Voltec Chevrolet Orlando in the works

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. With a lithium-ion battery pack, GM expects sales of their Volt line are decent. , but the automaker understands that the technology needs to expand to power other vehicles, hence the news that the Chevy Orlando could be next.

Chevy Orlando’s All-New MPV

The Chevrolet Orlando hasn’t hit the market yet, but when it does, it will be a compact four-door, five-passenger multipurpose vehicle built on GM’s Delta II platform. That same platform will also underpin the Chevy Volt, meaning it won’t be long before GM offers 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 options, while the Voltec Orlando would include most of the same components that power the Volt. That move would save GM money and offer buyers something else besides the Volt sedan.

GM is also exploring other uses for the Voltec, including creating an entirely new Cadillac model based on the Converj concept. The Converj has been well received at recent car shows, an attractive coupe that would make a nice addition to the Cadillac lineup.

Expansion of the use of Voltec

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 that helps extend the vehicle’s range. The main complaint among EV buyers is that most cars will only go 60-100 miles before needing a recharge. With Voltec, drivers can go sixty miles before the little four-cylinder engine kicks in.

One of the main reasons GM is considering other uses for Voltec is to help lower the cost of the Chevy Volt. Before the government rebates go into effect, GM says the Volt will sell for more than $40,000, giving it a price similar to that of all Chevy models except the Corvette and its big sport utility vehicles. Even with a $7,500 federal tax refund on the line, the cost of the Volt will still be at least $35,000, maybe more if certain features are selected. By expanding Voltec to other models, the price of the Volt could drop in the coming years, which will be good news for consumers who want to adopt the technology but can’t afford the high prices.

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