with the 3.3kW OBC because they specced it that way to save $100 off the MSRP.

              With public L2 costs rising and almost all of them supporting 6.6+, it makes sense to make that the default. Furthermore, being able to almost completely fill the battery on a one hour stop at home in the garage will greatly increase the EV miles one is likely to experience while driving a Volt. The whole point of the car, really.

              1. Sparkler says:

                The Volt charger is famously shared with the Spark.

                The Spark really needs 6.6KW or better charging to be competitive with all the other BEV’s on the market. Hopefully the 2016 model will have that upgrade, and that should make an off-the-shelf part available to at least be an option for the Volt.

                1. Raymondjram says:

                  That is a good idea!

          2. Ziv says:

            Brian, I try to top off the pack in my Volt during lunch at least 3 times a month. And usually I end up using the gen-set for 3-20 miles after getting just 10 miles of additional range in an hour of charging. 6.6 kW charge rates wouldn’t eliminate my gen-set use but it would definitely reduce it by a large margin.
            I would be willing to pay for the option of modestly faster charging. 3.3 is old fashioned. 6.6 should be the minimum for a serious player. It wouldn’t cost much more than chrome wheels. Get with the program, GM, this isn’t rocket science!

            1. cab says:

              Ziv, if you need 20 an average of 11 or so more miles now, it might be that a longer total range (hopefully 50 miles, but I might be dreaming) would cover most of that anyway.

              1. Robert says:

                Get me to 50 miles / 80 Kms, AND at least an Option, if not a standard AC6.6 charger, and maybe GM will get my attention! Add a CHAdeMO which I can use, and I might even accept the lack of head room in the back seat…maybe!

                The head room in the back of the Volt is shorter than the crappy old Chevy Sprint/GEO Metro 2 Door! Seems like GM can’t get cabin space and Aerodynamics to shake hands on the Volt.

                Get me Leg Room, Head Room, 45 Miles EV Range in Winter or Summer, 6.6 kW onboard, with a base price of under $35,000 and a choice of DC Fast Charging (CHAdeMO for me, maybe CCS for those in California), and we now have a car a 6 ft 3 guy can enjoy!

      2. Dave R says:

        Given the number of people who plug in more than once a day, I’d say potentially quite a few could benefit from faster charging.

        30A L2 would let you pick up 75% charge in an hour on a Volt. Very useful for lunch stops.

      3. John Hansen says:

        It *does* matter, because people who buy Volts buy them for the same reason that people buy Leafs, which is to use less gas. If I didn’t care about using gas, then I would just buy an ICE.

        If I go on a long trip and stop at a restaurant along the way and can get a full charge while I’m eating, that’s an extra 38 miles on electricity instead of gas, equivalent to plugging in for an entire night at home.

        Faster charging would be a big improvement.

      4. Bill Howland says:

        Brian, I agree with you and disagree with your detractors. Both you and Clarkson have perfectly fine 15 ampere charge docking stations, and will fully charge all GM products to date at the full rate, as long as the voltage is at least 220, which is quite likely, hehe. The dealership in Leroy, NY (Rochester), ran 198 volts at 15 amps, so this is an 11% slowdown for a volt, but still pretty fast.

        One seldom mentioned additional point, is that Utilities want to make the overnight charging function as “grid friendly” as possible, and desire the typical EV owner to charge their car at the slowest rate that does the job, typically an 8 hour charge time.

        Since my Volt charges in 3 1/2 – 4 hours depending on the mildness of the weather, a 22 kwh future battery that gave me 60-100 miles of totally electric range, and took 8 hours to recharge, would be perfectly fine for me.

    2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      LAME. Guess I’ll have to see what BMW will do with their i5 REx, by which time they’ll hopefully have gotten 40A or 50A charging fixed.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        YEAH, except that if EV’s ever become popular to the extent that more than one person per neighborhood, or one car per household is the norm, then Utilities will have to implement Demand Charges on Residence customers as they do now with Commercial and Industrial ones.

        Then Ev owners will want the SMALLEST chargers to do the job since they would want to mimimize their demand fines, which is the purpose of charging for demand in the first place.

        1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          Oh please.

          EVs charge predominantly at night, where there is ample base load available, now and for the foreseeable future barring idiotic politics or catastrophe.

          My Volt uses way less electricity than 1 of my 2 heat pumps.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Please what?

            My utility charges commercial demand fines for any customer using more than 2000 kwh / month, and they used to redefine any residential customer as commercial who wasn’t doing anything residential. Some upper middle class ev drivers here would qualify if they’re in the same boat.

            And you can’t generalize one utility’s policy with any others. Personally, from what I know of PG&E, and SD&E, I’ll take National Grid any day.

            NYSEG, prior to building their Somerset plant, had extremely restrictive residential policy, but very very attractive rates, and Time of use/ automatic water heater timed storage using totally plug in electromechanical meters.

            So its unwise to broadbrush.

            Of course, you could move into Florida Power & Light’s territory where they only allow ‘experimental’ solar panels. That is why there is no solar industry in Florida.

            Baseload capacity is one thing, transmission and distribution capacity is another.

            1. Raymondjram says:

              So your utility could fine you if you overcharge an EV? Either keep burning gas or move elsewhere to get better EV charge rates.

    3. Kickincanada says:

      This is not the greatest news. Maybe volts are parked in driveways because they are stuck there with slow charging.

      I for one would have benefited from 6.6kw charging especially during winter months when you come home and then have to head out again. My argument has always been faster charging like 6.6 helps reduce the need for a larger battery because you can keep you battery topped off and full. I have written gm before but apparently my and others appeals have fallen on deaf ears. The decision has been made it sounds like. Unfortunate.

  6. scottf200 says:

    “60% of volt customers only charge on 110v rather than 240v.” — Wow! Just charge when you sleep and the battery sized the way it is will be filled by morning.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      That’s fine until you decide to do errands etc. during the day, and don’t want to bother with route planning etc. I had only L1 charging for the first year I owned a 2011 Volt, and I only got about 80% EV because I couldn’t L2 charge at home. After getting L2 my 2013 Volt’s lifetime is >90% and >500mpg.

      >=16kWh usable battery and >=40A charging would probably push me up to 99+% EV. I do wonder though, at that point, maybe it’d be better to pick up a beater pickup truck or SUV with a hitch, and get an i3 sans REx. For the time being I’m happy enough to procrastinate and see what Tesla delivers.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Your example is sort of what makes the Volt such a great car. It’s got the gas engine so you can do whatever you want, and not worry about charging.

        There is a point of diminishing returns with both charge speed and battery size for an extended range electric vehicle.

        1. Robert says:

          The point of diminishing returns, varies with each owner; for some that means if they never drive over 45 miles a day, having a battery range in a EREV with over 50 miles would be of little value. For them, simply charging at home, will be fine.

          For others, that drive multiple segments at 35 – 40 miles each, having the ability to charge up between each leg, faster, is of high value – even if the total EV Range is 60 Miles, since the desire to drive it like an EV when they want to, is more important than being trapped in a BEV with just a single charge range even of 80 miles: until the point that EV Charging is part and parcel of all new businesses! And yes, they CAN just drive it on gas, but that is contrary to their goals!

  7. Taser54 says:

    “better in every way” suggests a better charging rate.

  8. DonC says:

    Last month Larry Nitz said that customers wanted more electric range, a third seat, and a lower price (as though any customer didn’t want a lower price). This month he says “What people want will be delivered”. Any bets on what we’ll see?

    The Volt doesn’t need faster charging but just using one plug and charger would seem to make sense, and the BEV will certainly support higher charging levels.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      We won’t know until it gets here because I’m sure they’re advertising the pluses and not the minuses, but the latest information as of 2 months ago I’d been given was:

      3.3 kw charger unchanged.

      1000 cc 3 cylinder atkinson cycle engine (vvt).

      3 person bench seat in rear.

      40 mile ev range standard, and a bit more range overall due to better gas mileage.

      50 mile ev range battery pack optional at extra cost. Not sure what this will do for hatchback space.

      Unknown of course is whether they’re going to cheapen the radio again, like they did with the 13-14 volts.
      B

  9. Josh says:

    I find it a little ironic that the same guy in charge of electrification is also in charge of transmissions.

    1. kdawg says:

      He’s a smart guy 🙂

      Disclaimer: I’m bias as a fellow EE from Kettering.

    2. Raymondjram says:

      The Volt motor and transmission are in the same package, as in the Spark EV.

  10. Breezy says:

    Staying with a 3.3kW charger seems like low hanging fruit if they’re trying to cut costs. If they have two battery sizes, then maybe the larger would have 6.6kW or more.

    1. Josh says:

      That might be a good solution. Entry Volt version is basically the same Volt with a smaller battery and a 5th seat, starting price same as a Prius.

      The top end Volt is the upgraded drivetrain (50+ AER, 50 mpg, 5th seat and 6.6 kW charging) priced at or just under the current Volt.

      Then all they need to do is drop that drivetrain into a CUV and have the market covered. 😉

  11. Mark says:

    “There is a customer who drove 10,000 miles and only used 33 gallons of gasoline.”

    I have over 19,000 miles on my 2012 Volt and have used less than 25 gallons of gasoline.

  12. JRMW says:

    Combine
    This:
    About 65% of overall driving is electric.

    With this:
    Volts plug in on average 10 times per week, not 7. That surprised us. We figured a once a day charge but customers charge more
    ====

    This is why the Volt needs more electric range. People are plugging in >1/day partly because one charge per day isn’t enough to meet people’s daily electric range needs

    Plugging in ONLY once per day is especially important in a place like MN, where it costs 1.92 cents per kW overnight and 16.5 cents per kW during the day. That’s 8x more expensive to charge a second time!

    The i3 has 60-70 miles of range with a (crippled to maximize CARB credits) range extender

    Another possible Volt “problem” is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The FWD Volt better have more range (or significantly cheaper price) than the AWD Outlander (which currently has about 32 miles range IIRC, but may have more when released to the US).

    I know many people want the Volt to be cheaper. Then have 2 models. A bare bones 40 range version and a more expensive 80-120 mile range model. You gotta improve, not barely keep up

    Anything less than 60-70 mile range on the Volt 2.0 is pathetic. (Unless Chevy is deciding to focus on the entry level EREV market and give up the mid range)

    1. Josh says:

      I would expect 50 – 60 EPA mile AER if they decide to up the range.

      I was originally hoping they would debut the upgraded drivetrain as the ELR. That would have given them justification on the price premium and recouped the development cost faster.

    2. SIvad says:

      The EV range is listed at 32 miles in Europe. It has been stated that the EPA range will be listed at around 20-22 miles. And there is a big distinction between those 22 miles versus the Volt’s 38 miles in that the Outlander has comparatively reduced performance with its smaller battery and motor output in pure EV mode for those 22 miles. The Outlander has a 12 kwh battery with about 8-9 kwh usable. That limits the two motors that each have 60 kw output to around 70 kw total. That is why the 0-60 in pure EV mode is around 11 seconds.

      To your point though the average consumer will only see “AWD” “SUV” “20 something EV miles”. They won’t understand the minor details.

      I also agree that GM is missing a huge opportunity by not getting the Voltec jambed into an SUV or crossover as soon as possible. Even if it meant a pure EV, no compromise performance range of only 30 miles it would still be light years ahead of a PHEV like the Outlander because the Voltec’s larger battery would allow the motor to have more power output to give it more mainstream performance and a greater range.

    3. ClarksonCote says:

      “Anything less than 60-70 mile range on the Volt 2.0 is pathetic. (Unless Chevy is deciding to focus on the entry level EREV market and give up the mid range)”

      That’s a pretty amusing statement, given that the Volt was the first mainstream plug-in hybrid, and there’s still no full performance PHEV that comes close to its 40 mile electric-only range.

      How can anything less than 60-70 miles be “pathetic” if the competition still significantly lags when compared to just the 40 mile existing Volt?

      1. JRMW says:

        “That’s a pretty amusing statement, given that the Volt was the first mainstream plug-in hybrid”

        I give the Volt HUGE HUGE HUGE props for being first. But that was 2011. We’re talking 2015/2016 here. The bar has moved.

        ===
        “and there’s still no full performance PHEV that comes close to its 40 mile electric-only range.”

        The non-crippled BMW i3 (available outside of US) compares very favorably with the Volt, and has 72 miles of range. BMW crippled the US version for CARB reasons.

        Even the crippled US i3 doesn’t “significantly lag” the Volt. (the non-US i3 is even better than the US version)

        ===
        “How can anything less than 60-70 miles be “pathetic if the competition still significantly lags when compared to just the 40 mile existing Volt?”

        I’m surprised you think people will be happy with less than 60 miles on a 2015 or 2016 Volt when a 2014 i3 will get 72.

        <60 miles would be 16.6% less electric range than an old (at that time) i3. And despite your claim, many rate the crippled i3 comparable to the Volt.

        that said: if Chevy is just ceding the mid market to other players and focusing on the bargain market then keeping a 40-50 range would be fine.

        http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1094005_2014-bmw-i3-rex-vs-chevy-volt-range-extended-electric-cars-compared/page-3

        1. kdawg says:

          “I’m surprised you think people will be happy with less than 60 miles on a 2015 or 2016 Volt when a 2014 i3 will get 72.”
          ———–
          Remember the i3 costs $10k more than the Volt.

        2. DonC says:

          A Volt with a range of 50 EV miles would have greater electric range than my Leaf after two years. Are you saying that the best selling BEV in history is pathetic?

          The i3 cost $20K more than a Volt, but it’s actually closer in size and performance to the Spark EV, which costs $30K less. If you’re honest, it’s clear the i3 is the vehicle of choice for posers who can’t afford a Tesla.

          The true test will be when GM releases the 200 mile BEV with a base price of $35K. We’ll see how i3 owners view this clearly superior spec’d car. No excuses about not being willing to give up a few miles of range. My guess is they’ll stay with the nameplate because for them it’s only about the nameplate.

          1. JRMW says:

            “Are you saying that the best selling BEV in history is pathetic?”

            If Nissan releases a BEV in 2016 with 80 EV miles it would be embarrassing. It’s one of the knocks against the 2014 eGolf and (less so) the MB b-class. They only have the range of the last generation (B class has an add on feature). People are looking for 100-150 miles urgently. 50 BEV won’t cut it in 2016.

            Would you be happy if Apple’s newest iPhone had barely more storage than the original early 2000’s iPod? Of course not! Obviously we are ok with old things performing poorly! What’s ok in 2000 and 2011 is NOT ok in 2016.

            ====
            I looked at BMW i3 and really liked it. It’s more expensive (by $7-10k, not $20k)

            But you get DOUBLE the electric miles on the i3 than the Volt, and the i3 (I thought) was super fun to drive in summer. We don’t have mountains here but I’ll tell you for a city commuter car that car was FUN to drive. But RWD in Winter will be a no go.

            My commute is 23 miles round trip and I can’t charge at work. I’d be using a lot of gas in MN winter with the Volt’s tight range. I’d be all electric with the i3. Thus we were going to buy the i3. But when I realized i3 was RWD I axed it (along with Tesla S).

            Our list of priorities (after research)
            1) AWD
            2) FWD if we can’t get AWD
            3) EV desired. Otherwise PHEV with maximum EV potential. (I’m not buying these to burn gas)
            4) Price
            5) Looks
            6) Support a company who isn’t just doing it for CARB if possible

            Thus: our current list is
            1) Outlander (AWD trumps all, even my dislike for its PHEV status and its wimpy EV range)
            2) Tesla X (AWD + EV trumps price)
            3) Maybe Mercedes Benz OR Volt
            (I want MB for #3, spouse wants Volt)
            4) eGolf OR Leaf (Leaf here due to looks)
            -not on list: Tesla S, i3, MiEV due to RWD
            -not on list: any car not sold in MN

            If Volt put out a 100 mile range PHEV: I would put it at 2. If they put out an AWD Volt with 60+ mile EV range, it would be #1

            If LEAF put out AWD 125 mile version, it would be 1.

            I’ll admit that if there was NO Outlander, I’m not sure I could actually pull the X trigger despite it being #2 on my list. I’d probably wimp out and lease a Volt for 2 years until something better came along.

            Thus we’re now waiting for the Outlander.

            Again: I’m not knocking what the Volt was or is. I’m simply stating my belief that keeping 2011’s range in 2016 would be a MAJOR mistake of epic proportions.

            These products are bought by early adopters. Early adopters don’t buy 5 year old performance.

            1. nate says:

              By the time the Model X or Outlander PHEV are readily available, you could be pretty close to the end of a 2 year lease on a Volt or Leaf. There are good deals to be had on both right now.

        3. Dan says:

          “The non-crippled BMW i3 (available outside of US) compares very favorably with the Volt, and has 72 miles of range. BMW crippled the US version for CARB reasons.”

          Why they crippled doesn’t really matter. They crippled it, so it is crippled. As ClarksonCote said, there is no *full-performance* PHEV that comes close to the Volt’s range… and the i3 REx isn’t full-performance, any more than the Fusion Energi or Plug-In Prius.

          “I’m surprised you think people will be happy with less than 60 miles on a 2015 or 2016 Volt when a 2014 i3 will get 72.”

          And I’m surprised you think people will be happy with 200 miles on a 2017 Leaf when a 2012 Model S will get 260. But people are willing to accept reduced range for reduced price.

          “that said: if Chevy is just ceding the mid market to other players and focusing on the bargain market then keeping a 40-50 range would be fine.”

          I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a “mid-market” car that has a base MSRP of over $46k (as the i3 REx does). The i3 is not competing with the Volt.

          And to your other point: the 2014 Volt’s price range is $35,170-40,320, while the 2014 i3 REx’s price range is $46,700-56,050. That’s a pretty sizable gap.

        4. ClarksonCote says:

          “I’m surprised you think people will be happy with less than 60 miles on a 2015 or 2016 Volt when a 2014 i3 will get 72.”

          But the i3 is way more expensive, and doesn’t have a full performance range extender like the Volt.

          Every other PHEV that has been introduced has had anemic range compared to the Volt. The Volt has the right formula down.

          My personal belief for the Volt to achieve success, is (in order of importance):

          1) Get Dealers on board with the damn car. Know it, love it, advertise it, sell it.

          2) Market the car nationally

          3) 5 seats

          4) 50 mpg on the engine (because people look at it, not because it matters practically speaking since the Volt uses the engine so infrequently)

          5) 50 miles

          6) 6.6kW charger instead of 3.3kW

          7) More refined user interface (buttons and processor performance on the center stack)

          8) Many others that are very far down in the noise.

    4. kdawg says:

      “This is why the Volt needs more electric range. People are plugging in >1/day partly because one charge per day isn’t enough to meet people’s daily electric range needs”
      ————

      I agree that I would like more EV range, however the data may also reflect opportunity charges. For example, when I come home from work, I plug in. Then I may go do something later, then plug in at night when I get back. Did I need to plug in? No. But might as well opportunity charge. I also opportunity charge at all the free L2 chargers around me, whether I need to or not.

      1. JRMW says:

        kdawg:
        I agree with your point, which is why I combined the fact that people are charging >1/day with the fact that they are driving 65% electric miles. (which means 35% ICE)

        It would be different if they were charging 10 times per week and also driving 85 to 90% electric. Then it would mean they just want to keep her “tank” filled!

        I think the Volt is an awesome product. But to sell well the Volt 2.0 needs to be special (or a major bargain) given increased future competition.

        1. kdawg says:

          ” the fact that they are driving 65% electric miles. (which means 35% ICE)”
          ——
          Remember that is the fleet average. Not the best metric to use. For example if you drive 30 days, 40 miles/day on pure EV (100%), then take one longer trip that is 120 miles on gas, your average just went to 50%. It only takes a few long gas trips to really bring down the average. Regarding fleets, there’s a lot of Volt drivers that put on huge distances in only gas mode. A better way to to look at the gas use is the median. Here’s a bell curve I made from the data at Voltstats. Notice most drivers are about 86% electric.

          1. JRMW says:

            Great data kdawg. Thanks.

            I yield this line of argument

            But still want more EV range!

            haha.

            1. pete g says:

              This is a problem people want more range, but then we will need long lasting moisture resistant gasoline. For those who use less than one tank a year.

              1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

                Diesel!

    5. J. Martin says:

      Actually, JRMW, it’s not that deep. Drivers plug in more than once a day BECAUSE THEY CAN, not because they have to. Whenever my wife’s Volt is at home, it is in the garage plugged in.

      When we did the math to decide whether or not to get it, I assumed one plug-in per day. When she actually got it, it became apparent that it made since just to plug in whenever she’s home. As a result, she goes WEEKS without the ICE. Sometimes it turns on just to run maintenance mode.

  13. David Murray says:

    I can’t believe that lady was so concerned about how to explain to the customer how the drivetrain works… 99% of gasoline car drivers don’t understand or care to understand how their drivetrain works, why should they care how a hybrid or EV is geared?

    1. pjwood says:

      She made the comment because when you sit in the ELR, prominently displayed are battery range on left, and gas range on right. “Customers don’t have to know”, or however Nitz put it, conflicts with the message she felt new shoppers get when they see that dash.

    2. Raymondjram says:

      If modern people are educated enough to use a smartphone, they already know that electricity is the energy that move those devices (ask anyone if they would use a gasoline powered smartphone!). Just continue the education and let them know that an EV is a large mobile device with more intelligence than any smartphone. but it can MOVE them!

  14. Ryan says:

    I’d still like to see an all electric version of the Volt. What if they offered 3 different pack sizes for the new models? What about a stripped down basic model that was a price point vehicle? No options, plain interior, low cost wheels, etc. $14k?

    What about a special “fleet model” that had nearly no battery in it?

    What if they offered up a high performance Volt? Did you ever see the hacked Volt 0-60 video on youtube? Thing could be a beast.

    1. Raymondjram says:

      The Volt has a future to become a pure battery only EV (BEV) and totally eliminate the need of any fuel. If you want a gas-only Volt, buy a Cruze.

  15. Huffster says:

    I wonder how fast the volt 2.0 would charge if they included the same DC fast charge plug as on the Spark EV? Although these DC fast chargers seem rare and far between at this time.

    1. Raymondjram says:

      the fast DC charge feature is a bypass of the onboard 3.3 kW charger and a direct path to the DC battery, so it could be added and will cost less than a 6.6 kW charger. There are DC charger kits (up to 25 kW) for converted EVs and some have the CHAdeMO interface, so adding the J1772 Combo will be possible in the future.

  16. ggpa says:

    I see many comments about 6.6kW charging.

    My guess is this upgrade would add approximately $1000 to the cost of the car, and if it was an option at that price mist people would decline it.

    3.3kW does fine, very few folks would benefit enough from 6.6 to justify that extra cost.

    1. David Murray says:

      That’s what I’ve been saying for a while. 3.3KW charging is a luxury, but not a requirement for a PHEV. I would personally not pay extra for the feature. Now on a pure-electric like the Leaf, that is a different story.

      1. SIvad says:

        But if the AER starts bumping up close to 60 miles that’s not too far from a Leaf’s EPA range of 75 miles.

    2. Josh says:

      As I stated above, at $1000, not many people would value the extra 3.3 kW. I can’t see how it would cost that much. Remember the J1772 port is already rated at 10 kW.

      Tesla offers an extra 10 kW for $1500. Nissan offered the extra 3.3 kW and DC quick charging for ~$1000.

      Anything over $500 would be a total mistake in pricing the option. As others mentioned above, adding it to a package of other useful energy features might be the way to go.

      1. Brian says:

        Nissan’s charge package is $1,770, not $1000. I suspect that an optional 6.6kW charger would add $1000 to the price of the Volt.

        1. Josh says:

          My bad on the Nissan pricing. Has that changed in the last year? I thought when they initially offered the LEAF S you could get the faster charging for roughly $950.

        2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          Nissan’s package on the S also includes 44kW DC charging.

    3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      At his (must-see) storage keynote JB Straubel of Tesla said that in the near future power electronics would be 10c/W, which is $100/kW. That’d price a 3.3kW upgrade at $330. Add in a little for a short length of better cabling.

      On the Leaf S it’s a $1770 package to get +3.3kW and 44kW DC charging. On the SV it’s $1630 for 44kW DC and LED highlights. I think $1000 just for 6.6kW charging would be excessive.

      But, if GM really wants the Volt to be taken seriously as an EREV, they need to add features that can increase EV driving and really make it “gas when you need it”.

      Features/options that “real” BEVs have:
      – 6.6kW+ charging: faster charging rate allows for economical use of public charging stations (often 240V@30A) and faster destination/home charging on very common 240V/30A circuits.*
      – heated rear seats
      – heated steering wheel
      – heat pump
      – low temperature EV: ERDTT @15F even on short trips leads to us burning gas even on errands.

      The Volt 2 will be around for 4 or 5 years even on more rapid development cycles, and failure to allow the Volt to be “more EV” could make the car look pretty limited. I think GM is serious about its electrification efforts, including having its eye on BEV, and with BEV needing faster charging, I anticipate a faster charging option for the Volt 2 and I’d be disappointed if there weren’t an option available.

  17. pjwood says:

    I was worried about myopic conclusions from the Voltstats database, and Mr. Nitz confirms why.

    Forget all the Volts in warm climates, driven by men, or how much the data changes outside of CA. Listening to him, it seems almost certain ~33 miles of winter AER could be the high, Volt2 water mark. He interprets the data wrong. “Cars are home a lot”, to me, means they may be left there, for a later trip in the day while some other car is taken on another, shorter, errand so the Volt can charge. L. Nitz apparently treats this like bonus time, on the “perfect” “110v” outlet. Mr. Nitz doesn’t have data on these user’s other cars, their spouses, or even a survey of how much people would subjectively pay to avoid “engine starts”. There, too, he differentiates Volt as 81% no-starts, vs. the 10% of the lesser PHEV’s. That’s another table set for disappointment.

    GM came so close to starting at the finish line. Now, it looks like there is very little room for Volt2 to end up crossing it, with “40 miles” for anyone, anywhere, any time. -Gotta hit at least 50 EPA AER, to do that.

    It was great to see a real person talk, from the inside.

    1. Josh says:

      You have a point in looking at the existing data, especially in aggregate.

      They really should be trying to get data from everyone who didn’t buy a Volt and find out why.

      1. Brian says:

        “They really should be trying to get data from everyone who didn’t buy a Volt and find out why”

        +1

      2. Raymondjram says:

        I didn’t buy a Volt because no local GM dealer sells or services it. But that could change for the 2016 Volt.

        1. UberJohn says:

          I leased a Leaf instead of a Volt for several reasons. I own solar panels and wanted to maximize the return on that investment by getting a vehicle with as much electric range as possible. I found the Volt back seats difficult to get in and out of (not enough leg/foot room, deep well to climb out of), and uncomfortable (not enough head room, sunlight striking the back of my neck.) I wanted a 5 seater, so losing the center seat was a disappointment. Toting around a gasoline engine means more weight, complexity, expense, and maintenance than a pure BEV. Finally, it is a new car model with new technology, and a GM product, which I have had bad experience with in the past. On the plus side, the ICE maintenance schedule is much less aggressive than on a standard car, since the Volt uses its battery first before firing up the internal combustion engine. The Volt has a lot better electric range than any Prius. It can refuel just like a normal ICE car. You can use it as your only car without being forced to own or rent a second car for longer trips. My commute is under 20 miles round trip, and recently free L2 chargers became available there, so a BEV really starts looking good. The L2 / L3 electric charging infrastructure is growing rapidly in the SF Bay area. I have access to a backup vehicle for longer trips to areas without EVSE support, or for those times when I don’t have time to mess around with looking for a working charger and waiting around for the charge to finish. Hint: charging to 100% is a big waste of time, I usually charge just enough to make sure I can get home. (People that charge to 100% on the L3 quick charger really annoy me.) My next EV will definitely have a 6.6 kW on-board charger. Time is precious, you can’t buy more time.

  18. kdawg says:

    “81% of all trips have no engine start at all. Some other plugins: only 10% of trips did not have an engine start”
    ———-

    This seems much more significant than it first appears. If the goal of CARB is to keep air clean, then eliminating cold-starts should have a higher priority. PHEVs that cannot accelerate to highway speeds, or travel more than than a few miles before starting the engine, should not get the the same privileges as those that can.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      Do the EPA figures include engine starts?

  19. GeorgeS says:

    Wow what a refreshing guy Nitz is. and a good discussion between all the folks there.

    I just don’t see how they can make everyone’s wants come true. More AER, better cs MPG, 5 seats, and a lower price, and most of all some sort of profit margin for GM.

    They probably can get more AER without a lot or any money just by tweeks to the battery and the DOD.

    I don’t see how they can lower prod costs by going to a turbo 3.

    The 5th seat should be zero cost.

    I guess the only place they will see some prod cost come down would be on battery costs…..but if they drop MSRP then there goes their profit.

    So I can’t wait to see how they do this. (Please don’t confuse this with a negative post. I’m a Volt owner and I love this car and I want it to succeed.)

    1. kdawg says:

      Don’t forget GM’s ability to beat up it’s vendors. If they commit to more electrified vehicles, spread the costs, and sign bigger parts contracts, that may allow for cost reductions.

      1. kdawg says:

        Forgot to mention, with the great performance of the batteries, their may be less “baked-in” warranty costs, now that they are more comfortable.

      2. GeorgeS says:

        @kdawg
        “beat up the Vendors”

        Do you have some experience in this matter?
        Where’d you get that black eye. 😉

        1. kdawg says:

          Yeah.. reverse auctions are not fun.

  20. EV says:

    just increase that electric range

  21. Lou Grinzo says:

    A lot of the upgrades people have been talking about make sense — more range, 5th seat, etc. — but in my opinion the #1 obstacle to much higher sales of the Volt, as mentioned at the top of these comments, is getting the dealers on board. They’re the valve between the factory and the customer, and right now, there are still too many dealers who don’t handle the Volt at all or push customers away from it.

    With the current dealership model I don’t know how much pressure GM can bring to bear on the dealers without triggering a counterproductive backlash. But it would benefit GM, customers, and everyone who shares our biosphere if GM can find a way to get their own dealers to be more enthusiastic about a landmark vehicle.

    1. Josh says:

      +1. I have experienced this myself.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Dealers become less relevant with every passing day.

      It’s not the dealers, it’s GM. The Internet makes it easy to find a Volt and easier than ever to buy a Volt. You just need to find a Volt within a resonable distance so you can go on a test drive.

  22. realdb2 says:

    What’s interesting to me about all of this “new” information is it matches almost exactly the same info Andrew Farah gave in a video interview on Facebook >1 year ago.

    In that interview Farah said:

    1. Customers always want more range
    2. Customers want more economy (seating for 5)
    3. Customers want more cold weather comfort.
    4. Customers are satisfied with the car charging.

    So again, interesting see now that it appears Volt 2.0 will have more range, 5 seats, the same charging and nothing has been mentioned yet on cold weather comfort but i’d guess heated steering wheel or a heat pump system.

  23. Spec9 says:

    “81% of all trips have no engine start at all. Some other plugins: only 10% of trips did not have an engine start”

    Volt . . . the original and the best PHEV still. Well done, GM. I look forward to seeing your next models.

  24. John Hollenberg says:

    I have driven over 30,000 miles in 3 years without using a drop of gasoline… in my Nissan Leaf. Of course, I put about 3,000 miles a year on my old ICE vehicle, but the Volt is too small for my needs on the few long distance trips each year.

  25. Anthony says:

    Right now, 110V recharge time at 8A is 15 hours to full charge (10.9kWh usable capacity).

    If the total range increases to 50 miles and 14.3kWh usable, then that increases charge time at 8A, that’s almost 20 hours. That doesn’t square with people’s usage of having the car charge overnight on 110V. This will force those who use the full battery capacity to install the 220V changer.

    If they want to keep allowing people to use 110V charging to go from empty to full, Chevy needs to go back to 12A 100V charging, or at least 10A. That would bring it back down to 14-15 hours.

  26. an_outsider says:

    Before my Volt 1.0, it was no plug, no sale
    If Volt. 2.0 has no QC or 30A onboard AC charger, no sale.

    1. an_outsider says:

      I meant:
      If Volt 2.0 does not come with QC (L3) and min. 30A (L2) onboard AC charger, no sale for me, I’ll buy somewhere else.

      1. Raymondjram says:

        Where else will you buy a Volt with your specs?

  27. QCO says:

    Lots of interesting points, but fundamentally there two key opposing issues (range and cost) to be balanced, mainly based on GMs market research and cost reduction capabilities.

    The obvious enabling technology will be:
    – Lighter Cruze platform
    – Smaller turbo charged engine, likely 3 cylinder
    – Greater battery utilization based on V1.0 experience
    – Marginally lower supply chain battery cost
    – Cost optimization of battery packaging/cooling, also enables 5 seats
    – Simplified control electronics, consolidating modules

    Getting more than 55 miles for less than $30k would be a pretty good outcome.

    Interestingly, the decision to split the Volt into 2 models (2 ranges) suggests they couldn’t quite get the balance to where they wanted it.

  28. vike says:

    I’m surprised that I see no mention in this discussion of the Volt’s quasi-useless trunklet. For now, it’s a couple of rear passengers (and smaller ones at that) or decent cargo room, but not both. That can’t replace our gen2 Prius, which is the “road trip” car companion to our EV. I can’t imagine I’m alone in this requirement. I’ll be interested in what shows up with the 2016 Volt, but unless the packaging is significantly modified, we’re probably holding out for a gen4 Prius.

    1. david_cary says:

      I totally agree on the space. GM – you built a car that does pretty well as an EV and would be great to also be a capable road trip car. The problem is that it is too small. When the only thing the Volt does better than a Leaf is take roadtrips, you need to run with that. I don’t take roadtrips alone with no luggage.

      Space does not have to equal weight (well not much) and it does not have to ruin aerodynamics. Yes – it might cost a little more but pennies in the grand scheme of things.

      A volt the size of a small SUV for $30k even with the same size battery would be unstoppable. I’d buy one tomorrow.

    2. Brian says:

      I may not have called it out, but that’s exactly what I was referring to in the very first comment when I said “As for me, what I want is a larger form factor. It doesn’t have to be huge, but a true midsized car (like the Leaf) would make the car that much more useful.”

      I have two children, and when the four of us go on a trip, we don’t care about the 5th seat, but the small trunk is a non-starter. So the one thing that it can do better than the Leaf – long distance – is immediately negated by its lack of cargo room.

      If they fix this, the Volt will be at the top of my list for replacing my hybrid as the companion to my Leaf.

  29. FranciscoJ says:

    I don’t think anyone has touched on this, so I will. When the Volt came out, it was a home run. It was first to market with a plug in the US (production car), and there was nothing else like it, nothin with its capabilities. And there still isn’t. That tells you what I think of the i3. Its combination of big battery (for 2011) and capable range extender made it unique.

    Now let’s look at some numbers. Chevy is talking about an 8 hr charge. At 3.3kw that would be a battery double the Gen 1 volt, and would result in an EPA AER of about 76 miles. Even if they fix the other issues, like size and 5 seats, that is not a home run car. In fact, its a lame, hobbled pack follower IMO, and a show stopper for me. As another poster said elsewhere, we have ENOUGH small 80 mile EV’s (and here I am using EV very broadly to inclde PHEV etc.).

    OTOH, if we are talking about an 8 hr charge at 7kw, that would be a range 4 times the Gen 1 Volt, or about 152 miles AER. Five seats, bigger, 7kw charger, and 152 AER? Now THAT would be a home run of a car!!! Again it would be unique, no other car with its capabilities. And that kind of capability would easily tranfer to an SUV frame. If I were Chevy, I would be going for another home run, not another ho hum.

    Is it possible Chevy mentioned an 8 hr charge and implied 3.3 kW just to throw us off the track and build suspense?

    Cost is the least important to me. And based on the number of posters that fawn over the i3, the least (or at least less important) important to many of us.

    7kw is the de facto standard in the wild, and in many of our garages. It is also the slowest charge that makes any topping off in the wild while eating, shopping or whatever, worth the hassle. I personally need that speed for occasional top offs on my commute. Right now at 3.3kw there is no point. If Chevy drops the ball on this charger, then I’m out. I’ll take my business elsewhere. Charge speed is too fundamental to give them a pass.

    2011 called, they want their lame slow-ass charger back.

    1. FranciscoJ says:

      I forgot to say, it’s a home run if the Rex is still included too. 152 AER plus the Rex. But a battery that big justifes adding the 7kw charger, and it also justifies downsizing the Rex for efficiency a little. It’s the holy trinity of conditions.

    2. Brian says:

      Yeah, don’t hold your breath. Doubling the AER of the Volt to nearly 80 miles is significantly different from any of the other “80 mile EVs”, including the i3 REx, precisely due to its full-power REx. The bottom line is the Volt fleet would save more gas going from 38 to 76 miles than it would going from 76 to 152 miles. It’s simply the law of diminishing returns. There aren’t enough people who regularly drive between 76 and 152 miles to make it worth while. There will be outliers, but they are the exception and not the rule.

      1. QCO says:

        Brian makes a very important point. Given the cost constraints, it’s all about covering the highest percentile of users at an acceptable affordability level.

        It does get tiring to hear outliers bleating on about their single data point anecdotes.

  30. danwat1234 says:

    I hope the 2nd gen Volts can use both the engine and the electric motors to increase acceleration in Hold mode! 1st gen Volts can do 0-60 in about 7 seconds when hacked to do this.
    Remove the ‘soft start’, limiting the torque at lower speeds. Some people upgrade the tires on their vehicles and would like full performance out of the drivetrain.

    A 3 cylinder engine that is not regular OTTO cycle, but is Atkinson cycle for more thermal efficiency than a regular engine. Belt-less.
    Remove the oversized gear shifter with something small. No need for any mechanical linkages, even for the parking pawl.

    Ability to disable horn honk when you plug in the car to charge.
    More customization with ERDTT, down to 0 Fahrenheit please.

    Minimum of 6.6KW charging. DC quick charging would be nice. Ability to default to 12Amp 120V charging instead of 8Amp.
    Heatpump electric heat for less range degradation
    Physical knobs for HVAC controls and radio. Touch is not safe while driving. Or, have comprehensive voice recognition to control HVAC and radio functions.

    Sunroof option.
    360 outside cameras option similar to Hyundai Eqqus to alleviate the blind spot issues

    Adaptive cruise control, auto braking to lessen impact of a crash (active collision avoidance).

    HDMI port to plug device in to extend screen to screen in dashboard.

    1. FranciscoJ says:

      Sure, and a price greater than a Model S…

  31. Ari Colin says:

    I’ve driven 57,000 miles and used only 15 gallons of gasoline!

    1. Ari Colin says:

      57,000 EV miles and 139 gas miles in my 2012 Volt.

      http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/371

  32. jstack6 says:

    8 speed transmissions are so last century. An Electric doesn’t need any transmission, just 1 gear reduction and no shifting. More power and more efficient than an gas engine and gears, or even CVT.