Report: GM plans to produce a cheaper Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Despite the Chevy Volt’s more than warm reception on the scene, there is still one major criticism of the car; the price. After a $7,500 tax credit, the Volt should cost consumers around $30,000. Though that seems like a more viable price, tax credits can not be expected to last forever.

As with any technology however, improvement and wider appeal will certainly bring the price down, independent of any subsidy.

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There are a number of areas to address that will improve the price of the vehicle, as well as the quality. For one, the battery offered os considered to be more powerful than it really needs to be. Shrinking the battery, or at least giving customers the option to shrink it, might realize some savings. Implementing the Volt technology in a more widespread fashion is also something GM must consider, as well as the use of more efficient battery technology.

GM is also working on ways to make a cheaper electric motor, for use across all fo its brands. One major move it is working on, is replacing the ‘permanent magnets’ made of precious and exotic materials that are currently used, with electromagnets, which are made from much cheaper material.

Refresher: The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, ‘T’-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. The system puts out 149-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes 4 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 10-12 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries an 84-hp 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 379   miles. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt gets an EPA estimated 93 miles per ’gallon-equivalent’ when driving under electric power only, 37 mpg when in gasoline mode and over the long term it is estimated to get 60 miles per gallon in combined gasoline-powered and electric-powered driving. Prices for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt start at $41,000 but with a full federal income tax credit (which range from $0 to $7,500), the Volt can cost a total of $33,500.

2011 Chevrolet Volt:

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: CNNMoney