Now that electric vehicles are starting to enter the public conscience more, the competition begins. In the case of the Chevy Volt, big changes will make it even more popular.
With the recent boom in electric vehicle sales, better than 500% for the whole market, the Chevy Volt saw modest gains of just over 9% for 2013 YTD in July. In practically any market for widgets, you can be competitive by making adjustments to price or features.
For electric vehicles, the Tesla Model S 85kWh Performance, for example, has range going for it in a big way, up to 300mi. It also costs up to $100,000 so, there’s that. On the other hand, for those not ready to make the switch to pure electric, there are extended-range electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt, that make range-jitters disappear.
With a 37mi range on battery power alone, many drivers have no problem at all racking up thousands of miles without using gasoline at all, except for a few oz used to run the engine every once in a while to keep everything lubricated. For a longer trip, they just make sure the gas tank is full.
For such a small vehicle however, a smaller price would defintely make it more attractive. According to rumor, and now General Motors CEO Dan Akerson confirms, the next-generation Chevy Volt will feature even longer electric range and lower prices than now. Chevy Volt can’t compete with the Tesla Model S 85kWh Performance, but with advancements in lithium-ion battery technology, making them both cheaper and more powerful, it can compete with the family sedans on the market already.
In a recent announcement, Akerson stated, “For something to be significant to me, I gotta get at least 20 percent improvement in performance. If we can get it up to 50-60 miles or more, we will, but that’s gonna be another three to four years out.”
In three or four years, as lithium-ion battery technology gets better and sales increase, economics of scale will get better, meaning that the next-generation Chevy Volt could drop in price by as much as $10,000, putting it firmly in the range of other popular family sedans and electric vehicles.