GM has previously said that it plans to use the Voltec powertrain from the Chevrolet Volt in many other vehicles, such as the Volt MPV5 — for instance. But according to GM Europe CEO Nick Reilly, Volt variants will not make it to market until after 2015.
“We won’t do it with this generation, and that will run to 2015,” said Reilly at the Frankfurt auto show. “You’d have to wait until after that until you see it.”
The slow production ramp-up of the Volt and twin Opel Ampera is partly to blame for the delay in Voltec-powered variants, but the fact that the first-gen Voltec technology is expensive doesn’t help, either. Reilly expects to see a significant reduction in the cost of the Volt’s battery for the next generation of Voltec-powered vehicles. The battery is estimated to cost GM around $8,000 at the time of this writing.
The GM Authority Take
Just like most new technology, the Voltec hardware will remain expensive until economies of scale are in full effect and/or GM starts to use the technology in significantly more vehicles. In that regard, the price of the components and the popularity of Voltec-powered vehicles is a prime example of a chicken-or-the-egg riddle: GM won’t be able to source or build the components in bulk to realize significant volume cost savings while consumers won’t be able to get their hands on enough Volts.
Nevertheless, a sharp reduction in the price of the $8,000 battery pack will play a significant role in eliminating that chicken-or-the-egg dilemma. Additionally, it’s important to remember that Toyota’s now-popular Prius sold in measly volumes during its first few years of existence.