Even though the present-generation Chevy Volt hit showrooms a tad over two years ago in the fall of 2010, General Motors is already thinking about the next-generation of the plug-in electric vehicle. Last week, General Motors North America President Mark Reuss said that the automaker thinks it can reduce the cost of the next-generation Chevy Volt by “thousands” of dollars. And while the second-gen Volt is likely a few years away and GM hasn’t announced any formal plans for a redesigned version as of this writing, the notion of lowering the Volt’s base price is intriguing.
The price of electric vehicles is widely viewed as an impediment to their mass adoption. The Volt currently carries a starting price of roughly $40,000, and its lithium-ion battery allows for roughly 38 miles of pure electric driving.
In 2012, Chevrolet sold 23,461 units of the Volt in the United States, a 205.8 percent year-over-year increase. GM Authority has previously discussed the reasons why growth, rather than total sales numbers, is a more important metric for segment-creating vehicles such as the Volt. To that end, the Volt’s closest competitor — the Nissan Leaf — increased 1.5 percent year-over-year to sell 9,819 units in 2012.
The news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of GM’s second vehicle utilizing the Volt’s Voltec vehicle architecture — the Cadillac ELR. The first of its kind, the extended-range EV coupe will be assembled at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant in limited quantities. It has a shorter range than the Volt but is quicker and has a significant amount of amenities and features synonymous with luxury vehicles. Even though pricing has yet to be announced, the ELR is seen as a way to bring the Voltec program closer to profitability, as the Chevy Volt is currently unprofitable for GM.
Let’s discuss what price you would be willing to pay for a next-gen Volt in the comments.