GM CEO: next-generation Volt will see big price drop

GM CEO Daniel Akerson was talking green with Fortune’s Geoff Colvin at this week’s Brainstorm Green conference. He talked about the $90 million that GM saves every year in the US from its energy- and waste-saving policies, and took a dig at the politicians, pointing out that no president since Nixon has articulated a national energy policy, but that our global competition has.

Of course, the big news was all about plug-in vehicles. Saying that “we hope by 2017 that we’ll have a half million cars with one form of electrification or another,” Akerson spoke of the upcoming Cadillac ELR and Spark EV, and the Chevy Volt, which he proudly drives. “We have 10,000 miles on it and I haven’t put 10 gallons of gas in it.”

Akerson acknowledged that GM is currently losing money on every Volt it sells, “but, this is the first generation. So, the first year it outsold [Toyota’s] – what’s the name of that funny car they have? For the first two years we outsold them, first year, second year, and this year. We sell a couple of thousand a month in the US. We’re exporting them to China. We’re exporting them to Europe.”

Now, here comes the bombshell: “In this next generation we think we can decrease the price on the order of $7,000 to $10,000, without decontenting. That’s very important to us. And at that point in time I think you’ll see the second generation be much more, hopefully, profitable. I think it will be profitable. And we took a gamble, and we put the same technology, enhanced a bit. It can actually regenerate while you’re driving now. And we’ll put it in the Cadillac [ELR]…we’re not giving up on this.”

Such a substantial price reduction on the popular American-made plug-in, which currently starts at $39,145, would completely change the plug-in game. When? Ah, GM isn’t saying. Our colleagues at InsideEVs have opined that the second-generation Volt may appear around the 2016 model year.


Image: GM
Sources: Fortune, InsideEVs