Chevrolet Volt National Launch Delayed For “Additional Content” Added To 2017 Model

SEP 9 2015 BY JAY COLE 121

Perhaps The Next Generation Of Chevrolet Volt Should Have Been Announced As A 2017 From The Start?

Who Knew The 2016 Model Year Chevrolet Volt Would Be So Short Lived?

This past holiday weekend, we reported the news that the national rollout and production of the 2nd generation, Chevrolet Volt (outside of the initial 11 states) was being delayed from November of this year until February of next year. (via the below screenshot found at the forums)

And that when production did commence in February, it would not be for the soon-to-arrive 2016 model year Volt, but rather a new 2017 model.

Nationwide Availability Of Next-Generation Chevrolet Volt Delayed Until February 2017

Screenshot Of Dealer Information Sheet Showing New Production Timeline (and new 2017 model year) Of The Chevrolet Volt (via forums)

Unfortunately, as it was the long weekend, it took GM a little bit of time to officially confirm the news, and angst among would-be buyers grew fairly intense, but they ultimately did validate the news on Tuesday saying:

“Chevrolet has a shortened model year for the 2016 Chevy Volt that will have a limited distribution network. The 2016 Volt will be sold in our strongest EREV markets. The 2017 Chevrolet Volt will begin production early this spring and will be available throughout the country.”

What Effect Does An Improved 2017 Chevrolet Volt Have On Yet-To-Be Delivered 2016s?

What Effect Does An Improved 2017 Chevrolet Volt Have On The Yet-To-Be Delivered 2016s?

At the time of first reporting the timeline changes, we suggested the reason one might see such a short model year, especially so early in a car’s lifespan, would be in consideration of an alteration to the model:

“As a rule of thumb, early model year changes like this indicate significant changes to the car itself, or changes to its lineup.  Given production is just now underway, we don’t see a lot of physical changes that could be done…”

As it turns out, that was the case, as GM spokesman Mike Albano further expanded later on the ‘why‘ behind the new roll-out plans to the Automotive News:

“We’re pulling ahead the ’17 a bit to get additional content into the car,” the GM rep said, but did not specify the added features, other than to say they were not related to the car’s drivetrain.

Update: Kevin Kelly, another GM rep, noted some of the changes later (via ):

“The 2017 model year will have one new color from the Disney Tomorrowland feature of the Volt, Citron Green Metallic. And, adaptive cruise control and Android Auto will also be made available for 2017 model year Volts.”

Update 2: Thanks to Chris R, we can say via Chevrolet Canada that Canada is participating in the 2016 Volt rollout, and cars should start arriving in showrooms this November.

Fundamentally, There Will Be No Changes To The 2017 Volt's Drivetrain

Fundamentally, GM Says There Will Be No Changes To The 2017 Volt’s Drivetrain

As an opinion on the stated reason for the delayed national roll-out, and also the announcement of a new model year when national inventory does arrive,  we are still left to wonder on the motive behind the decision, or rather if we should take it at face-value?

For customers and dealers in California, as well as in the other newly opened 10 CARB states (OR, CT,MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OR RI, and VT) who are currently waiting on the imminent 2016 Chevrolet Volt deliveries, the question becomes:

How do you take the news that your undelivered, 2016 Chevrolet Volt is now just months away from being not only a model year old (think residual value), but that it also doesn’t have the new features found to warrant a new 2017 edition? 

Would GM Really Push A New Model Year Forward To Just Offer New Features Like HomeLink Or Faster Charging?

Would GM Really Pull A New 2017 Model Year Chevy Volt Forward 6 Months To Just Offer New Features Such As Android Auto, HomeLink Or A New Color?

While it occurs to us that this “additional content” may not be of utmost importance to those who ultimately will take delivery of the short production run model year 2016 Volt, without knowing what all that content specifically is – there is definitely going to be some stress for those buyers ‘not in the know’ about what they are missing out on; and possibly some cancellations in order to simply get back into the queue and wait for a 2017.

The more we muse the subject, the more we are given to suspect that the 2017 Chevrolet Volt lineup will not only include some of the new features noted today, but also may include a new lower-priced, base model to slot under the LT and Premier (LTZ) trim levels.   For example, how about offering faster charging options on the LT/Premier cars, with a base model retaining the current 3.6 kW system?

Otherwise, why would GM put itself in this situation?  Why not just wait until July to implement a regularly scheduled model year switchover with the rest of the lineup and add improvements then?

Automotive News,

Categories: Chevrolet


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121 Comments on "Chevrolet Volt National Launch Delayed For “Additional Content” Added To 2017 Model"

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Not really sure what to think of this, doesn’t matter though since I am in a state that won’t be able to get the 2016 anyway. But I would be more than irritated about this if I had put money down on a pre-order.

The easy solution seems to be to just have one shipped to you from a dealership in one of the states where they will be selling the 2016 Volt.

Nobody’s walled these states off from the rest of the US yet that I know of….

I tried that and was told per their allocation agreement that they couldn’t sell to non-residents.

Ouch! That’s pretty evil. I had no idea they were doing that.


Just one more reason to hate the “stealerships”.

Well, if I was in the market for the Gen 2, I might as well just wait a few more months for a 2017 model. Not only would it have/offer more content, but the depreciation hit would be less than a 2016 model.

But I suppose some folks don’t care about that stuff, and would be happy just to drive the Gen 2 earlier than the rest of us.

In my case their decision screwed me. My 2013 lease is up in mid November and I was counting on getting the gen 2 at lease end but I found out that Ally will only extend the lease for 3 months. And each of those 3 months would be $70 more per month.

So that leaves me looking for a different car. I love my Volt but I’m sure as hell not going to buy or lease a gen 1 just months before the gen 2 comes out.

So, I am concerned about the possible depreciation of my about-to-be-purchased 2016 and now I’m hesitating. BUT I want to lock in my $7500 from the fed, and the California money, too. Plus I don’t care about that light citron green in the movie. And even if the charging is faster by a bit, it won’t matter since I will charge while I’m sleeping to take advantage of the EV charging rate.

That leaves me down to, do I wait for my cool new electric car so I can have adaptive cruise and Android Auto (not sure what that is yet). Hmmm.

I really think Chevy’s marketing of this car is a MESS. And on top of that they’re making me buy an Eco car, but I have to get LEATHER (think big, climate-changing methane-emissions) if I want all the fancy features. Are we missing the market motivation for the eco buyers here or what? Chevy needs to get it’s act together so they don’t alienate their most loyal customers. They seem to be trying to sink their own product here.

I’m unsure of what to do.

The fed often is slave for the Federal Reserve Bank – you mean the federal government and specifically the IRS.

A pretext, not an excuse.

Jay or anyone else in the know, Are there any examples of this happening in the past (ICE or EV)? Seems real strange to have effectively a 6 month run but i guess they have content that a supplier just couldn’t get to them in time and they didn’t want to abandon the markets they are currently doing OK in.

It’s called “pulling an Elon”.

Only qualifies if the vehicle is SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER after the delays.

In the case of the 2nd Gen Volt that was rushed to market; we shall see..

Maybe it will get a REAL 5th Seat? 😉


Off the top of my head:

2001.5 to 2002 Audi S4, where they sold only a few thousand of the updated S4’s, before switching to V8’s and a new chassis for the rest of 2002.

1964.5 Mustangs, built from March 1964 to July 1964. Slightly different than the 1965 Mustangs made after that.

Chevy Duramax LBZ. Less than 1 year of production from late 2006 to mid-2007 when the new body LMM took over.

Short production runs aren’t that rare.

Well, actually, it is rare – for a brand new vehicle.

I can give you another example too. Nissan Pathfinder.

What do all the examples have in common (for those in the past)?

They were all carried over model years, before switching to a new platform. Thus, these examples aren’t actually applicable to Volt’s latest development per se.

Actually the Mustang was the first year of production, not a carry over….

I wonder if it’s an attempt to get a jump-start on hitting some kind new CAFE standard for MY17…

I guess the question I have is what sort of “additional content” could cause GM to want to upgrade the car so soon? Is something in the car being discontinued, or some sort of supply chain disruption that prevents them from finishing out the MY? Is what they’re going to add so compelling it couldn’t wait until the MY is over in June, or conversely, couldn’t be rushed into the 2016s? It makes me eliminate things like new interior colors or paint colors. Small changes to the infotainment system or things like that. It needs to be big. My thought for “compelling” content would be an autopilot system. The Volt would be the ideal car to debut that on since it is supposed to be “futuristic”, the addition of sensors would require a MY change and probably a price increase, and the new base model would not have the AP option (think fleets). AP advancements are coming fast enough where it is reasonable to think that it wasn’t ready when they made the decisions in 2014 about whether or not to include it but in early/mid 2015 it became possible. They would probably debut such a system at CES in… Read more »

I think a non-AP version would appeal to way more than just fleet purchases. I sure wouldn’t pay extra to get it.

What sort of ‘additional content’?

It would be a scream if they took a page out of the VIA VAN and due to no doubt their agreement with SunCountryHighway who LOVES large charging docking stations, that they raise the standard charger from 3.3 to 6.6 and now 16 KW in the van model.

Since we’ve been told (since 2010) that the old Volt battery could withstand up to a 9.6 kw charge rate, it would be a scream if the volt could charge at 40 amps instead of the 15 amp limitation all GM products have currently.

SunCountryHighway, ClipperCreek, and Leviton (all who make 40 amp stations or better) are probably greatly encouraging this upgrade.

Probably depends on what Lear charges for a more beefy charger, and whether they want to offer it at least as an option. Hopefully, they’ll do better than 15 amps on the 203 mile Bolt. You’d think they’d at least want to offer “9 hour recharging” (requiring at least a 30 amp charger) of a BEV since high mileage drivers would need to completely recharge overnight.

Let’s ask ourselves the bigger question??
What forces are driving this decision?? You can bet it’s the competition coming out with far better products. For GM to be or stay competitive or even stay in the game… They must offer a like kind product at a competitive price! Chances are you will see even better range with the development of much better batteries at lower costs and necessities like power seats and sunroof and normal features most cars already offer. I believe we will also see lower prices to compete with other manufacturers and offer the discounts that volume sales will create.
Remember the winner of this race will offer a no brainier solution to a gas powered car with features and benefits and costs that will entice the average buyer!!
Until they do that…it is just a bricklin in the works and will never take off.

If one is looking to buy a new Volt they should just get a first gen. one. The simplicity and the brilliance of the single planetary gearset drivetrain still cannot be overstated. It has a primary el. motor that has serious power and power electronics and cooling systems that were overengineered and perform brilliantly. It also arguably looks better and is more cohesive in design. It is the only car that a single person, a couple, or even a family with a kid or two needs for short drives or long trips. It really only has one major flaw.

It was made by GM.

It also is lame at highway speeds, worse than a Prius.

Michael, my Volt is sitting right at 780 mpg, plus just $18 worth of electricity every month. Lets see a Prius do that. And the Volt is simply a much more fun car to drive. Prius isn’t even in the game.

so, is that about 20 bucks per 800 miles?

Electricity has gone up a bit in Northern Virginia this past couple years. I think it is closer to $21. 😉
But it is easier for me to use so little gasoline since I only drive my Volt a little under 800 miles a month. But now that I sold my 350Z it is going to be harder to keep the genset off. As soon as I take a local vacation my mpg will tank. I will be looking at just 700 mpg soon! The horror!

Seriously, though, it would be nice to be able to use regular unleaded like the Gen II can.

Ziv claimed:

“Michael, my Volt is sitting right at 780 mpg…”

So, if you put just one gallon of gas in your Volt, it can go 780 miles without refueling or recharging? Wow, that is great! …NOT.

As a reminder, “MPG”, or “miles per gallon”, is a measurement of how much fuel it takes to drive a gasmobile X number of miles. It is not repeat not a measurement of how many miles you can drive on electricity while avoiding using any gasoline.

It would be just as meaningful to claim that someone “gets infinite MPG” in his Leaf or Model S.

It’s a measure of gasoline *consumption* over miles traveled. Since the very specific main purpose of the Volt’s engineering was simply to reduce the driver’s gasoline consumption. The mpg number, big or small, merely informs the driver how much they are reducing their consumption compared to either their previous car, or another car they could have purchased instead. But some math is required. Let’s use vdiv as an example but keep the math simple. 780 mpg lifetime. Let’s conjecture (for the sake of easy math) that vdiv’s previous car was a very efficient hybrid Camry or a subcompact and average 39 mpg. Now divide 780/39 and you get 20. Vdiv’s previous car was cosuming 20 times the gasoline that the Volt is! Or conversly divide 39/780 and you get 0.05, or 5%. Vdiv’s Volt has consumed just 5% of the gasoline that the previous “economy” car would have to go the same lifetime miles. THAT’S how to use the Volt’s mpg, and why it’s inportant. Math is hard…thankfully, just driving the Volt is easy…and fun! 🙂

Push, I didn’t see this until November, but you obviously refused to read what I wrote and then went off on a tangent about half of what I wrote.

You wrote…

“Michael, my Volt is sitting right at 780 mpg…”

So, if you put just one gallon of gas in your Volt, it can go 780 miles without refueling or recharging? Wow, that is great! …NOT.

And conveniently left out the part where I said “…plus $18 worth of electricity”

What you said is a lie, I said I get 780 mpg plus I use $18 worth of electricity every month. I mentioned that my fuel bill every month is $21, of which $18 is electricity and $3 is gasoline.

I own a Prius and a Volt and there is no comparison. The Volt is much better on the highway. Especially when passing or changing elevation (i.e., climbing).

Mighty Mac, I, too, own a Prius and a Volt. You are absolutely correct.

I had the exact opposite experience test driving a volt on the freeway I did not feel safe not having enough acceleration in case I’d be in a sticky situation to get out of. Hopefully gen 2 will be better, but gen 1 was really not good.

I came from a 2008 Legacy GT Turbo…
My 2013 Volt has more than enough “get out of the way” power. When people ask me if it’s slow, I pass a semi on a 2 lane road and hit the speed limiter before I’m done. 101 to pass is plenty quick.

Michael Will wrote:”I had the exact opposite experience test driving a volt on the freeway I did not feel safe not having enough acceleration in case I’d be in a sticky situation to get out of.”

But you said Prius is better?

What a bunch of BS. Volt beat Prius in every category of acceleration. Maybe it is too quiet for you to notice or you are just a big fat lier.

Wait a sec: Were you in all electric mode or in extended “hybrid” mode? Because if you were test driving and in extended mode, if cruising at a constant speed (55 mph for example), a clutch will latch the engine through to the wheels. But if you suddenly want to accelerate (say to pass) there may be a slight lag (a quarter second at most) as the clutch has to disengage and revert to the series hybrid mode for full electric power (complete opposite of how a Prius works) Casual testers sometime mistake this slight but unfamilar unclutching delay as a lack of power, but it’s not rather only a slight delay akin to transmission shift but smoother. I assure you, once the engine unclutches, that 273 pound feet of torque gives more highway acceleration and power than the Prius ever can. Test the car again and you see what I mean. And again, I own both cars so I know both VERY well on the highway. The Volt is much safer on the highway or any road, which is why we only take it on long trips and leave the Prius at home.

I’m guessing he was in gas mode. The volt is a MUCH nicer car in electric mode, gas mode it’s meh (or maybe I’m spoiled by electric mode).

Dealers don’t seem to keep the cars charged, which is dumb (at least there were no charged volts when I did my test drive).

Had both a 2004 and then a 2006 Prius, then added a 2007 Camry Hybrid, but replaced the Camry Hybrid with a 2011 Volt, and at the end of that lease got a 2014 Volt. IMHO, even the 2011 Volt made the Prius seem like a “Model A” compared to a 21st Century design and operation vehicle. The ride of the Volt, IN EVERY SETTING, was superior to the Prius. Only in terms of seating 5 vs 4 was the Prius in any way as a “driver’s car” more desirable than the Volt. Sorry, but clearly you have not “lived with” both cars.

Yeah, I’ve driven a third gen. Prius quite a lot. It feels rather sketchy on the highway, quite unstable with soft and rolling suspension, weak sidewall tires, and oh yes, loud. I’d take the first gen. Volt any day under any circumstances. Never did I come to a “Gee, I need more power in this thing” moment.

Hopefully it doesn’t try to kill you like my Prius does. Whenever a front tire slips a little bit, it just drops power to zero before restarting. This is somewhat unsettling when you are pulling into traffic and hit some gravel!

From where did you get that misconception? A new myth I haven’t heard, how refreshing 😉 (before you answer, note that I have owned both vehicles for years) Also, note that the Volt (I) has 273 pound feet of electric torque, in all driving modes, up to 101 mph (governed) both on battery alone and when running in gasoline fueled mode. Now spec the Prius.

I read somewhere that the most traded in car when buying a Volt is the Prius. And guess what I’m selling in order to buy the Volt (yup, you guessed it.) I really like the Volt better for styling and lack of gasoline. Wish it had a lower entry for my dog in the back, and an actual 5th seat, but I am still excited to trade in my Prius (I call her “putt putt”) for the peppier, prettier, eco-friendlier Volt.

Vdiv, interesting, can you explain how the gen 2 Volt will be different in regards to the simplicity of the single planetary gear.

So…which serves consumers better?

Static Model Year Updates (Chevy)
Weekly Rolling Updates (Tesla)

Perhaps traditional car makers need to rethink how they handle model updates?

As I think about it, for a car maker to switch from model year updates to weekly rolling updates is no trivial mater…perhaps near impossible for most car makers considering the factory production and marketing/sales logistics that goes behind that…also the change in general “corporate culture” to make that work.

Yeah, I don’t see that happening. Corporate strategy for gasmobile makers is to use style changes and other unnecessary changes in a new model year as planned obsolescence, as a method of making each new year’s model look more desirable than last year’s.

Abandoning that strategy would be a seismic shift in the auto industry. Volkswagen did that decades ago with the classic Beetle; kept the same body style for decades. But I don’t think anyone else has done it for decades before Tesla started doing it. Heck, even the Beetle had subtle exterior changes in some model years.

+1 CDAVIS, I think the lack of year models for Tesla is the way to go. If you want to release a new major feature around the traditional Q3 launches of other brands for competitive reasons, so be it. You still don’t have to stamp it with a year model.

I think rolling updates make sense for new models. But for a more mature car, it makes sense (and would be lots cheaper) to keep major changes to the production line down to once a year.

I think it’s pretty easy to have rolling updates when your lineup consists of 1 car. I doubt Tesla will be as aggressive with rolling updates when they are offering 10+ vehicles in their lineup.

It’s also easier when most updates are software-based, like Tesla.

…further to Model Year Updates vs Rolling Updates…

Because model updates are iterational by nature (next innovation is on the back of the last innovation), there is then the compounding effect benefit of rolling updates vs model year updates. That delta iterational compounding benefit can become very significant over time…it’s a non-linear delta.

Einstein: “…the power of compound interest the most powerful force in the universe….”

Rolling updates make more sense when your distribution model is to have a waiting list, and build-to-order for each customer.

But it makes much less sense when your distribution model is to stock up thousands of dealerships with around 60 days (~8 weeks) worth of supply on their lots at any given time. Having multiple iterative versions of the same car on the lot at the same time would just confuse customers.

Good point. Even more reason it would make it difficult for traditional car makers to change to rolling updates…I guess they will be stuck with confines of model year updates.

I think its more “how bungled the 2016 launch stands to be”. People just buy the Tesla, because they don’t know what’s ahead. In this case GM is practically telling us what, and when.

GM cruise control is not like Tesla’s. ELR unhooks cruise, once below ~30mph. Tesla goes to a stop. ACC is also a ~$1,800 option in the ELR, if that makes anyone want to keep their 2016 Volt order.

If I was one of the people that put deposits down on a ’16 Volt, I’d be seriously reconsidering the purchase, unless GM were to come out and firmly lay out precisely what the “additional content” is that is being added to the ’17s, along with whether the ’16s would be able to have those features added down the road. Very weird situation.

Especially if one of the new features is a higher charging rate.

When I replaced my Infiniti G35 with a 2015 Volt September a year ago, my daughter asked why I wasn’t waiting for the 2016 generation 2 model? I told her I didn’t want to wait a year to kick gas. Looks like for us in Virginia the answer should have been I didn’t want to wait TWO years to kick gas.

GM scores yet another own goal in Volt marketing. Who will buy the new 2016 now that an improved 2017 is just a few months away?

Very odd, new battery manufacturer? What other upgrade/alteration would be worth putting out such a concern.

The said that the changes aren’t drivetrain related, so for me that rules out battery changes, motor changes, etc.

The engine or motor and batteries are not part of the drive-train.

The engine, motor, and batteries ARE the drive train. The only other part of the drive train is the transmission, and if they meant “no changes to the transmission” then they would have said that.

Parts of a Drivetrain
The drivetrain is comprised of a collection of components in a vehicle that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels/ drive it forward. These components include the driveshaft, CV joints, the differential, the axle shafts and the U-joints.


“The drivetrain of a motor vehicle is the group of components that deliver power to the driving wheels.[1] This excludes the engine or motor that generates the power”.

The Voltec concept kind of leaps out of the box regarding “drive train” definitions. If you stare at it one way, the Voltec transaxle is a CVT tranmission/trans axle, transmitting engine power from the engine,with planetary gearsconverting the engine RPM to a speed appropriate for the drive axles.

But there are electric motors right in the middle of the planetary gears! They can just change the transmission output “speed” like a CVT, or be the actual motive power source, or even be a “driven” device (a generator). So in some modes, it IS a drive train, in some modes, it IS a motor. In some modes, it IS a driven unit, and in some modes, it is all three. And in the Gen 1 Volt, it even was the engine starter motor (can the Gen 2 also start the engine, or does the engine have its own starter?). Makes your head spin.

Wikipedia also says: “In contrast, the powertrain is considered to include both the engine or motor and the drivetrain.”

Okay, here all this time I’ve been writing “drivetrain” when I meant “powertrain”. So noted.

You’re both right: the part of the car I was referring to is properly termed the “powertrain,” not the “drivetrain.” Nevertheless, if GM were to reveal significant changes to, say, the electric motors, and then turn back and say, “We only said there wouldn’t be changes to the [i]drivetrain[/i],” the blowback would be worse than having said nothing at all.

I would like to see the actual quote from GM. I’m wondering whether they used the word “drivetrain” or “powertrain.”

“The drivetrain warranty of a vehicle includes all of the parts that make the car run including: the transmission, engine and all other parts that convey the power from the engine to the wheels and from there to the ground.” (source linked below)

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Maybe whoever wrote that Wikipedia article is correct as far as the technical engineering definition of “drivetrain” vs. “powertrain”, but as used by the general public and as used by auto makers in their warranties, “drivetrain” includes the engine and transmission of a gasmobile.


Spider-Dan said:

“The engine, motor, and batteries ARE the drive train.”

That’s your opinion, not fact. Is a gasmobile’s gas tank part of the drivetrain? No, it’s not considered so. Perhaps GM looks at the battery pack the same way.

Now, I agree that in an EV, the battery pack ought to be considered part of the drivetrain, because power output depends on the battery pack. But I can certainly see that a legacy gasmobile auto maker might define things differently.

My first guess is that the delay in the Volt 2.0 is caused by LG Chem having so many orders for its new (and I presume lower price per kWh) battery cells; so many that it can’t completely fulfill all its orders. Of course that’s just a guess; it may well turn out that something else caused the delay.

I think it says a lot about the maturation of this community that we haven’t had any conspiracy theorists screaming foul.

I’m curious what GM is putting into the 2017 Volt. But I have a suspicion that Anthony is right when he mentions supply chain issues / part obsolescence. It’s far from “sexy”, and probably wouldn’t result in a noticeable difference for the consumer. But having to swap about an obsolete part for a new one is often no small matter.

Hoping against hope that they’ve figured out a way to modify the battery pack in order to flatten the rear seat floor.

That’s similar to hoping to use a roof rack on a Tesla Model X.

Indeed. Whatever belated change they’re gonna make to the Volt, it ain’t gonna involve anything as major as a change to the basic body. No full 5th seat, no flattening of the T-shaped battery pack.

Just bought the 2015 Volt. Glad I did now. I saved a bundle due to the model 2015 closeout. I love this car, and for a purchase price of $18K you can’t beat it.

What state do you live in that you got it for $18k?

Here in Northern CA, 2015 Volts were selling at $9K below MSRP. So, a MSRP of $35K less $9K discount less $7.5K Fed tax credit less $1.5K CA CARB rebate = $17K before sales tax and fees.

I could have got one for in the 17K range but I got the extra $500 red paint that I liked

Would you mention please the name of the dealer where you were able to purchase a 2015 for $17K ? Are there more available at this price ?


Is this post federal and state tax incentives and out the door?

See Kent’s price breakdown above

“Remain calm. All is well. ALL IS WELL!”

Kudos to Jay Cole.

It seems that it takes a lot of courage for a journalist to both ask the proper questions in response to an announcement like this, then leave them unanswered. Too many journalists of lesser caliber would have put in wild, ill-informed guesses instead.

I would have hoped that the “additional content” would be the option of a larger battery pack, but since (according to the article) GM says it is not related to the car’s drivetrain, I guess not. 🙁

Curiouser and curiouser, to say the least.

I’m not on the market for any car currently (thank the automotive gods), but if I were there’s no way I would buy a 2016 Volt (and yes, I’m in one of the 11 magic states) with all this uncertainty hanging over my head. I’d either wait for the 2017 reveal of both content and price of the 2017 Volt or buy something else now.

Still, I’m intensely curious about what this new content will be, and what other changes, possibly including price, will appear in just a few months.

One thing is certain: GM is conspicuously creative when it comes to finding novel ways of shooting themselves in the foot, reloading, and then taking aim at the other foot.

My speculation (i.e. I pulled this out of you-know-where) is that the reason is two-fold: 1. Shortly before this was announced, it was announced that the 2017 would be getting a US (Flint, MI) built engine from a recently completed factory versus the 2016 which gets an engine built in Mexico. If the engine/emissions system is basically the same (as far as the customer is concerned) but different enough (as far as the EPA is concerned) that it needs to be re-certified, etc., it might just be easier for GM to change the model year now rather than have two version of the 2016 model year plus a 2017 model year. Better to certify 2 cars than 3. 2. More simply and more speculatively, GM just might not have been able to meet their deadline to get everything they intended to into the 2016 (e.g. delayed Android Auto – possibly outside of their control) by the launch date. But they, of course, want to have it in there as soon as they can to sell more cars, so better to just have it in the new 2017 model year and that way there is no confusion to customers on whether… Read more »

No. 1. is what I think too.
No. 2. is possible as well.

This is one of the more level headed speculations I have seen in the last few days.
The sky is not falling. GM has said there are no drivetrain changes, which is the biggest reason to purchase a Volt.
So there are going to be some possible spec and trim changes. If that is important to you hold off. If you were happy with the spec of the 2016 when you ordered be grateful you’re getting it before the rest of the country.

I think it was a good idea for GM to come out and put an end to all the speculation and give a clear, succinct, answer as to why they are doing this.

“Additional content” does not mean “de-content” so I doubt it is a stripper model. However the stripper model at 29K is what they need…

no wait what they really need is to put this fabulous drivetrain in a car that has some interior room in it. What is wrong with GM. Even Mitsu, BMW and Audi have nice extended range SUV’s.

YES to a model with more interior room. A wagon please! Wagons make a lot of sense for electrics since the extended floor creates room to flatten out the battery pack to lower the CG and create more interior space.

:ahem: I think you mean “crossover” 😉

As in “Wagons” are undesirable, but look at our shiny new line of “crossovers”!

From one George to another…

Answer, YES, what the public needs is a Voltec drivetrain in a smaller CUV format, but THE problem is that this is “STILL GM” and the management is still some of the most myopic and hindsighted IDIOTS in the automotive industry. They are “a generation ahead” of anybody else” in terms of EREV technology and TOO STUPID to apply it to other formats (than the even more poorly considered ELR, priced WAY beyond any reasonable value).

Agreed whole-heartedly. I’ve felt the same way for a long time. Lutz kept saying that voltec was not scalable – now, I’m no expert, but his statement made absolutely NO damn sense! Bigger batteries, bigger engine, and you can do the exact same thing to a pickup, like VIA has been doing. GM has really dropped the ball.

It’s not new, though. GM was the first for heads-up displays in a production model a few decades ago, but cancelled it. They have a whole string of innovations that they developed, put into production, and then promptly squashed anywhere from 1 to 3 decades before everyone else made the same features popular. Makes no sense…something else is going on there…

Really hard to know the point where the costs of cannibalizing an ICE sale are outweighed by the growth in market share and reputation points. GM’s latest commercials do seem to fit selling Voltec as a premium option in the Equinox, Captiva or similar CUV/SUV. Space was our no. 1 issue.

I’m still glad I just read a direct GM quote, that said “EREV”.

The planned switch of engines from Mexico to Flint has been known since at least the January 2015 Volt reveal so this isn’t a sudden and unexpected change.

Jay wrote an article about it here in January but I won’t include a link since that will cause my posting to be held for moderator review.

I think you’ll find that comment posts to InsideEVs are automatically held for moderator review only if they contain 3 or more links. One or two seem to be accepted without delay. At least, that’s been my experience.

HybridCars has an article quoting a GM spokesman named Kevin Kelly:

“Changes to the 2017 Volt are minor. Kelly could only confirm that the 2017 model year will have one new color from the Disney Tomorrowland feature of the Volt, Citron Green Metallic. And, adaptive cruise control and Android Auto will also be made available for 2017 model year Volts.”

The Volt featured in Tommorrowland was blue.

the new Impala will be offered in Citron Green Metallic:

Not the nicest color to me. A nice dark metallic green would be an awesome addition in my eyes.

Well, I was in the market for a Volt this Fall. Now I think I’ll be waiting until Spring. By then, it will come down to a choice of which works better, the Outlander PHEV or the Volt? I think Outlander, but we may still decide to go with the Volt if we can convince ourselves we don’t need something like an SUV…yet.

unless you’re a collector… sounds like waiting time again… but alas no powertrain improvements… maybe updating ELR at same time… quicker ac charger would be def improvement.

I think all this press on the delayed launch casts GM in a somewhat negative light. As such, I’ve got to believe whatever they’re changing is more than some minor cosmetic changes.

The overall effect of this must also negatively impact sales of the 2016 as buyers, like me, will wait to see what has changed.

OMG!! There is a delay in production! GM is going to go bankrupt and shut its doors! Short GM stocks! The 2017 Volt is vaporware!

Ooops, my bad. I thought I was trolling a Tesla story….. Nevermind.


+1 Fair is fair

🙂 🙂 🙂

Thanks Nix, we needed that.

My guess is this is a last minute move designed to preempt or keep up with the competition in the near future. Likely it was prompted by new corporate intel that senior management decided to respond to aggressively.

Among other things, GM has now had many months to observe the undeniable success of Tesla in the marketplace…since auto manufacturing is a long lead time business, GM likely decided that it NEEDED to be more aggressive in rolling out new features as Tesla and most other credible manufacturers will gain serious momentum in 2017.

Regarding drivetrain…the battery is analogous to the gas tank and is therefore arguably not part of the drivetrain.

It could be reaction to the 2016 Leaf and Prius data that they have processed over the summer.

I don’t see either of those being a serious competitor to the Gen II Volt.

Why would GM hurry with such low fuel prices ? (and no likely price increase in the mid term). This might be part of the answer.

They are just pulling an Elon.

Regardless of the reason, this will put a dent in US plug-in sales this year. I think everyone was counting on a big Fall from the Volt. 10 state availability (only 1 large market CA) probably won’t cut it.

It will still be a substantial number of sales. California has long been the key state for Volt sales, with somewhere around 40-50% of sales being made in California.

Add in the rest of the extra states, and I’d say the majority of the Volt’s core sales regions will be supplied.

Keep in mind that you aren’t required to live in one of those states to buy a Volt. You can buy one from any of those states, if you are willing to fly or drive there, or to pay to have one shipped to your state.

I think there will still be a “big Fall” for 2016 Volt sales. But I suspect 2016 Volt sales will be back to being supply limited, regardless of the limit of which states they are supplying.

Utterly disagree with your prediction. There are several things against future Volt sales in CA. In fact, there are several things against CURRENT Volt sales already!

(1) Green HOV stickers gone…?
(2) New lower CA rebates toward Volt purchase.
(3) New (potential) fees for Volt purchase by CA Gov’t.
(4) Very low CA gas prices.
(5) LOTS MORE CHOICES from BMW, Audi, VW, MB, etc. Remember, CA is NOT domestic brand friendly at all.

Oh, and did I mention low gas prices? CA is very fond of trucks/SUV sales too, in case you didn’t realize 😉

“(1) Green HOV stickers gone…?

Not Gone. Got renewed.

(2) New lower CA rebates toward Volt purchase.

Not lower, unless you make more than $250k or $500k for couple per year. In that case, I doubt it matters.

(3) New (potential) fees for Volt purchase by CA Gov’t.

Hasn’t happened yet.

(4) Very low CA gas prices.

$3/gallon. Still more expensive on per miles basis with 55mpg Prius than a Volt at $0.16/kWh. Just barely.

(5) LOTS MORE CHOICES from BMW, Audi, VW, MB, etc. Remember, CA is NOT domestic brand friendly at all.

But it is PEV friendly state.

Agreed. GM is likely playing a numbers game wrt/ CA Regs to maximize their CA ZEV Credits earned.


As I speculated (and now confirmed here) on another forum, I think this change is directly in response to the Prius feature set. Specifically ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) in response to Prius’ equivalent.

Why can’t they do that in the same MY?

They priced the Volt-1 @ 41K with a range of 35 miles and disrupted the product.

Now GM has come up with an innovative idea to disrupt Volt-2 sales. Its by restricting the product to few states.

I will wait for Tesla Model-3 since that’s the company wholeheartedly willing to sell EVs.

I am willing to bet it is 6.6kW charging…

Could also be lowered starting price to $29.995k…