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The Dramatically Improved Chevrolet Volt 2.0

Stocks in this article: GM TSLA NSANY F

What does this mean for all-electric range? Basically, while the current Volt 1.0 is rated by the EPA at 38 miles, the five-seat Volt should be around 40 miles, and the four-seat Volt (with the larger battery) would be closer to 50 miles.

Under the hood, the gasoline and electric combination will have been reworked primarily for efficiency. It is believed that the 1.4 liter four-cylinder will make way for a 1.2 liter three-cylinder. Weight will likely be down, in that area of the car, under the hood.

The gasoline efficiency will have been improved from the current 35-40 MPG (after the first 38 miles on all-electric, of course), to something very close to 50 MPG, or essentially matching the current Toyota Prius. Considering that most Volt owners drive a large majority of their miles on wall-plug battery power, this will not make a huge impact for most people.

However, if you are using the Volt to drive to Las Vegas or otherwise on long trips, going from 35 or 40 MPG to 50 MPG will make a difference. It is simply the result of being a refined 2.0 product.

In any case, the exterior and interior will have been reworked for greater refinement, comfort and reduction in cost. Some examples:

  1. Fewer exterior parts. You may have seen that the Volt 1.0 has more external body parts than is necessary. These will go away, reducing cost and weight.
  2. Fewer interior parts. You may have seen that the Volt 1.0's dashboard has a lot more parts than is necessary. This will be simplified, reducing cost and weight.
  3. Interior technology and ergonomics: People have complained that the Volt 1.0 is both too complex, and yet is behind the Tesla in terms of telematics. The Volt 2.0 will both get some more conventional controls (knobs, dials), as well as a more advanced set of displays, showing more information. In other words, better both for more conservative older people, as well as for younger technology enthusiasts alike.
  4. Creature comforts: The seats will be better, electrically adjusted, and a sunroof option may happen.
  5. Heat, cooling, windshield wipers and lights: I have noted that the Ford (F) plug-in electric models have better heat, cooling, windshield wipers and lights compared to the Volt 1.0. The Volt 2.0 will seek to narrow or eliminate these shortcomings.

    The heat and cooling systems are also important for the efficiency of the electric range. All of these things improvements will help eek out a couple of miles of extra range. However, also keep in mind that a Volt 2.0 will also need to be engineered to satisfy ever-increasing safety standards, so that is a continued drag on energy efficiency, as is the case with all new car models.

All in all, the Chevrolet Volt 2.0 will be the first truly all-new electric car in the market, replacing an equivalent previous model. I have little doubt that just as the Volt 1.0 is a market leader in customer satisfaction today, the Volt 2.0 will be nothing less: The best $40,000 car in the world is about to get even better.

At the time of publication the author was long F.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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