By Evan Ackerman
Alright, so technically I guess the Chevy Volt is losing amps, not volts, but it was a pretty obligatory headline, right? GM says that they’re going to be reducing the size of the Volt’s gas tank from 12 gallons to something less than that (but they’re not exactly sure how much yet). This’ll drop the range of the Volt from about 600 miles to less than 400 miles.
Just to recap, the Volt travels its first 40 miles on pure electricity (which it gets from your wall outlet). After that, a gas powered generator kicks in to extend the range of the car. On a day to day basis, most people don’t drive more than 40 miles, so the gas tank isn’t a factor at all. When it comes to longer trips, GM says that having a range of 600 miles isn’t really necessary since “most bladders can’t go 600 miles.” Um, okay. Also, reducing the size of the gas tank will apparently reduce both cost and weight, enabling GM to call this an “improvement,” although I can’t imagine it’s really that significant.
I guess this shouldn’t be that big of a deal, and this sort of thing is only to be expected as the Volt transitions from concept to reality, but I’m worried that the essence (and the remarkableness) of the Volt is getting slowly eaten away. The late 2010 release date is only a few years away, but a lot can happen between now and then, and so far, it hasn’t been anything good.