While the Chevrolet Volt, due to hit dealerships in limited numbers later this year, is critical to General Motors’ resurgence, expanding use of the technology to other types of vehicles will be important for the automaker’s future.
But concepts using what GM calls Voltec technology, have been lacking, partly because the automaker has been so focused on developing the Volt itself, partly because development money has been scarce as the automaker recovers from its 2009 bankruptcy.
There was the Cadillac Converj concept, basically a Volt dressed up in Cadillac clothing, and Opel is planning to sell a version of the Volt as the Ampera.
Now GM Europe is showing the Vivaro e-Concept, a delivery van that would be capable of traveling about 60 miles on battery power only. The Vivaro’s battery is double the size of the 16 kWh battery in the Volt, which is projected to have an electric-only range of 40 miles.
There are no plans to introduce the Vivaro in the U.S., but it does illustrate how GM might expand its lineup of extended-range electric vehicles beyond the Volt. In theory, the Vivaro’s drivetrain could be placed in a minivan or a Chevy Traverse-style crossover or other larger vehicle.