It was reported last week that after the Volt travels 40 miles on electric power alone, the onboard lithium-ion battery becomes ‘400 pounds of uselesness.’ Well, that’s not entirely true.
GM has been saying since the launch of the Volt that after the battery has been depleted, a 1.4L engine will kick in to provide several hundred additional miles. Today, John Lauckner, GM’s VP for Global Product Management, is contradicting the report saying that the 1.4L engine will indeed provide ‘surplus power’ that it makes to the lithium-ion battery. However, it won’t come close to recharging it to its full capacity.
Lauckner said that the engine will recharge the battery when the Volt is not accelerating. When the battery reaches a certain level of charge, if it ever does, the engine will than shut off and the Volt can travel for a couple of miles with the stored battery power.