GM is getting out of the plug-in hybrid business for good.
GM previously announced last year that the Chevrolet Volt would not be continued past March of 2019, along with several other sedans and compact cars. At the time we thought it was just the overall lack of enthusiasm in the automotive market that did the Volt in, but it turns out it might just be that GM doesn’t believe in plug-in hybrids anymore.
According to InsideEVs, General Motors President Mark Reuss said that plug-in hybrids are not the answer to a world that can’t survive increasing greenhouse gas emissions year after year. Fully-electric vehicles are the future, and GM will focus all its resources on creating the next generation of electric cars.
During an investor conference call, Reuss called hybrids a “countermeasure” to an internal combustion engine. “You can’t spend money to force the customer to carry around extra stuff they may not need,” he said. “Or, you can spend your money on getting the real answer, which is providing the customer a zero emissions, sustainable, affordable solution.”
Not only will the Volt not see the next generation, but the Voltec powertrain used in the Volt and Malibu hybrids will also no longer see use after 2019.
Although electric vehicles are widely seen as the answer to increasingly strict emissions regulations throughout the world, the Chevy Volt certainly helped the internal combustion engine continue into the future. With an EPA combined mileage of 99 mpg, few vehicles could compare to the Volt’s fuel economy. And with an all-electric range of 53 miles, most day-to-day driving could be accomplished entirely on battery power, with the car recharging overnight.
But Reuss has a point. Most newer electric vehicles also have extended ranges that allow them to travel much further than before, making the internal combustion engine unnecessary.
For now, the Bolt replaces the Volt as Chevy’s green car. It remains to be seen what GM will come out with next to compete with higher-end EVs like the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model 3.