According to Jim Federico, who is GM’s executive director, group vehicle line director and VLE for global compact, mini, small and electric vehicles (yes, they have long titles over there), the company is planning to offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Chevy Cruze. But, wait. Isn’t that the same thing as a Volt?

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Well, not exactly. GM is making a distinction between this technology and its “range-extended EV” powertrain in the Volt. GM’s definition of a plug-in hybrid is one in which the engine and motor operate simultaneously at all times, as opposed to the Volt in which the backup engine only comes on to replenish the battery that is powering the motor at the wheels. In English that means that the Cruze is likely to have lower gas mileage and range than the Volt, and will be put in the ring to compete directly with the plug-in Prius. As the Volt is designed for best mileage at higher speeds and the Prius is specifically designed for optimal range in city driving, we hope GM will build the Cruze for the latter purpose, to give its customers an option for a low-speed commute. Either way, with the non-hybrid Chevy Cruze Eco getting 40 miles per gallon already, the Cruze hybrid shouldn’t disappoint.

+ GM

Via EGM CarTech