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Some Big Changes in the Works for Gen-2 Chevrolet Volt

Longer range, new engine may be in the offing.

by on Aug.13, 2013

Looks like the Gen-2 Chevy Volt may come with some upgrades, including a longer electric-only range.

The Chevrolet Volt was intended to revolutionize automotive transportation and while there are plenty of critics who fault its high price and relatively Spartan interior there’s little doubt the extended-range electric vehicle has helped usher in a new era of battery-powered propulsion.

Even before they launched the Volt, however, General Motors officials were stressing that, in tech terms, there’d be a lot of things to improve on the “Gen-1” model, especially the limitations of its battery technology. Pointing to the future, they promised lower costs, as well as smaller and more powerful batteries.

Plugged In for News!

A series of comments and reports in recent days seem to suggest that GM is getting ready to offer some big improvements as it prepares Chevy Volt Gen-2, with longer range and a new range-extending motor among the changes apparently in the works. (more…)

GM Does Deal With A123 – Will Launch 1st Pure Battery-Electric Vehicle in 2014

Maker ties up with A123 for next-gen lithium battery.

by on Aug.11, 2011

GM is fleet testing a prototype Chevy Sail battery-electric vehicle in China.

General Motors has inked a deal with U.S. battery supplier A123 – a deal that well-placed sources say confirms the maker’s plans to put at least one battery-electric vehicle into production by 2014.

The maker has a separate deal with LG Chem to produce lithium-ion batteries for its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.  The Korean maker beat out A123 for that contract and is now in the process of setting up a new factory to produce Volt batteries near Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Production of the Volt is now ramping up and, along with the similar Opel Ampera, GM hopes to produce as many as 60,000 plug-ins next year.

The new alliance will focus on an entirely different range of vehicles, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly hinted.  “It is not for the Volt or the next-generation Volt.  This is for a different application, but we can’t get into what this is for or the timing.”

Insight!

While Kelly declined to comment, GM sources noted that the maker now hopes to expand into a broad range of “electrified” vehicles, from conventional hybrids to plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.  The A123 batteries will be utilized for the latter group.

Precisely what is in store is unclear, though there could be battery-electric models sold through “multiple brands,” according to sources.  The first of the BEVs is expected to reach market by 2014.

(more…)