Cars GM Volt.

Published on May 7th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


GM Aims To Cut Chevy Volt Cost By $10,000

May 7th, 2013 by  

The cost of the Chevy Volt might be cut by $7,000 to $10,000, according to recent reports.

GM Volt.

Chevy Volt.
Image Credit: GM

I have been following the electrification of vehicles closely since about 2008.

I kept wishing that researchers would develop improved battery technology for electric vehicles, and I’ve seen it happen many times. The development of lithium-ion battery technology really is on a roll. There is now a major discovery multiple times per year.

What has kept bothering me is having to wait for these advancements to make it to commercialization — many of the technologies still have not been commercialized.

But some advancements have crept their way into the commercial products, and simply scaling up of production is helping to reduce costs.

General Motors (GM) CEO Dan Akerson’s wishful thinking once again has me hopeful that the EV industry will make another stride soon (in addition to other developments).

Following previous EV price cuts, Akerson said that he has plans in mind to achieve the $7000–$10000 cost reductions mentioned above, and that the car will be profitable at that point.

Credit: GM

Credit: GM

The plans include a weight reduction of the 3,700-pound car and a switch to a dedicated platform, rather than the use of the gasoline-powered Cruze platform.

Gasoline-powered car platforms are optimized for gasoline-powered cars, and are not ideal for electric cars.

Electric cars are best when designed from the ground up so that their entire bodies are optimized to achieve the lowest possible cost and the best characteristics of electric cars overall.

For example, gasoline-powered cars use firewalls, gas tanks, and of course gasoline engines, which the car has to be designed around.

Even weight distribution could be improved by designing the car from the ground up, spreading out the batteries more ideally along the floor (just an example of what could be done).

The next generation of the Chevy Volt will be released in 2015 as a 2016 model. So, while the $7000–$10000 cut sounds good, it looks like we still need to wait awhile.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Samuel Hay

    I dont think most people really know what a bargain solar panels are today. When I first started in solar energy in the seventies, panels were upwards of $35.00 per watt. The last ones I purchased several weeks ago were .80 per watt. That puts the payback period at less than three years. My advice to new home builders is to just cut the square foot size of a home by 100 square feet even at $100.00 per square foot, you hardly know the difference, and you never have a utility bill especially if you are on a well and septic system. The new split system heat pumps are available at a 23 SEER. You just cannot imagine how this makes it all so easy now. My house was designed with no ductwork, which I detest anyway for the mold, bacteria and virus the ducts can harbor and the air distribution is more than adequate with only two 18,000 BTU units in a 3500 ftsq house.Someone evidently forgot one of the basic rules of thermodynamics and that is that heat is attracted to cold, allowing a very efficient distribution of hot or cold air to migrate throughout the house. I do have a 12′ x 32′ conservatory built onto the house where I grow citrus year round in Atlanta and it also adds considerable heat to the house in winter. Everybody should have one! They are cheap to construct and insular using the Twinwall polycarbonate which is virtually unbreakable. Imagine fresh pineapple, bananas, kiwi, apricot, oranges, limes, lemons, date palms, etc year round in any climate! Diffuse radiation (reflection) from snow climes even puts more solar radiation into the conservatory than non snow days.

    The only problem is that it is difficult to eat grocery store citrus after you have eaten it fresh from your own home.
    GO SOLAR, its the best bargain on the planet!

  • twiggy

    i’d rather get a volt with half the battery and shave that cost off. plus all the fancy interior can go. i’d rather get 50% of my miles from electricity then the 0% I get now. Give a battery that can go 15 miles. That would be plenty to get to work, plugin in there, and then get home, repeat.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s your lucky day!!!

      Toyota makes the Prius Plug-in just for you!!

      $32,000 MSRP. Then you get some help cutting that down with the federal, and possibly state, subsidy.

      Buy one. Let’s see how fast we can get the second hundred thousand electrics on the road.

  • Pingback: A Family Apparently Cut Their Solar Payback Time In Half With An EV()

  • “What man of sense would exchange his horse and carriage for the Model A, a rich man’s trinket that derives its propulsion from earth juices instead of honest oats?” Such a question sounds funny today, and not just for its diction. The Model A is almost forgotten, but the money and effort spent on it paved the way for the flex-fuel (kerosene, gasoline and ethanol) Model T, and anyone who poked fun ultimately had egg on their face. Electric cars have come a very long way, and the next model could be the Model T that breaks through into mainstream acceptance.

    A lot of energy and time is wasted ridiculing fuels that could compete with gasoline if the market were open. One wonders how much more could be accomplished with a more open-minded approach.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Got your models backwards. The “T” was Henry’s first car. Came out in 1908 (the year my father was born and the bin number for my favorite granola).

      The Model T was a very crude machine when it first rolled of the assembly lines. Crank started, no fuel pump, no electric lights, no windshield wiper, no windows, ….

      The Model T improved with age and significantly dropped in price. But the Model A was a major step forward.

      As for ridiculing gasoline replacements, no ridicule is necessary.

      Gasoline replacements are struggling to get down to the price of gasoline. Electricity is already 4x cheaper than gasoline per mile driven.

      • Bob, I could have been clearer. I was referring to the Model A of 1903-4, and the Model T ultimately was able to run on three fuels as were available at the time.

  • dougbrockman

    Answer: No.
    The public will continue buying the trucks and suvs they appear to crave. If GM won’t sell them Toyota will.

  • alvinjh

    Golf cart

  • RealHarshTruth

    What a joke! How many more of these money-losing white elephants is GM going to puke out before realizing that there is not a large, mainstream commercial market for electric cars. Only the Teslas that are bought by overpaid, effete hipsters in SF are potentially viable for that small niche market of hipsters.

    The Volt will be binned with the EV1 and other GM abortions.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Horses will never replace cars.

      Man will never fly.

      We got it….

  • Mohan Raj

    It will be better if they can reduce the cost of Spark-EV so that it can sell in higher #.

  • This validates the developmental path of Tesla. Build the car from the ground up for optimal performance and minimal cost.

  • heads up: confusing typo — “Following previous EV price cuts, Akerson said that he has plans in mind to achieve the $7000–$1000||NEEDS EXTRA ZERO|| cost reductions mentioned above, and that the car will be profitable at that point.”

    • Bob_Wallace

      Thanks. The fix is in the mail…

    • Snail mail, that is. Troublemaker.

      • Bob_Wallace

        The editor and chief is tied up taking care of some personal business.

        Since the correct number occurs both in the title and in
        two other spots in the article, plus the fact that the context of “$7000 to $1000” would be a major clue to most, I think we might unbunch our bloomers and worry about more important things.

        For example, let’s worry about how we get decent climate/clean energy legislation through the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. Or how we get the Canadian government to come to its senses.

        Them am stuff to make a feller worry….

  • This could be bad for Tesla. If GM cuts the cost of Volt by $10,000 I’ll be buying another Volt for my daughter instead of buying the upcoming Tesla Model X for myself and giving my daughter the Volt.

    • Shiggity

      One costs 40,000$ before subsidies, the other will cost 75,000$+. Then you’re saying if the already cheaper one gets cheaper you’ll get it instead? What?

      • JustSaying

        I thought 3rd generation Tesla was to be in the $30s. Will have to of course wait and see

    • They are not the same category. Teslas are practically luxury cars, while the Volt is a mid-range car.

      If one wants a luxury EV (because he/she has the money for it) the choice will hardly be a Volt.

      If one wants an economical EV they will hardly choose a Tesla.

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