A little nugget of information came our way while reading a Reuters report on UAW and their reaction to a car sale slump at GM.
GM is reviewing whether to cancel at least six passenger cars in the U.S. market after 2020, including the Chevrolet Volt hybrid, which could be replaced in 2022 with a new gasoline-electric crossover model, Reuters has learned from people familiar with the plan.
Gosh it is hard to believe how slow the auto industry is compared to others like the electronics industry. Can you imagine Apple’s iPhones in 2022? Who will be President then? Will we have a civilization on Mars?
The news of a new Volt in 4-5 years isn’t surprising. In fact, I’d imagine that the Volt will get at least one minor update before then. Moving to a crossover form factor also wouldn’t be surprising since it seems like every car company that isn’t building a Model 3 is seeing sedan numbers drop.
In fact, the surprising aspect for me is that it will take 4-5 years to make this switch and the fact that GM will still be building hybrids at that point. I’m sure there will still be tons of ICE vehicles on the roads but with cheaper batteries and fast charging infrastructure blowing up, the need for a gas engine backup would seem unnecessary.
About a year ago in my Chevy Volt review I said that I thought its sweet spot specs for ICE converts would last about 3 years.
Overwhelmingly, the 2017 Volt is a fantastic car that will fit into many people’s lives and probably be one of the most functional mass-market electric cars for the next 3 years. The numbers don’t lie – Volt sales are up while some EV competitors are down.
I say 3 years because I believe that is how long, give or take, it will take electric infrastructure in the US to be as convenient as gas – at which point it will become more convenient. Sure, almost every house, building and structure has an electrical outlet which can charge on level 1 or 2 (and the 2017 Volt does both levels of AC charging), meaning you wake up every morning with a full 53 mile “tank” of electricity. But to finally close the convenience gap of gasoline and frankly beyond, pure electric cars need to be outfitted with high power DC chargers and long range batteries — both of which the Volt lacks.
In five years, it will be hard to find a long stretch of road without some form of fast charging infrastructure. The need for hybrids will be waning.
Speaking of Crossover GM vehicles and the aforementioned slowdown of production of GM vehicles, a story earlier this week Chevy Bolt EV inventories are piling up, GM temporarily shuts down factory was theoretically debunked by a Chevy Plant worker by the name of Don Lockery:
I work at the factory. You’re article is wrong. We added an extra week for shutdown because of slowing sales of the sonic. I am assuming because of gas prices, as a 16k car isn’t as prized when gas is low. Another reason for the extra week was to complete bank systems and re do the assembly line to INCREASE Bolt production. The jobs are all set to produce bolts on a 2 Sonic, One Bolt mix. They are changing the mix to a 50/50 split which requires adjustments. For all the tesla fan boys, enjoy the squeaks rattles, fit an finish issues and recalls as your model 3 was crammed into a 5000 car a week schedule. Oh, you thought your waiting list to get your car was long? Wait till you have a service issue with no dealer network.
We couldn’t find any evidence of a plant worker with that name. His comment profile only has that one comment.
We asked Chevy Spokesperson Fred Liguori to back this up and in doing so give the Bolt fans a jolt. He replied:
We are right on track for our plan to ramp up Bolt EV production and sales, and there have been no changes to Bolt EV production plans for the year.
That’s a bit vague but it does look like Chevy is ramping up Bolt production and sales but those were baked into GM’s plans in the first place. So, no news here?