General Motors Officially Confirms Future 200-Mile Pure Electric Car


 2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt

If you’re not a prominent General Motors investor, then you (like us) had to sit on the sidelines for this one.

Yesterday, at the General Motors’ investor meeting, it was officially revealed that a new pure electric Chevrolet is in the pipeline.

Per the Detroit Free Press:

“Investors got a sneak peek at the vehicles on the condition they not take photos with their phones. Media were allowed to listen to an audio feed of the presentation without video.”

You’ll find none of the following details in General Motors’ “Strategic Plan,” nor will you find it in the pair of PDFs (PDF 1  –  PDF 2) associated with the Plan.  Rather, it only exists in comments made by Mark Reuss, GM’s global product chief.

Reuss confirmed rumors that Chevrolet will launch a new pure electric car in the not-so distant future.  This, of course, does not include the already-available Spark EV, but rather that much-hyped 200-mile electric car that has been reportedly shown earlier to focus groups (most likely Chevy Sonic based).

As for specific details, none exist right now:

“A GM spokesman declined to provide details on the timing or name of the battery-only vehicle.”

The goal, according to GM executives, is to offer a 200-mile electric car at a price of approximately $30,000 by 2016 or 2017.

As for the next-gen Chevy Volt, Reuss only stated that it will “leap-frog” the competition.  Not sure what that implies as the Volt has no competition, but it’ll be improved nonetheless.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Categories: Chevrolet


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171 Comments on "General Motors Officially Confirms Future 200-Mile Pure Electric Car"

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When you look at the post-2017 layout, who would want to buy a Sonic-sized 200 mile EV from GM for $30,000 vs a $35,000 200 mile EV in the mid-sized sedan range from Tesla?

I think if GM hits the 30K price point, Tesla has room to move up in price to 40K or more. If GM comes in below 30K (25 or so) then there is enough of a price difference between GM and Tesla.

Without knowing anything about the Model 3, it’s hard to compare.

We know something about Tesla Model 3 that it should be _better_ than Audi A4 Quattro and BMW 328i. This is actually quite a lot!

$30,000 – $7,500(tax credit) = $22,500
1 year ahead of the Model 3.
I’d buy one.


Given Tesla’s virtually guaranteed delay in producing the Model 3, GM may beat Tesla to market by 2 or 3years.

A $22.5k or less EV (additional state incentive) with a 200 mile range is a compelling vehicle.


This assumes that GM will meet its own timeline 🙂

And somehow people are forgetting the Gen 2 Leaf which is reasonably likely to beat both to market.

It seems to me that as soon as better batteries are available it is going to be a lot easier for VW to stick them into their E-Golf than it is for Tesla to design and build their first mass market mid-priced car or for GM to do a total new design.

I agree that GM/VW/Nissan have some natural advantages, IF they keep the desire to do this.

There is no question that Tesla is 100% committed to a long range BEV. The Model 3 is a priority. It will happen, albeit with significant delays (that’s just how Tesla does things).

My guess is that GM and Nissan are also committed to the technology. However they have competing interests that might overshadow their BEV programs, at least in the short/medium term. Not everyone at GM agrees with what Bob Lutz was doing… and the same with Carlos Ghosn at Nissan.

Who will win? Those with absolute dedication? Or those with the ability but split priorities?

I’ve spent time over the last five years or so debating with those who claimed that German automakers in particular were not ‘committed’ and would not even actually build any BEVs, and perhaps not any PHEVs.

It was always obvious that they would, as they were sinking billions into it.

Now the case is beyond doubt, and not seeing what is coming down the track is like not noticing an 18-wheeler with headlights on coming straight at you.

Sure, all the companies except Tesla will continue to build ICE, and they are all, whatever the nay-sayers think about them, going to produce FCEVs.

Apart from the fuel cell stack and ancillaries though, that is an electric car through and through, with the rest of its parts in common with a BEV or PHEV.

So the only way, in my view, that the big companies are ‘distracted’ is that they are offering umpteen options with different levels of electrification, so that for instance by the due date, if it is not delayed, of the Model III the VW group alone, not counting Audi, will have perhaps a dozen PHEV and BEVs on the road.

VW group was initially saying that electric cars were dumb and that Diesel was the ‘clean energy solution’.

Tell that to London’s Children.

Now we’re told everyone wants Fuel Celled vehicles, especially by Toyota. I would doubt that, especially in the US.

CNG (and in some states, LNG, but not in NYState since currently it is illegal to have an LNG filling station in NYS although LNG vehicles may pass THROUGH NY State) seems to be far more viable, especially if home refuelers start to take off. GM’s introduction of the Chevrolet Impala in 2015 will add a large number of CNG vehicles to the current mix already quietly being added to the country due to low cost methane in the states, and especially with GREEN GROUPS like “CLEAN CITIES” going absolutely GAGA over them.

But there just might not be enough area in that eGolf for a decent sized long-range battery. That could be a big downside for VW. With Tesla’s designs being a long-range EV from the ground-up, they optimize the design for the batteries.

IMO VW designed their cars specifically with the capacity to handle Volt-like AER as soon as the better energy batteries that it was clear were coming when they did the design were available.

Higher energy density by definition means that they will be able to put more into the same size package, so that their ~22 miles AERR should increase to 35-40 miles.

Dave, perhaps you shouldn’t post at 4:30 in the morning. You’re not making coherent sentences. How’s the hooch, btw?

I imagine Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Honda, VW and Audi will also have competitive 200 mile EVs by the end of 2017 as well. Let’s see who has the scale to make them the cheapest, and be most willing to cross-subsidize this model from their other profitable cars.

I’d count out any company committed to hydrogen, which includes Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota. Toyota openly scoffs at BEVs (I know you didn’t mention them), and Honda has been doing the H2 thing for a while.

All the companies except Tesla have made it clear that they are going to produce hydrogen cars.
Other than the fuel stack and ancillaries they are electric cars for engineering purposes, with the parts in common.

I doubt it. If they are not working on them right now then they won’t have one ready by 2017. And many of those companies are far too enamored with FCVs right now.

Unless, of course, they’re talking about $30k after tax credit.

Given that the Volt cost $40k at launch, and still costs $35k, I don’t know how they can fit 3x the battery for less than that. The Volt’s 1.4L non-turbo engine can’t cost more than a few grand, given that it’s found in the overseas Chevy Sonic (the engine in the US $14k base Sonic is actually bigger).

Of course, GM could surprise us with a $30k Volt, also.


Funny, this announcement comes just the day after Tesla’s “D” tweet for next week.

Actually, that announcement came a couple of hours before Tesla’s tweet, and it was prepared most likely weeks in advance.

Yes, you’re right.

I love the idea that GM is in some way slicker and more media savvy than Tesla. The internet is alive talking about the model “D” which is likely to be the much talked about double motor right when GM wants everyone talking about the next gen volt and the 200 mile BEV. Not to mention that VW is bring in the golf, the i3 is just getting going and Porsche is about to launch the first plug in SUV.

What ever you think about Tesla (I am personally a big fan) they are not some wimply little start up that gets picked on by the bigger companies.

GM lists the Volt on their web site with after Federal tax rebate, so the reference to $30k, may really mean $37.5k.

I suspect this is right.

That is untrue, because when Sonic enters to markets, Federal Tax Credits have long time since expired. When GM sells more than 200 000 Chevy Volts and Sparks cumulatively, then Federal Tax Credit no longer applies.

But $30 000 is reasonable with LG Chem’s new batteries that have almost the same cost structure as with Tesla’s Panasonic batteries. It is still quite hefty overpriced and it is hard to see how it could compete with ICE cars and Tesla 3 and Nissan Infiniti LE

No one is even close to the 200,000 car limit.

Tesla will surpass it around 2017. Of course it is possible that others cannot keep up with Tesla.

Yeah, sign me up too.

Yes I would look at one also. our 2011 Leaf needs to be replaced.

Given everything I know about these two cars, I’m going to guess that the GM will be $5000 cheaper, but will come with CCS and not Supercharging (although that’s technically not out of the question). However, given GM’s stellar job engineering the Volt and Spark EV compared to the issues Tesla has had with reliability, I would seriously consider the 200-mile GM car. Combine that with the fact that GM has a much better chance of survival for the next 10 years, and that significantly more people trust GM than even know about Tesla, and there will be a large market for their car.

The other competitor will be the 2nd gen Leaf, arriving the following year. The Leaf is larger, but will likely have less range (150 versus 200 miles). On the other hand, it will have CHAdeMO which today significantly outnumbers CCS in availability. That is unlikely to change in the next 2-3 years, but we could be surprised now that GM has real skin in the game.

Put the enthusiast crowd aside. A $30k car with 200 miles of range is clearly aimed at the mainstream.

CHAdeMO will die out. It is an inferior connector since it is only designed for DC. No other car manufacturer wants to install two charging ports on their car, for several reasons. So CHAdeMO is out of the question.

I hope NISSAN will go towards CSS or even Tesla Mennekes connector, since they are much more versatile. But aside from that the next gen Leaf will probably be a very good contender for selling the best among EV’s when it comes out.

I don’t think it’s inferior, but I would like the standards war to end peacefully. I would be ok with CCS winning out and the next gen Leaf being CCS, IF all the Chademo L3’s were retrofitted for CCS.

As I understand it, a CCS-Supercharger adapter would be a simple thing to produce. Ideally though I think we’d all like to see Tesla’s system win out and become the standard.

+1 for the Tesla standard to win!!!

“only designed for DC”

You are aware that generally batteries are DC, right? Its why that little duracell has + and – signs on either side?

The Kia Soul can handle the 100kw CCS standard, even though it only has a 27kwh battery pack, which gives it a charging rate of 4C.

The LG Chem pack, also presumably NMC chemistry, should handle the 2C charge rate needed to use a 100kw charger for its ~50kwh battery pack easily.

The several companies using the CCS standard will have little or no difficulty rolling out a comparable network to the Tesla supercharging one as soon as they have cars both needing it and capable of handling it.

I said nothing about charge rates – both CHAdeMO and CCS max out around 100kW. The difference is inconsequential in my mind.

I have no doubt that a CCS network could be rolled out quickly. I have doubts that it will happen in the next 2-3 years.

However, once the next generation of cars hits the streets, there starts to become a business case for business owners to install their own quick chargers. I’m thinking that convenience stores, fast food, and cafes will all be wise to consider quick chargers – they will have a captive audience for 20-30 minutes. I really think that this infrastructure chasm is just as important (if not more so) for us to cross if we ever hope to move to a pure EV solution. Without instructure, we will be perpetually stuck with EREVs for those occasional long trips.

There are around 18,000 CCS chargers in the US.
Building around ~1% of that number as fast chargers to match the Tesla supercharger numbers with several companies using that standard would appear to be a minor problem.

CCS map?

Either you have Level 2 and Quick charging confused in your mind, or you are missing the implied difference in my post.

The 18,000 “CCS” ports you refer to are almost all 240Vac. They can nominally go up to 80A, but most are limited to 32A. This is a mere 7kW.

What I am referring to when I say “CCS” is the quick-charge portion of that combined charging standard, not the 240Vac. I apologize if that was unclear, since technically both 240Vac and Quick DC are part of the combined charging standard.

If that was not your confusion, you are kidding yourself if you really believe all of those 240V / 32A “CCS” ports can easily be upgraded to 100kW DC ports. In the former, the charger is in the car and the EVSE simply provides AC from the grid. In that latter, the charger is outside the car, and converts the power to the current and voltage requested by the car. The amount of hardware at the installation is orders of magnitude more.

I’m not talking about upgrading anything, nor do I have charging standards confused.

I simply noted that the required numbers of CCS 100kw fast chargers needed to match the number of Tesla fast chargers is only around 1% of the number of slower CCS chargers already installed.

So this new build would seem not to present any great problem especially considering that the issue is as much about digging out a trench to take the cables, independently of how much power is required.

So all I am saying is that this new build is far less challenging than building out the 100 times greater number of slower CCS chargers already about.

Fair enough. The main part of the electrical infrastructure (i.e. the grid) has existed for some 100+ years. We are just talking about running the last 100′ to the parking spot. Where you lost me was referring to the L2 EVSEs as “CCS”. While not incorrect, this was not at all how I was using the term, hence the confusion. I thought you were implying that we could just upgrade 1% of the existing L2 EVSEs and be done. Again, I will state that rolling out a robust CCS QC network would be rather straightforward. It would be no harder than Tesla’s supercharger network, and yes, possibly easier than the existing L2 network. My concern is over who is going to pay for it. I don’t see any indication that the CCS consortium of automakers will bond together and build out a cross-continental network. I do think that the plethora of cars hitting the road in the next 4-5 years will give ample incentive to entrepreneurs who want to attract EV drivers to their business. Once we get to that point, the momentum will really start to build. I hear that 100 years ago, Ford was building gas stations. Today,… Read more »

The electric car market is far more developed than when the first infrastructure with slow chargers went in.

It is an obvious business opportunity as more cars able to use fast charge come out, and the numbers of slow chargers are so massively in excess of the needed fast chargers that some of them will be in the right place to be upgraded by sheer coincidence, although I don’t know how much that will save.

It also seems perfectly possible that the not very great expense of doing the underground work needed to allow upgrades of the above ground station to 100kw when they are needed will be undertaken in some of the stations being built now.

The German, Korean and Japanese companies are well used to strategic planning, as in their home countries the governments require it.

If they need to I think they will ensure that adequate fast chargers are built.

The numbers and costs are so inconsiderable that I can’t see how it can possibly be an obstacle.

18,000 fast chargers on the CCS standard (25-100 kw)? Document that statement.

Would you buy a $ 30,000 all electric Buick Verano with a 200 mile range? It is built on the same assembly line as the Sonic.

I think a Buick Encore would be popular.

now you have my attention! I would love a 200 mile Encore! I would buy before it became available!

or a 200 mile Chevy Trax!

So do I

They need to do some aerodynamic work on it first. Get rid of the grille. Get rid of some of the unnecessary non-smooth shape. Try to reduce the vacuum effect in the rear.

If they could do that, then it could be a hugely successful EV.

Would GM lose a sale, of an ICE Verano, to quite possibly subsidize the sale of a 60kwh BEV Verano? Don’t hold your breath.

I doubt the buyer of the 60Kwh Verano would even consider the ICE version.

Are we sure the Tesla Model 3 will really be MID-sized and not compact?

If the Model 3 is competing with 3 Series, it will be classified as “compact executive.”

Can you personally guarantee Tesla can even come out with a $40K base model let alone a $35K model? There is no definable details on any base model (without interesting options) for a $35K model and nobody at Tesla has stated it would be $35K for quite a long time now – and when stated, many times, it included support by the incentive tax credits.

It’s true they haven’t mentioned $35k in a while, but I do remember them specifically being asked if they meant pre-tax credit or post-tax credit, and they specifically said pre tax credit.

I recently paid almost $27K for a Spark sized (smaller than the Sonic) sub 100 mile EV from GM. I choose this over the Tesla Model 3 in large part because the Tesla Model 3 does not yet exist.

More EV’s coming to market is a good thing. This gives consumers more choice and the competition helps push the prices down.

To suggest that this is a pointless endeavor because of the Model 3 seems very premature. There seems to be an assumption that the Model 3 will have the build quality and features of the Model S which seems unlikely to me if they are to meet their target price. Once the Model 3 becomes available, then and only then can it be compared to anything.

We chose the Spark over the Leaf in part because my wife wanted a SMALLER car so the Spark was a better choice for us. If we lived outside of the Spark’s sell states, then the Leaf would have been a better choice than the Spark because the Spark would not have even been an option.

As an American I demand my right to buy something before it exists.

LMAO. good one

Typically wrong headed American attitude.

As an Englishman I feel entitled to inherit something which no longer exists.

The Spark EV is a really nice car. It is pretty small but has great performance and is pretty inexpensive.

Tesla doesn’t move up in price when there’s room, or the S would be $150,000. Tesla pushes the industry forward as hard and fast as they possibly can.

You’re right about that! and not to mention Tesla has charging infrastructure where GM and all others pretty much have none.

General Motors must get their marketing straightened out, with a decent looking, 200+ mileage vehicle or else Tesla will finish them off for good. Too bad as GM has made some fantastic cars.
2017 will be the model year that will unfold as a battleground, as never seen before!
Bring it on folks!
Bill Lediard

It’s more then that – they have to *want* to sell the vehicles. I’m in Ontario, Canada, and I spent a month trying to buy a Spark EV … even found a new one on a lot in Quebec, but the 3 dealers I visited near by all got the same answer from GM – you’re not authorized to sell that, nor service it. I finally gave up on GM – they clearly don’t want my $30+K – then last week I heard about the Kia Soul EV – they *want* to sell these cars – in only a few days, I’ve gotten one on order and am looking forward to seeing it mid/late November. GM’s loss, Kia’s gain.

As for the next-gen Chevy Volt, Reuss only stated that it will “leap-frog” the competition. Not sure what that implies as the Volt has no competition, but it’ll be improved nonetheless.

My sentiment exactly.
Maybe BMWi3 REX or Prius Plug-In or Leaf?


A pogo-stick fitted at each corner should fill the design brief….:-)

The Volt competes with the Prius Plug-in and the BMW Rex but not the Leaf.

Bull. I cross shopped the Volt and Leaf. Whenever I’m asked about my Leaf and someone brings up the concern of range / lack of infrastructure, I point them at the Volt.

Ultimately the Volt lost my sale because of the tiny trunk (with seats up – I have two kids so seats down is meaningless to me) and the liability of a gas engine.

An amusing observation… You chose the Leaf over the Volt, in part because of “the liability of the gas engine” whatever that means (I presume maintenance, oil changes, etc.)

I chose the Volt over the Leaf, in part because of the REliability of the gas engine. To take me as far as I need to go after my battery runs out. 🙂

That’s exactly what I mean. Since the Volt cannot replace my long-distance family hauler due to lack of trunk space, it only has to provide local driving (commuting, errands, etc). Therefore, the gas engine would have to be run periodically for maintenance and serviced as well.

The Leaf functions even better than the Volt at these tasks (for me) because it has a larger trunk. It is also easier on my back when loading/unloading the kids from their car seats.

By the way, from previous discussions it seems like you bought the Volt less for the “REliability” of the gas engine in day-to-day operation and more because you occasionally drive hundreds of miles to visit family.

I bought my Volt because I needed a practical hauler (just picked up about 800 feet of 200 amp service 4 wire cable), and I needed a car that is easily, quickly refilled on long trips, but was basically an electric car (which it is, since Volts are driven more miles electrically than are typical Leafs).

Even my Tesla service dude, who at 27 drives more electric motor cycles (a zero, plus a homemade conversion) than gas cars personally, told me his next car will most likely be a used Volt. The volt is in the very unique position of having the likelyhood of longevity, since neither the battery nor engine are overly stressed.

I shopped both. The Leaf felt roomier, had a more usable trunk, longer AER, was cheaper, and was not a GM product. WIN times 5.

The Volt can do roadtrips is what I thought. Great – except it is too small for me and my family on road trips.

That’s exactly what put me in a LEAF. Whenever I’d be driving hundreds of miles, I’d need five seats.

The next gen volt sounds interesting, since it is rumored to have five seats.

It has plenty of competition. Like every other PHEV out there.

The BMW i3 Rex competes directly with the Volt.

Most buyers can’t tell the difference between a PHEV and an EV with Range Extender.

I’d LOVE it if the Volt could leap frog the i3’s 72-80 mile AER.

Hopefully, you’re not on medication. “Competing directly” – doesn’t mean: loaded Volt, you start negotiating with the dealer at $35,000 and don’t expect to pay as much. You go to the BMW dealer for a loaded i3 and start negotiating at $56,000 and are told they are new and scarce ( they’re not! ) and they really don’t negotiate much. So how is this a “direct competitor?”. i3 goes a half hour on the freeway after it’s charge is depleted and has to pull off for a gas tank fillup which will get you one half hour more down the highway. Or, you can sit at a charging station or go home and charge. The Volt? In a Chevrolet Volt, you deplete your drive battery ( I regularly get 50 miles range in hilly Seattle during Spring and Summer temperatures ) and never ever, ever worry about the i3’s above predicament. You-me, we hate gasoline. But we don’t live in a world filled with affordable 250-mile EVs either. So practical need is much better met with a Volt – with a fueling station on every block. Volt is so much better planned out to meet the needs of AN ONLY… Read more »

perhaps somebody needs to relax a little instead of completely bashing a comment.

Of course the i3 REx is a direct competitor to the Volt. Your irrational arguments and FUD about the i3 are getting tiresome.

@Mtn. Ranger.

Point out even one “irrational” argument before you name call, OK?

Your passion for i3 is authentic, but your griping is equally tiresome. Why? Because you don’t offer any facts. At least others try to state facts, even if they are just their own experiences on a BMW dealer lot. One mention of a “$47,000 ReX” seen on a dealer lot didn’t seem to mesh with my statement of “a loaded Volt and a loaded i3”.

Yet give more weight to their comments because at least they have points to make.

James: There’s no question that the BMW comes at a price premium to the Volt. But it’s not an insane premium. It’s not like we’re comparing a Leaf to a Tesla. I just went and looked at the BMW i3 a few weeks ago. There were 7 at the dealer. Most were $43k to $47k. Only one was $53k. I think the cheapest Range Extender one was around $46-47k, can’t remember. They were more than willing to be talked down on price. Today they have 4 left. Three for $43k (I don’t think they have Rex) and the $53k one remains. I thought the $47k i3 was very comparable to the $37k Volt. $10k is a lot of money I guess, but in the grand scheme of things it isn’t so bad I have talked to many people who have cross shopped the Volt and the i3. I like both for different reasons. I personally would have bought the i3 if it had normal tires and if it were FWD or AWD… or if I lived in a non-snowy area. For ME, the i3 was a better option (if it were FWD/AWD and had different tires) because I value 72-80… Read more »

Have ya looked at the Mercedes Benz B-Class Electric? 😉

Points well taken, JRMW. Unlike folks like Mtn. Ranger who just seems to have passion for i3, but calls me “irrational”, you make some points worth considering. I appreciate that.

I still can say that if you re-read my commentary, I said a “loaded” Volt vs. a “loaded” i3 – and, of course, we’d be comparing i3 ReX to a Volt. All things considered, you still have to admit that i3 is a limited commuter car and Volt is not. I appreciate the Leaf-esque all-electric range of the i3, but with or without it’s range-extender, it’s still a commuter car with those limitations. My point is not only is Volt ( $10,000 is a lot of money for many people )less money, but really has no limitations compared to an ICE car. Both i3 and Volt v.1 seat 4 – and that is a limitation that is shared by both.

* A quick scan of shows me numerous examples of a “loaded” i3 ReX at dealers from $56,000 and up.

I don’t think the next gen Volt will have this much range. The “leapfrog” comment was made with respect to the battery technology, not the car.

Volt’s direct competitor would fall in the Prius Plug-In, Ford Fusion Energi, Ford C-Max Energi area.

Arguably, the Volt already leapfrogs those vehicles due to their 20-ish mile all-electric capabilities. The only perceivable challenger on that count would be the fourth-gen Prius, with the Plug-In model being the only one that will have an all-electric ability to compare to.

Ruess means that future Volt will compete directly with PIP, Fusion and C-Max Energis by seating 5 and trumping them in all-electric range. We know there will be two Volt models in 2016 – it seems the lower-priced Volt will directly vie with Prius Plug-In, and the upper-echelon Volt will smash it AER ( All Electric Range )-wise.

So what is there to wonder about?

Look for my comment below as to how/why anyone would compare i3 with Volt and call it a “direct competitor”.

* My i3 comment is above.

can you provide a link on how you “know” there will be two versions of the Volt? I thought it was just speculation…

For what its worth, my Chevrolet dealer told me the 2016 will have 40 mile range standard, and an additional 10 miles (50 total) battery optional at extra cost. How much the added battery will impact trunk space was unknown.

and my dealer told me that the 200 mile range EV was another option for the Volt. not sure I trust their responses.

I would quote a Volt forum member who spoke ( at his own risk ) about a GM focus group he attended where they were shown images of both – one comment he made was that Volt 2 has “more conventional taillights, more like a Camry than his current Volt” . I’ve noticed these comments seem to have been taken down….hmmm… He also stated that there implicitly was going to be two Volts at two pricepoints. You can believe that or not, I don’t care. To me – it’s a perfect strategy to go against Prius and PIP. You’ll hit Prius hybrid buyers and PIP buyers with two different pricepoints and gas-saving strategies. What is disappointing ( but could be a smokescreen ) is GM’s recent downplay of Volt as a “halo, not unlike Corvette”. I know things because I’m a geek, OK? I read a lot and I research a lot. For instance, I know Volt v.2 has an eight inch screen placed in a similar spot to the current one on the center stack, but more angled. Not sure about paddle shift ( ELR ) regen, but Volt v.2 definitely has an ELR-like shifter on the console, much… Read more »

*It’s also well shown ( several spy photos from more than one source ) that Volt v.2 has ( at least ) one version with three-across seating in back.

The Volt has lots of competition but most of it isn’t very good. There is:
-Toyota PiP (much too small of a battery and can’t drive fast w/o gas)
-Ford Fusion Energi (Very nice, could use a larger battery)
-Honda Accord PHEV (overpriced)
-Ford CMAX Energi (decent, could use a bigger battery)
-Cadillac ELR (LOL)
-BMW i3 with REx. (pretty nice but expensive, small, and kinda weird looking)

Faster Please!

The big question still remains: will there be 2 versions of the Volt?……but the article is about a 200 mile EV from GM.

Sounds good to me and the price point sounds like head to head competition with the long range Leaf.

I must say I’m not to thrilled about it being a sonic though….that reeks of too much cheap……but we don’t know about that yet so IT’S ALL GOOD.

Keep on chublin’

My guess is it will be as much as an “electric Sonic” and the Volt is an “electric Cruze”. They may be based on the same platform, but GM isn’t stupid – they will make the car feel like a $30k car and not a $15k econobox.

If my 2014 Volt is anything to go by it will feel a lot like the Sonic. My Volt has so many squeaks and rattles it sounds like a 20 year old Mexican taxicab!

Good point on 2 versions of the Volt. I was reading an article the other day on the new Cadilac CT6 which also will be built at Hamtramck. It mentioned GM is retooling the plant to build 3 vehicles with Volt tech. I figured 2 would be the Volt and ELR no clue on the 3rd.

Good input pete g.

If the top of the line Volt turns out the way I think it will I’ll be movin’ on up.

more AER and a turbo 3

sign me up

I would let Cadillac take the lead with great looks, proper space for 4 adults, powerful AWD, wire-less charging option with the purpose being to drive around town in bliss, only having to charge at home overnight. This luxury BEV could satisfy all your around town driving desires and have a special Cadi rental program for out of town trips. If you can’t seat 4 in a Cadi comfortably, then you should build a 200 mile BEV Corvette with the same purpose JMO.

Corvette is working on a mid engine design. Take out the engine there is a lot of room for batteries.

There were rumors that GM is working on a hybrid Vette.

Make it a mid engine ‘vette with an electric front axle.

I’d sell my soul to the devil for that one!!

no clue on the 3rd.

An SUV or CUV with AWD is highly likely IMO.

The question is.. and I always ask the same question about Tesla when they talk about a $30,000 vehicle.. Is that before or after federal incentives?

Two points: Federal Tax Credit expires when company sells more than 200 000 electric cars. Both Tesla and GM are on their way to sell cumulatively 200 000 electric cars by 2016–2017.

Second point is that Federal Tax Credit does apply only in United States and both Tesla and GM are INTERNATIONAL companies that are selling cars to INTERNATIONAL markets.

I thought the 200,000 units sold benchmark was per model not per manufacturer. And then it is phased out in stages starting the quarter AFTER it hits 200,000. So if it hits 200,000 units sold in Jan, phase out stage one starts in April when credit drops 50%.
Can anyone confirm?

Hey Mike,

Its 200,000 per manufacture, not model. So once GM sells 200k of the Volt, ELR, Spark EV, Sonic-sized 200 miler, it starts to phase out.

Here is how the phase out works (via IRC 30D directly

“The qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit phases out for a manufacturer’s vehicles over the one-year period beginning with the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009) (“phase-out period”). Qualifying vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer are eligible for 50 percent of the credit if acquired in the first two quarters of the phase-out period and 25 percent of the credit if acquired in the third or fourth quarter of the phase-out period. Vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer are not eligible for a credit if acquired after the phase-out period.”

Psst, GM, you could also offer a $50k 200+ mile BEV you know, as long as it is a nice car that sits people comfortably with storage space, as in a crossover. Just sayin’…


The actual quotes just say its a new pure EV and that the GM officials talking refused to give any further details. So a 200 mile range EV was NOT officially confirmed. A new EV, without a specified range or price, was confirmed.

You got it. All that’s been confirmed is a new EV. Mark Reuss spent about 5 seconds on it and have no details at all.

I bet there was SOMEONE at the meeting that took snuck a picture.


I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall. I don’t bother asking my engineering friends at GM anymore because I know they can’t talk about anything.

Did you checkout the PDFs linked above? Some interesting info in there. What are “true view” mirrors?

I took a marketing research survey for an undisclosed manufacturer (probably GM), about what options I was interested in, how much I’d pay for them, etc, etc. This was one of them. It’s a rearview “mirror” that instead uses an LCD display from a wide angle camera on the rear, so you don’t see headrests.

Ah, so it is a camera. When you Google true-view mirrors, you get some interesting results, lol.

Automakers need to get together and eliminate the side mirror requirement. Allow them to be replaced with cameras and LCD displays. That will save millions of dollars of gasoline/electricity by getting rid of that drag.

EVs and PHEVs have less than 1% of the market. None of these cars compete against one another, all are fighting to stay alive. So can we stop the hate. I know many of you have been brainwashed all your lives into hating American cars especially GM, and somehow imports are superior. I am old enough to remember Datsun a car so bad the company had to change its name. Today they make good cars the Leaf is one of them.

Don’t forget Hyundai and Kia.

Hyundai was junk up through the 90’s, until their new CEO introduced the 10 year warranty. Now Hyundai is on par with and arguably better than Toyota/Honda

And Kia has improved markedly ever since Hyundai took them over.

Both brands now have quality luxury sedans, which would have been laughable just 15-20 years ago.

I hadn’t considered GM for decades. But I’ve gone several times to look at the Volt. And it’s fantastic.

Hyundai-Kia yes both cars are nice, and well worth the money, but I wouldn’t call them Luxury. In 10 years they will be on thier way to the junk yard while true Luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, Cadilac, Lincoln & Audi will look like you just drove them off the lot.

Uh. You got the Datsun story wrong. Nissan thought they would fail in competition with VW in the 60s when they wanted to break into the U.S. market. So they chose to use a name from a previously aquired company whose name they retired in the 50s… Datsun. So if they failed at success in the American market, then it wouldn’t tarnish the nissan name.

Datsun was a huge success. The 240z was named car of the decade by numerous publications. The truck and 510 were also successful.
The problem then was that Honda and Toyota were becoming household names, and few Americans ever heard of Nissan, even though Datsun was the most successful import car brand in the us during the 70s. Thus as an act of company pride, they spent millions of dollars changing their name back to Nissan in the 80s, and lost market share and their #1 position because of it.

“The Reconing” by David Halberstam is a fascinating read, by the way.

Very exciting news. Perhaps GM will also ease up on its ‘3.3 kw only’ charging stance, and start allowing ‘7.2kw’ chargers, at least in the north american market where 32 amp single phase loads are universally allowed.

They must also be negotiating on a low price from LG CHEM, the latter being confident they can still profit from cells sold at a low price.

I’d rather have a $20K 100 mile EV…price is more important than range to me.

If they can make a 200 mile range EV for $30K, that means battery costs have dropped significantly. So a 100 mile EV may only be a $5k savings. Also the trade off for this new cheaper battery might be that it’s not as power dense. So a 100 mile range EV may only be able to produce 50hp-75hp. For a sub $20k EV with usable range, a lot of EV components other than the batteries will have to get cheaper. Like consolidating the charger and inverter into one device or cheaper to manufacture motors (switched reluctance?)

You got it on the power density call.

Tesla has played that game since day one. They realized you can get better energy density lb/kwh if you make the battery very large from a kwh point of view.

GM and Nissan both are now jumping on the band wagon.

It’s the same way on RC batteries: keep the C rate down and you get lower weight for the same kwh.

I would want a solid 100-miles in 32*F weather – or 120-130 summer miles to go all BEV. That is roughly 24 usable kWh. I have done 42-48 enough in my 2011 Volt to know it doesn’t take a lot of kWh to go far if you drive reasonably.

Why not both?

Well there are plenty of ~$20K (post-tax-credit) EVs on the market right now

i want a good looking car thats it

anything ugly gets ignored, which is 99% of ev’s

The question is…

…..would you pass your own “looks test”?


Considering the Model S was the second best selling EV in Sept, is that ugly?

It’s awesome to finally see a bit of a race to make a Model 3 competetor…

Thank you, Tesla Motors, for kicking the hornets nest, and motivating the automotive industry in the right direction.

I don’t disagree.

However, I also think that Nissan and GM deserve a LOT of credit.

I’m also increasingly happy with BMW and VWs efforts.

Toyota can suck it.

If all Tesla/ Musk were ever credited for was sparking the EV revolution I’d be happy about it. That could end up being the case, but I hope not.

They do deserve a lot of credit. But so does Tesla. The Volt probably would not exist if not for Tesla. It was the Tesla Roadster that got Bob Lutz to convince GM to build the Volt .

Tesla has made it clear that they intend to compete with BMW, MB, Audi, etc with their brand… I’m all for a 200mi GM EV, but it still won’t attract ICE drivers away from BMW and the like, we still need a mid-size Tesla, or any other premium brand for that matter, to fill the premium segment in the size class

200 mile range on the EPA test cycle, or 200 mile range on the test cycle California is using for CARB ZEV credit calculations? (200 miles of range on the CARB ZEV test cycle scores GM another ZEV credit for each car they sell in California.)

$30K before incentive, or after $7,500 federal tax incentive?

A $22.5K car after tax incentive, that gets 200 miles range on the EPA test, is a whole different car than one with an MSRP of $37,500 and has a range of 160 EPA / 200 on the CARB ZEV test cycle.

US tax incentives will expire before Chevy Sonic enters to market.

Not if the incentives are increased or extended by congress. We have an election in a month to decide if gridlock is still in our future.

Good points raised above….

1) ChadeMO vs CCS vs Tesla Supercharger
This will be what makes or breaks the next 150-200 mile range BEV. A long range BEV can go most places, so the need for L3 will only be for the occasional out-of-town road trip. In my area, eVgo charges $5+$6=$11 for a 30min L3 charge. $11 and I still have to hunt for a sole bay and then wait 30mins? No thanks, I rather pump gas.

2) Car space.
This is why I picked the Leaf over the Sonic, Focus EV, Volt. Plently of space at the back and a spacious trunk. Good for kids and hauling junk. I dunno if this 2017 Sonic based platform offers that.

Eric, you need to stick to the truth if you want a heading that says GM officially confirms …

No, GM didn’t say the new BEV would be “200” mile range. All that GM is confirming is that it will make a new BEV.

Stick to the truth.

The headline is entirely untrue.

There has been no ‘official GM confirmation of future 200 mile range EV’.

You’re right. It’s another thing the article gets wrong (the other is the “leapfrog” comment). The only reference to a 200 mile BEV comes from LG Chem. Without specifying a cycle it’s hard to take such a claim seriously.

Could happen though. You have to believe that Reuss was referring to both the Panasonic and Nissan batteries when he made the comment that the next gen Volt battery would leapfrog the competition.

It never occurred to me that the ‘leapfrog’ comment could be referring to the battery technology, and I doubt it will exceed Panasonic’s energy density. I think it is likely referring to the electric range, charge sustaining mileage and interior room.

It’s not a question. It’s a fact. The exact quote is “I think you’ll see the second gen of development in terms of battery capacity, chemistry, and technology leapfrog a lot of the competition”. Note the use of “a lot”.

But it wouldn’t be a shock if LG Chem comes out with the better energy densities than Panasonic.

For some of us, the question is, “WHERE can we buy one?” Most of the BEV’s on the market are only in the compliance states. Even though the 500E looks great to me, you can’t get one everywhere. So, if it’s a longer range compliance car, it will still be all Tesla and Nissan for most of the US.

{I know the Focus & smart are supposed to be sold throughout but the Focus EV doesn’t have a fast charge, even optional. Then, the smart car hasn’t made it to Birmingham, AL or Nashville, TN yet.}

While I can see how it is attractive for GM to spread the rumor that GM will come up with a 200 mile BEV a year before Tesla at a lower price point I can’t see how it could pull it off. Battery costs are key so GM either needs to invest in “Gigafactories” for massive scale economics -which it isn’t- or it needs to be on to a battery breakthrough which of course are a dime a dozen but never seem to result in real products.

All we can know for sure is that it is never wise to put too much stock in vague “predictions”of automotive CEO’s.

couldn’t agree more, Tesla is doubling the current capacity of batteries with it’s gigafactory because the availability and costs of these cells are just not good enough to get to the $30k-$40k price range… why should we believe that GM doesn’t face these challenges? where the heck are they going to get all their batteris? Oz? At this point, all they are on pace for is a $28,000 battery + $2,000 worth of car

LG Chem is putting plenty of money into factories, although they don’t call them fancy names.

They recently installed a 32MWH grid battery in California, for instance:

Yeah, but at over $1,500/kWh it is not cheap.

How many years ago did Tesla announce the price and range of the Bluestar/Model E/Model 3? Because they just decided on the location of the Gigafactory a few weeks ago.

This comment strikes me as ridiculous on a number of fronts. First is that GM has never said anything about a 200 mile BEV. Second is Elon Musk doesn’t take a second chair to anyone as far fluff is concerned. If you don’t believe anything a CEO says, why take as gospel what the CEO with the worst track record has to say?

As far as your comment about GM not being able to match Tesla’s cost, it’s quite the opposite. For everything other than the battery cells, Tesla can’t match GM’s pricing because it lacks scale. With respect to the cells, if in fact LG Chem has cells that leapfrog what Tesla can get from Panasonic, then it’s virtually certain that GM will have a lower cost battery on a per kWh basis.

“GM has never said anything about a 200 mile BEV”…eh, that’s what this article is all about…

“if in fact LG Chem has cells that leapfrog what Tesla can get from Panasonic, then it’s virtually certain that GM will have a lower cost battery on a per kWh basis”

Duh…the point is how could LG chem (assuming that’s the party GM depends on for a 200 mile EV) pull it off.

All CEO’s have the strategic interests of their companies at heart when they go on the record with things and certainly when they spread of the record rumors.

As reputations go Elon Musk has a reputation of delivering. Not always on time but he delivers.

The hoped-for 200 mile EV from GM is always mentioned alongside that photo of a gussied-up Sonic. We know by 2017, Sonic will be a new iteration, and it must be more aerodynamic and visually dynamic than the present car.

Back in the Roadster days, Mr. Musk spoke of the $30,000, Everyman’s electric car in terms of a Toyota Camry. Would you pay slightly more for a Camry than a Sonic? Heck yes! So it’s a huge leap to assume GM won’t develop this 200 mile EV as just another compliance ( SparkEV ) car, and another leap to believe the two cars will even appeal to the same buyer.

Track record being the only factor, I’d bet on Tesla delivering on it’s promises over GM. Right now, all this 200 mile EV talk from GM is just that — talk. Deliver us an EV that is not just some patch-job on a Sonic – make it much better looking than a Sonic with a far better interior, AND sell it in all 50 states, and I’ll be a believer.
Then – I’ll most likely wait for the Tesla 3 and most likely buy it because it will be far better.

Tesla delivers on the promise? Really? Elon Musk promised the Model S would be $45K. How soon we forget. I mean it only missed the target price by $55K. LOL

I don’t believe that GM has promised squat with respect to a 200 mile BEV. It has only said that it will make manufacturer a BEV in Korea. The 200 mile claim comes from LG Chem, which has said that it was delivering a battery to a US OEM that would be used in a 200 mile BEV. Putting two and two together it’s not too difficult to figure out what is happening, but a 200 mile range really depends on the cycle. For example, the Nissan Leaf was claimed to have a hundred mile range, and no doubt on some cycle or other it did.

Hey Don C, how’s it going? Go GM-Volt!

Don, you might have missed the entire point of the above article wherein it states GM officially confirmed the 200 mile BEV.

Both GM and Tesla have both made promises and didn’t quite meet them. The were shooting at $30K for the Volt and it came in at $40K. But is a nice car and they’ve cut the price to $35K now.

Tesla has a LONG history of making promises and delivering their final product very late at at high price than the target. And like the Volt, what Tesla has delivered has been very nice . . . but they didn’t meet the target deadlines and target prices

1.) How do you ship a 200 mile CCS car without also ramping up a national CCS network? I’ve seen no big-time CCS program with GM backing. (I’ve seen no big-time CCS program in North America at all.)

2.) A 200-mile runabout will destroy all but the biggest-block GM pony cars to 60mph, if they keep to the relatively high system power:capacity they have in the Spark. Nice. A little bit like what I learned in a recent Top Gear–apparently the classic British sports cars were eclipsed in performance by European hatches.

please make it good looking and not an ugly pos

Bill H:
You know, it’s funny that you mentioned the upgraded on board charger. I just recently turned in my Mitsu I-MiEV and purchased a low mileage used Volt. Love the car, absolutley love it. But I admit that I was a little dissapointed that you can only charge at the 3.3 rate. In my particular case it’s not actually(yet) a problem as I trickle charge at home. However, if the car had a faster on board charger, it could lead to me getting a 240V line run into my detached garage. The difference in charging speed would go from 10 miles per hour to what, 25-26 per hour? I get 5 miles or so now, and the jump from 5-10 would be nice but not so nice that I feel the urge to upgrade to a 240V line. But 5X’s faster? Yeah, then I would consider it.

Hi Lou…

Yeah most Volt owners only use 110 for charging. I myself usually charge the volt at 900 watts, since I only have the one 30 amp evse which is usually charging the Tesla, especially if I have a 180 mile round trip the next day.

Don’t feel disadvantaged by charging at only 110, for you and many others its all you need. Tesla owners need something besides 110 since all teslas to date have extremely inefficient 110 chargers. I’m supposed to get 5 miles per hour on the roadster, but i really only get 2 or 3 per hour at most. That is extremely costly if you drive any number of miles which I happen to. At anything above 24 amps 240, the tesla is fine. Unknown why, and I’ve never seen it explained. The volt and leaf apparently efficiently charge at any voltage.

The article has gotten the “leapfrog” comment wrong. Mark Reuss said that the next generation battery would leapfrog the competition’s. He didn’t say the Volt would do so. Hence the claim that “As for the next-gen Chevy Volt, Reuss only stated that it will “leap-frog” the competition” is just bad reporting. It should read “As for the battery in the next-gen Chevy Volt battery, Reuss only stated it will “leap frog” the competition”.

It helps to actually listen to the presentation, though in fairness it’s so long and the part devoted to EVs so small that this lapse is understandable.

Perhaps what he meant to say, but it didn’t come out right in a discussion that was 99% focused on other things, was:

We’re going to build a 200 mile EV that will leapfrog the competition (meaning we recognize and understand the Gen 3 threat, and will respond with something new when the time comes)


The Volt 2.0 will be “better” (meaning cost our reduction and optimization plan, which was driven in part by the new Cruze platform, will result in a bit more range for the EREV products)

Makes more sense, doesn’t it?

He didn’t say ANYTHING about a 200 mile BEV. In fact he didn’t say much of anything about the BEV. He just said something along the lines of “Here is a Chevy BEV. It’s a different configuration. I’m not saying any more”. He actually called it something but I couldn’t make it out. Sounded like FAV2 or BAV2 but really hard to say.

He did say the Volt would surprise people with its “efficiency and ratings”. That’s it. Nothing more.

could you please find me a link to the actual release deal. I cannot seem to find it.

The 200-mile EV from GM might simply be a variant of the Volt. I might make sense to have the Gen 2 volt be avail as the familiar plug in hybrid, and also with no ICE and a much bigger battery.

No. They’ve already said the car will be made in Korea with a unique body style. Probably similar in size to the Sonic.

Watch these stick in the mud old fogey car companies sit back and watch Tesla build the F-150 size electric truck first. I hope the new Tesla Roadster smokes the Corvette.

“Leap Frog” the competition has to mean the Triple 5 Volt (50 miles of range, 50 mpg on the range extender and seating for 5). Basically, it means matching or beating the plug-in Prius on all measures.

Two mistakes here. First mistake is that you’re responding to a comment never made. Mark Reuss said the chemistry, capacity, and technology of the battery would leapfrog a lot of the competition. If you’re going to dismiss what someone says you should at least get what he said right. The second mistake is thinking the Volt needs to do anything to leapfrog the PIP. The Volt did that years ago. As a matter of physics, a parallel hybrid will always get better MPG than a similar EREV or serial hybrid when running in CS Mode. But driving consists of both electric and gas modes. In normal driving, which blends the two, the median Volt driver gets 175 MPG. What does the best PIP driver get? Half that? Less than half that? The next generation Volt may get your “Triple 5” — there is a good chance it will — but apart from some marketing hype it won’t matter. All these benchmarks are meaningless. Getting 50 miles of electric range won’t significantly increase the overall MPG, nor will getting 50 MPG rather than 40 MPG or 45 MPG. These changes just won’t move the needle because the current Volt is already… Read more »

GM can build any electric car they like in their lineup. Where are they going to get batteries to power them in large enough quantities for mass production. Fast Charging infrastructure will also be needed before 2016 to make them practical for everyday use without a 2nd car in the garage as backup.

Is this GM 200 mile EV going to be just another compliance car or can the rest of us buy it also?

They should be going all in on electric vehicles and use Tesla as their free r&d arm, be building their own gigafactory, and putting out (Tesla copied technology) EV’s like this for around $40,000: