GM Might Let Other Automakers Use Chevy Volt's Powertrain

Feb 10, 2016 03:47 PM EST | John Nassivera


Automakers struggling to enter the electric car market will be happy to hear that General Motors is willing to supply the gasoline-electric powertrain used in the second-generation Chevrolet Volt to other companies.

Dan Nicholson, GM's global powertrain chief, explained the logic behind sharing the plug-in hybrid's award-winning powertrain with competitors at the opening of the automaker's Powertrain Performance and Racing Center in Pontiac, Mich., according to Automotive News.

"We want to be the partner of choice in propulsion system development in this complex and turbulent era we are approaching," Nicholson said.

The Volt's architecture made its debut in the 2016 Chevy Malibu Hybrid, which is a non-plug-in vehicle, Hybrid Cars News reported.

The Volt's powertrain comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine, two electric motors and an 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, Autoblog noted. All of this will fit under the hood of a compact car, and companies interested in using this powertrain would have to do their own packaging to make sure that the batteries fit. They may be responsible for calibration, as well.

The technology would be of great use to Fiat Chrysler, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Jaguar Land Rover and other smaller automakers who have trouble finding the resources needed for their own electric powertrain, as it presents an opportunity for them to save time bringing a hybrid car to market as well as billions on development, labor and manufacturing costs.

However, such collaborations shouldn't be expected to take place anytime soon, as GM spokesperson Kevin Kelley told Autoblog that he was "not aware of anything going on" regarding negotiations with other automakers.

The offer would also give GM a chance to save some money, Automotive News noted.

"We have a history of being a good partner," Nicholson said.

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