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GM VP Sparks Speculation: Next Chevy Volt With Smaller Battery?

Chevy Volt's Sister in Europe, Opel Ampera, Could Get Smaller Batteries
Chevy Volt’s Sister in Europe, Opel Ampera, Could Get Smaller Batteries

Everyone likes to have options, so could the next Chevy Volt have different battery options to change the price? Of course, the Chevy Volt is only available in one configuration, but wouldn’t be nice to be able to get it customized?

The only reason we bring this up is because of a recent AutoExpress interview (quoted by gas2)with General Motors vice president of strategy and operations in Europe, where the Chevy Volt is sold as the Opel Ampera. Sedran says the next-generation Ampera will have a shorter electric-only range. Now that sounds weird in a time when everyone wants longer-range electric cars.

Sedran explains, “In the coming years I don’t think you will need 100km [62 miles] of electric range, and around 18 to 30 miles should be enough to get you in and out of town and after that you still have the range-extender engine to help.”

This makes sense, though, because if you only need half the range for your everyday driving, then why would you want to pay for the extra battery capacity? If the Opel Ampera is going to be available with a smaller battery pack, who’s to say that sister Chevy Volt won’t be available with different battery options? A smaller battery pack will be cheaper, but why not a larger battery pack for those with a longer commute?

Tesla Motors currently only has for sale the Model S with the 85kWh battery pack, but the 40kWh will be available soon and eventually the middle-of-the-road 60kWh version. This kind of customization could really benefit those looking to balance price and emissions, especially since there are many commuters in the US who have much longer commutes than the Chevy Volt’s 38mi range. On the other hand, those who have a short 10mi commute could benefit from a smaller price tag.

Let me reiterate though, this is purely speculation.

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