Voltec is GM's name for its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle technology, something that will be offered to consumers when its first electric vehicle hits the market in late 2010. Featuring a lithium-ion battery pack, GM expects that sales for its Volt line will be decent, but the automaker understands that the technology needs to be expanded to power other vehicles, hence the news that the Chevy Orlando could be next.
The All New Chevy Orlando MPV
The Chevrolet Orlando hasn't hit the market yet, but when it does it will be a four-door, five-passenger compact multi-purpose vehicle built on GM's Delta II platform. That same platform will also underpin the Chevy Volt which means that it won't take a whole lot for GM to offer Voltec on select editions of the Orlando. The standard Orlando model will be powered by a 2.4L I4 engine paired with a variety of transmission choices while the Voltec Orlando would include most of the same components powering the Volt. That move would save GM money while offering shoppers something else besides just the Volt sedan.
GM is also exploring other uses for Voltec including creating an all-new Cadillac model based on the Converj concept. The Converj has been well received at recent auto show displays, an attractive coupe which would make for a nice edition to the Cadillac line.
Expanding Voltec Usage
GM may also extend Voltec to Buick and GMC in a bid to make full use of the technology. Unlike other pure electric cars, Voltec includes a supplemental 1.4L I4 engine which helps to extend the vehicle's range. The chief complaint amongst EV buyers is that most cars will only go 60-100 miles before needing recharging. With Voltec, drivers can go sixty miles before the small four cylinder engine kicks in.
One of the big reasons for GM to consider other uses for Voltec is to help lower the cost for the Chevy Volt. Before government rebates kick in, GM says that the Volt will sell for more than $40,000 which will price the car about every Chevy model except for the Corvette and its big sport/utility vehicles. Even with a $7500 federal tax rebate in play, the cost of the Volt will still be at least $35,000, perhaps more if certain features are selected. By expanding Voltec to other models, the price of the Volt could drop over the next few years which will be good news for consumers who want to embrace the technology but can't afford the high prices.