Chevrolet Volt: the Batteries Are Stronger and Lighter
Production is set to begin fall 2015 on the second generation of the plug-in hybrid, which GM says will travel about 50 miles on a single charge. The Volt’s steering, tires and suspension give the car a sporty demeanor, unusual for hybrids. And overall, the car has shed some 200 pounds.
GM engineers designed the electric motors and eliminated 80 percent of the rare earth materials. The batteries are stronger and lighter and the entire drive unit is smaller. The same basic unit, minus about a dozen parts, drives the Malibu hybrid.