It could be dead before it gets started.
Just a month ago, we learned that General Motors would be shutting down three major assembly plants in a bid to save $6 billion in cash flow by 2020 by eliminating slow-selling sedan models. The Chevrolet Volt is one of those vehicles. With this news, many had wondered whether the Voltec plug-in hybrid system found in the Volt would be repurposed into a new vehicle, perhaps one with a more popular body style, such as a crossover.
Given that GM has also announced further job cuts that reduce the chances of a Volt successor, is this plug-in hybrid system about to go extinct? It's a valid question, especially since it cost GM billions to develop the technology in the first place. Is it about to go to waste? It sure sounds like it.
In the past, GM had hinted that the Volt might be followed by a crossover powered by the same Voltec plug-in hybrid system. This was due to take effect after the current Volt’s production lifespan, which will end around 2020, but with the plant closings and the Volt due to end production on March 1, 2019, these rumors of a Volt CUV are thrown into jeopardy.
The Volt’s production ends just before the federal EV tax credit for GM vehicles is slashed from $7,500 to $3,750. This no longer gives GM an incentive to produce plug-in hybrids centered around the hefty 16-kWh battery packs. Coupled with the fact that the Volt is an expensive vehicle to build in the first place, the plug-in hybrid sedan will now likely be replaced and outclassed by new full EVs from GM more along the line of the Chevy Bolt. Given the facts on the ground, not only will the Volt soon be a goner, but so will its impressive plug-in hybrid tech which can't even be repurposed into a crossover for new economic realities.