General Motors is planning to unveil a new version of the electric Chevrolet Volt, at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, in January. The automaker made the announcement Thursday. The second generation of the plug-in hybrid will debut as a 2016 model.
Chevrolet's marketing chief Tim Mahoney released few details about the new vehicle, but it is expected to have more technology than the current Volt and is expected to go further on its electric charge. The 2014 Volt gets approximately 38 miles per charge. The vehicle also has a gasoline engine so it can travel approximately 350 miles before needing to be recharged or gassed up.
In a written release, Mahoney says "Volt is the perfect example of the ingenuity that drives everything we do at Chevrolet." This will be the first major redesign of the Volt which went on sale in 2010. It will still be built at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.
It seems only fitting that the next version of the Volt will roll out in Detroit. It has been a halo vehicle for GM, ever since it was announced as a concept back in 2007. Despite the economic downturn and General Motors' bankruptcy, the company remains committed to the development of the electric vehicle. GM has said it is working on a purely electric vehicle that will get close to 200 miles on a single charge, but no word on how soon that vehicle could hit the streets.
According to General Motors, Volt owners drive more than 63 percent of their miles in the electric mode. The company claims that Volt owners typically drive more than 970 miles between gas station fill-ups. Recent models also have a mode that allows owners to drive strictly on gasoline, in case they haven't had the chance to recharge the vehicle.
According to the General Motors's statement, more than 65,000 Volts have been sold since it was released, making it the best selling plug-in passenger car in the U.S. However, the Volt has never been the big seller the company had hoped for. General Motors recently confirmed that it was discontinuing the European version of the vehicle known as the Buick Ampera. General Motors has lowered the price of the Volt over the years, but it still costs about $35,000. No word on the pricing for the future model.