This would be one less prospective owner if that were to happen. With the winter temperatures I just make it to the office on the home charge and the idea of drawing on the tank would really hurt.
Incidentally I have now done 12,000 miles and my love affair with the Ampera is as strong as ever! I know its far from perfect but it has a definate character (faults and all) and is not just bland perfection that most other cars these days are striving to achieve. For the record my last three cars were, Mercedes C Class Sport estate, BMW 5 series and Mercedes R Class - Brabus tuned, and I don't miss any of them.
What is about car mannufacturers? They seem to be totally incapable of recognising what is important to owners. They have this idea of what they want to produce and then seem to try to convince everyone that is what we want. It just makes me very angry.
The only car company that seems to have any interest in actually producing a car that satisfies customers needs is tesla but even they cannot do it at a sensible price.
I am gradually becoming convinced that EVs are not going to become mainstream for a very long time and that the intervening years will be a painful mix of models that are a mish-mash of charging standards, a mix of lease and buy batteries, a mix of AC/DC charging and a totally unusable network of charging stations. If I had read what I just wrote 18 months ago I wouldn't have believed it but I cannot avoid coming to this conclusion as I am consistently and disappointingly let down by manufacturers, charging companies, media reports.
Surely the best solution would be to do modular (dealer fit) battery packs so the dealer can sell a car with 25, 50, 75 mile range at corresponding price. It would also allow second owners to add (lease or buy) another module if they needed it.
I guess one other benefit of smaller pack could be 5 seats?
As long as the Tesla model S is in this discussion I thought I would point out, that at least here in the USA, you can buy three different batteries for three different ranges. Each of these of a higher price: 160 mile range about $55,000, 208 mile range $70,000, 265 mile range $95,000. It is my understanding that the second owner could change the battery to an upgrade if they wish. Cost of this is anyone's guess today let alone into the future. You can also get the Signature series on top of $95,000 with more bells and whistles for $105,000 +. This is their performance model. Paul's observations about the confused choices in the next 20 years is probably correct. My position is anything that gives me a choice is preferable to being a slave to the oil industry. For me the Volt comes closest to that goal.
In the summer the range is just about fine as it is I have been very near to having to use petrol on several occasions and I would have to think again if the range were reduced. I think the suggestion above of having a dealer fit option for the size of battery is a good idea but that would mean having expensive stock on the shelf which may be an issue.
The cost of producing the battery needs to be brought down the £12K price above probably includes a large amount of R&D recovery cost - how much does it actually cost to produce?.
In the past I have had to order computer bits as part of my job and shopping around I found the same genuine parts for £35 rather than £250. I appreciate that that is probably not possible with the Ampera battery but I do see a market out there for older cars where maybe a non GM company will supply batteries at a much reduced cost always assuming that the car is worth keeping after the warranties have run out. By then perhaps the cost will have been reduced anyway - who knows.
All I know is that I have saved so far approx £1,200 on the cost of petrol I would have bought if I was still driving my Astra 1.8 Auto that did 30MPG. I have now done over 8000 miles and have 250+ MPG on the display by my calculations I am on approx 259 MPG
Certainly the range was key to my decision to buy the Ampera. The Tessla options on 3 batteries is the best solution but if one wants to go electric, can't afford the Tessla but need that extra range on the odd occasion it seems to me the Ampera is the current answer.
I saw an article last week that discussed a patent GM has applied for which proposes a method to repair faulty cells. I guess they want to reduce number they have to replace under 8 year warranty. I will try and find link and add.
Re dealer fit packs, they could actually reduce cost of inventory as they could just keep a few in stock and order more when needed from a central warehouse. The whole JIT model again.
Re 4 or 5 seats they could change the pack shape for a next generation Volt. I am sure the 4 seats does hurt sales.