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The Gen II Volt was a good improvement over the Gen I, but what needs to be done by GM for the Gen III Volt to get better acceptance and sales numbers? Just greater battery range? Better styling? A CUV model?
 

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IMHO it just needs a full size back seat.

Make it a Wagon with 3" of lift and Americans will flock to it. The recipe seems to be working for Subaru and Euro manufacturers have followed suit. As I once heard a motor journalist say "Americans hate hatchbacks... unless you lift it and call it a crossover, THEN they can't get enough of them".
 

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Bigger and more of them... There needs to be a bigger Volt and it needs to be advertised more aggressively. The Prius is still the number one selling hybrid because it has name recognition and a lot more cargo capacity.

A battery range increase would be nice, but not necessary. Faster charging would also be nice.

I think a small Volt and a Volt+ (Volt Plus) would be a good combination. A small Volt for better efficiency and a larger one for better cargo capacity. Just like the Prius and Prius V.
 

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Cheaper. But until the price is in line with other cars of the same size, it will be a tough sell. The average Joe doesn't look past the MSRP when making a buying choice.

And for now, it will be hard to build a Volt in the same price range without taking a hit on profit. And few companies are willing to sacrifice profit.

Eventually people will figure it out (the evolution is coming, just slowly).

I really, really want a CUV/SUV with a Voltec drive train.
 

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While I agree that a CUV with Voltec needs to happen. That is not what a "Volt" is. A Volt is a compact hatchback.

Honestly what I think needs to happen for Gen III:
1. Make it cheaper. With the US federal EV incentive likely going away the Volt is currently too expensive.
2. Target an EV range of 45 - 50 miles. With improving battery technology the battery will be smaller, lighter and less expensive while still being the best PHEV on the market. This will also allow the benefit of better vehicle packaging and the reduced weight and will give better gas only fuel economy.
3. With the smaller battery use that extra space for rear seat accommodation and cargo space packaging.
4. Make it a global vehicle. If parts of the US are not interested in EV's the rest of the world is moving on. Design the car to be used in the rest of the world.
5. Improved vehicle charging. 6.6KW L2 charging minimum should be standard now. Harmonizing on 7.2KW (32A) charging might be a good option so the same equipment could be used across multiple cars and would better utilize public charging that is fee based. I don't think DC fast charging is necessary in this type of car.
 

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It needs to be half a Bolt, i.e. the Bolt's MPGe and 1/2 of a Bolt battery so that it has 120 miles of EV range plus the same range extender as the Gen2 which needs no improvement. The bigger battery could be an option because there are people that don't need the extra range but for many people, myself included, the current range is grossly inadequate. At 1/2 Bolt the car would be a true electric for all local driving and would only need it's gas engine for road trips. In a perfect world there would be a BEV with the same range as the Volt, 450, at the Volt/Bolt's price but that simple isn't possible with the current battery technology. To get the Volt's range today you would need a ton of batteries which is counter productive because most of the time you would be schlepping around all that weight for no reason which would hurt your MPGe. Batteries with 2X the energy density of the Bolt's batteries could be 10 years away (hopefully sooner but the historic rate of battery improvement is 2X per decade), so it's impossible to build a good enough Bolt until that happens. However it is possible to build a good enough Volt today. The battery pack in the Bolt is 900lbs, a little more than twice the weight of the Gen2's battery pack so if you took 1/2 of that pack, 30KWh, and coupled it with the other improvements that they made in the Bolt which has about 15% better MPGe than the Gen2 Volt, you would have a Volt that could go 120 miles on the battery and still go anywhere which the Bolt can't do. I think 120 miles is the magic number for local driving. I look at all of my local trips, to Boston, to Rockport, to Jaffery NH, they are all 50 to 60 miles so 120 miles would cover the round trip. My longer trips, which I do every weekend in good weather, would still require the engine but in the Volt they are perfectly doable, in the Bolt they are undoable and in a Tesla, which has a rudimentary fast charging network, they could only be done in a 100D, which costs more than I paid for my house, plus a lot of planning.

Aside from the greater range it would be nice if they offered the standard amenities that you expect in a car in that price range, i.e. power seats, moon roof, AWD. I would certainly pay extra for AWD and power seats. The styling of the Volt is fine, I would expect the next one to be tweaked a little bit to match whatever the styling for other Chevy's is for that year, but the current Volt is vastly more attractive than the Bolt.

Giving it a little more thought, it's time that they introduced a range of Voltec/Boltec cars. By that I mean in addition to the Volt offer a Malibu and an Impala all of which have the following options,

Hybrid, i.e. ICE plus small battery, maybe a little more battery than the current Malibu hybrid so that it can do 30 miles on battery which would still be better than the Prius.
60 mile battery plus ICE, Voltec
120 mile battery plus ICE, Voltec
240 mile battery, no ICE, iBoltec

One of the Volt's main problems is that it's too small. I've come to like the small size, in a world of parking spaces that have been laid out for monster trucks it's painless parking the Volt, but most people prefer larger cars.
 

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What does the Gen III Volt need to really grow sales? An MSRP under $30k. $29,990 would work well in 2018 for the Gen II.


But by the time the Gen III shows up in 2011 or thereabouts, the tax credit will be long gone, so $26,990 might be needed.

Having a flat back seat with leg room sufficient for 3 adults would help a lot, as would, though to a lesser extent, faster charging. But MSRP is the main killer of the Volt and it will remain a problem for the next couple years. GM doesn't think selling Volts is important (at this time) so mediocre sales figures are acceptable to them.
 

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If Chevy cares about sales, make it a CUV.

Compacts do not sell. Expensive compacts sell even worse.

Chevy Sonic sales went into the toilet once the Chevy Trax was released.

The numbers don't lie.
 

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If Chevy cares about sales, make it a CUV.

Compacts do not sell. Expensive compacts sell even worse.

Chevy Sonic sales went into the toilet once the Chevy Trax was released.

The numbers don't lie.
I don't think EV buyers want CUVs. The Bolt has had incredible press, nothing but glowing reviews, but it isn't selling in large numbers. The Model 3 has reservations for 450K cars, the Bolt is in track to sell 25-30K cars this year. The Model S outsells the Model X by a wide margin. In the long run, i.e. when EVs cost reach parity with ICE costs, then you would expect that the preference for trucks and SUVs will also apply to EVs, but right now they are only selling to early adopters and their tastes are different.
 

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I don't think EV buyers want CUVs. The Bolt has had incredible press, nothing but glowing reviews, but it isn't selling in large numbers. The Model 3 has reservations for 450K cars, the Bolt is in track to sell 25-30K cars this year. The Model S outsells the Model X by a wide margin. In the long run, i.e. when EVs cost reach parity with ICE costs, then you would expect that the preference for trucks and SUVs will also apply to EVs, but right now they are only selling to early adopters and their tastes are different.
What CUV choices are there for EV buyers? The Bolt is smaller than the Volt. I'd love to own a GM built EV, but it is too friggin' small. GM is making poor decisions for the US market. The Equinox sells very well. Make it that size and they'd have a winner.
 

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The Volt would sell much better if gas was $5 a gallon
And the state would quit inflating electricity far above its 2 cent per KWHR production cost.
 

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I don't think EV buyers want CUVs. The Bolt has had incredible press, nothing but glowing reviews, but it isn't selling in large numbers. The Model 3 has reservations for 450K cars
Only a fraction of those reservations will end up as sales and Tesla has managed to convince people that the Model 3 is a Model S for less than half the price. The selling numbers make clear that the public wants CUVs and SUVs rather than sedans. If the XT4 has a Voltec drive train, will be interesting to see how it does.
 

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For me it's PRICE, PRICE and PRICE. It's going to have to compete with ever improving ICE/MPG vehicles and without the implied $7500 tax credit it's going to be hard to compete with the next gen of small/mid-sized ICE mobiles selling for $10/$12K less.
 

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Three vehicles sharing same platform.
1) Coupe
2) Sedan with usable rear seat
3) CUV

100 EV with fast charger, 40-50mpg from REX based on model
 

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Three vehicles sharing same platform.
1) Coupe
I'd like this. A 3-door hatch actually suits my needs and lifestyle best, and getting the B pillar BEHIND my ear goes a HUGE way to making me feel comfortable and uncrowded.
 

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IMHO: cost, marketing, availability and quality/service are the factors that GM should be improve on, for Gen III Volt. Gen III Volt can also benefit from a more efficient gasoline engine but given its significant AER (which will likely go up with Gen III), investing more in the gasoline engine will have diminished returns.
 

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Agreed, a common platform with other hybrids, have a plugin, hybrid, and BEV version. Volt is a bad form factor for an expensive car as pointed out. Cut the range back in line with the Prius Prime, price it in the mid 20s, have a 200 mile range BEV version and a 60 mpg hybrid version. Ioniq seems to be doing okay.

Honestly, the 53 mile range on Gen II is for compliance reasons, a 2017 PHEV gets two credits for that instead of 1, but next year that drops to around 1 credit or so. They could increase the range up to 80 miles, but that maxes out the ZEV credits at 1.3 or something, don't think that is cost effective. Reducing the range to 30 miles or so would probably cut costs $2500+, however, they risk annoying existing Volt drivers and might lose their market entirely.

Unsure what they will do, but ZEV credit changes hit MY 2018 vehicles.
 

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Anyone have an idea how the Malibu Hybrid sells compared to the Malibu Hybrid? There's only $2750 starting MSRP price difference between an LT and a hybrid Malibu.

If sales of the Malibu Hybrid are lacking, that might tell us something about price sensitivity. More likely it's due to the fact there are only 1761 available nationwide (many optioned to $35K) compared to 34,677 for the LT (using cars.com data).
 

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For me it's PRICE, PRICE and PRICE. It's going to have to compete with ever improving ICE/MPG vehicles and without the implied $7500 tax credit it's going to be hard to compete with the next gen of small/mid-sized ICE mobiles selling for $10/$12K less.
Voltec cars will never be cost competitive with ICE cars because they are the sum of the costs of an EV and an ICE car. All you save is the 9 speed transmission, I'm sure the Volt's planetary gear is less expensive than a true transmission but it can't make up for the motors, electronics and battery that the EV drive train require. BEVs can in theory be cheaper than ICE cars, it all comes down to battery costs. Electric motors are vastly simpler than internal combustion engines and they don't require transmissions, turbos or catalytic converters so if you can get battery costs way down from where they are now a BEV is theoretically cheaper than an ICE car. However for BEVs to be a true replacement for ICE cars they need at least as much, and perhaps more, range than an ICE car. The problem is that there will never be enough fast charging stations to make shorter range BEVs acceptable for anything but local driving. All gasoline is supplied by gas stations, there is no such thing a filling up at home, EVs are charged at home 95-98% of the time which means that the market for charging stations is only 2% of the size of the gas station market and it will get smaller as battery capacity increases. It might be as long as 10 years before battery density gets to the point where you can build a BEV that has the range to do a long day trip without charging in the mean time you need range extenders like Volt's. A range extended EV with the range to handle all of your local driving, and I think that number is 100-120 miles, is for all practical purposes a true EV but it still has the capability of handling a 400 mile day trip as need be. That car will never be a $25K car, it's a $40K car. The trick is to make the car worth $40K. An Audi A4, which is comparable in size to the Volt, is $50K but it's AWD not FWD and it handles better. The performance of an EV is inherently better than an ICE car. The Volt's 0-60 time is under 8 seconds and the Bolt's is under 7 which puts it in the company of turbo charged ICE cars which sell for more than the typical Chevy, an EV can have any 0-60 time that you want, a 100D is 2.3 seconds, Chevy might want to lop another second off of the Bolt's time which would put it in the range of a big V8. Voltecs should be marketed against premium cars and they should have premium features such as AWD.
 
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