Already working on the next generation of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, GM is aiming an improvement of at least 20% of the electric-only range, according to CEO Dan Akerson.
“We hope to extend that significantly,” Akerson said during an interview. “For something to be significant to me, I’ve got to get at least a 20 percent improvement in performance. If we can get it up to 50, 60 miles or more, we will, but that’s going to be another three to four years out.”
At the moment, the current generation of the hybrid has an electric only range of about 38 miles on battery power before a gasoline engine engages, but it is clear that with current battery development, as well as advances in the research of electric and hybrid power trains, more range is something to be expected. So, the CEO’s desire is really just plain common sense – as the competition in this segment is getting tougher by the minute and the next generation Volt should not be expected sooner than 2015-2016.
In the mean time, the 2013 Volt has been crowned as the most fuel-efficient car with a gasoline engine sold in the United States, as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with a combined electric mode/gasoline-only rating of 62 mpg (3.8 l/100 km).