How Can GM Justify an All-New Chevrolet Volt?

Sources: General Motors, Toyota, Ford

The plug-in version of Toyota's Prius outsold the Volt by just 36 units through the first seven months of 2014. Even Ford's two plug-ins combined only outsold the Volt by 1,585 vehicles over the same period.

So it's reasonable to argue that the Volt is competitive enough , even if it has fallen far short of its original targets.

In GM's eyes, that makes it worth an overhaul.

What the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt will be like

We don't actually know very much about the all-new 2016 Volt at this point. Aside from the teaser photo shown above and a general statement that the new Volt will build on the original's "strong foundation of technology innovation and customer satisfaction," GM hasn't tipped its hand.

It's probably reasonable to expect that the new Volt will have updated styling inside and out, along with improved electric-only range and fuel economy when running in hybrid mode.

But it's unlikely to be a radically new product like the original -- and it's unlikely to cost anywhere near as much to develop. Rather, the 2016 Volt is more likely to be improved and enhanced, but built along the same basic lines as the current car.

Will that be enough? Given that the current Volt is still quite competitive with its small circle of rivals -- and given that there have been no major breakthroughs in electric-car-battery technology since the original Volt debuted -- it's probably all that's really needed.

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The article How Can GM Justify an All-New Chevrolet Volt? originally appeared on

John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford, General Motors, and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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