Business Week is reporting that General Motors will debut two new plug-in vehicles in 2016.
Chevrolet Volt Z-Spec
One, the next-generation Chevrolet Volt, is expected to employ a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine to improve efficiency over the current Volt's 1.4-liter range extender. In terms of electric-only range, the next-gen Volt will likely get 50 to 60 miles per charge.
It's unclear at this time if the next-gen Volt will be launched as a 2016 or 2017 Model Year vehicle.
The other plug-in vehicle that GM is expected to debut is an unknown, but according to Business Week it'll come in 2016 as either a Model Year 2016 or Model Year 2017 vehicle with a price of approximately $30,000. It's believed that this unknown vehicle will be available in all 50 states and there's even hints that it'll be a compact with a range extender (though this seems unrealistic to us, as GM already has a compact EV with a range extender: the Chevy Volt).
As Business Week reports:
"Although GM has hinted that it’s working on a next generation of electric vehicle, Akerson says it’s aiming for a compact car that can go 200 miles on a charge and carry a generator, too. While it will be similar to the Volt, engineers are working on generators that could run on gas, diesel, or natural gas. The increased electric range is coming, in part, from advances in battery chemistry. GM is planning to bring the model out in 2016, for about $30,000, according to a person familiar with the idea who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public."
Business Week quotes GM CEO Dan Akerson as saying the following:
“We want it to be a moon shot so we can surprise the competition.”
But we're not sure if Akerson's referring to the next-gen Volt or that unknown 200-mile EV with a range extender.
It's our belief that Business Week got quite a bit of the story messed up this time around.
Regardless, expect GM to launch two plug-in vehicles in 2016-ish: the next-gen Volt and some undisclosed "200-mile" EV that almost certainly won't feature a range extender.
That's our take on it.