Really agree with some of this. I would love to see an EREV Impala (full size sedan). Malibu (mid-sized) also, sure. I must admit if you give me a choice between an EREV Impala and a BEV-60 Impala for the same price, I'll take the BEV, but it does seem worth exploring if there's a place for the EREV powertrain.Make less expensive versions with about 25 mile range (sub $30k) and maybe more expensive versions with 50+ mile range that are also larger and better equipped vehicles.
It is a hard sell to sell a $35-$40k MSRP vehicle that is a compact car, doesn't come standard with safety features like ACC, AEB, LKAS, no power seats. Granted they often sell with good lease deals and other incentives, but this is probably costing GM money. Making a cheaper Volt that remains compact and a more expensive "Volt" (call it something else) that moves more upscale might help.
For example, I think the Clarity PHEV has potential to sell very well. It is a large midsize car priced the same as a Volt Premier, has comparable or more features, similar range (6 miles less, but it actually does so on a battery the size of a Gen 1 Volt), more space, and better efficiency on both gas and electric. In a car that is larger. Could we have the Malibu version of the Volt, but priced the same as the outgoing Volt, and add all the safety features as standard?
I'm still a bit unclear whether it is absolutely necessary to have such large cost differences between compact/mid-sized and full-sized cars. Does it really require that much more material and manufacturing cost just to have 6 or 12 or more inches of more rear space? Is this about the added length itself or luxuriousness that is thrown in or larger engine options or other things or some combination? If the engine options typically have to be larger and more expensive, does the EREV architecture somewhat change that old equation?