What Comes After the Volt? Which GM Models Will Use the Volt's Drivetrain?
What Comes After the Volt?We can safely assume that GM didn't develop the "E-FLEX" platform (that's how they call the Volt's series-hybrid powertrain) for just one vehicle. In the same way that Toyota started with only the Prius and then used its "Hybrid Synergy Drive" platform on other vehicles (Camry, Highlander, a bunch of Lexus models), GM is no doubt planning more plug-in hybrids.
So far we can only speculate based on a few things that representatives of the company have said...
According to PM, Bob Lutz, GM’s vice chairman, said that the Volt was based on the Delta platform (GM's global compact car architecture, also used in the Cruze) because: "it makes it possible to do other variants." Volt Program Director Greg Cesiel said: "We know we can scale this up at least one size larger and one size smaller in terms of vehicle platforms."
Indeed we know that the Volt drivetrain has been tested on a Malibu 'mule' (pictured above), a larger car than the production Volt itself. This makes analysts speculate that GM could turn the Malibu itself into a plug-in hybrid (though probably not for a few years), as well as some Pontiac and Cadillac models. Maybe larger vehicles could be converted too, which is the strategy that GM has been using with its two-mode hybrid platform (though with slumping sales, maybe not).
Via Popular MechanicsHybrids and Electric CarsTesla Motors Picks San Jose for $250 Million 'Model S' Plant and HQGM Releases 2011 Chevy Volt Photos & Specifications! (Tons of Photos)Fisker Raises $65 Million for Karma Plug-In Hybrid Sports CarHonda Resurrects Insight Hybrid, Pricing Expected to be Way Lower than Prius