The first version is still yet to go on sale, but engineers at General Motors are already hard at work developing the second and third generations of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.
With the first Volt still over twelve months away, GM has decided to start work on successive generations of the car in an attempt to dramatically reduce its cost.
Above: The Opel Ampera, a re-skinned Chevy Volt.
As with any new-generation vehicle, every part of the car will come in for attention, but the primary focus of Volt development will be concentrated on the car's Lithium Ion battery pack.
To make the Volt a more versatile and attractive offering to consumers, GM engineers are focusing on making the battery pack in the Volt lighter, smaller, more efficient and more powerful. The number one priority is on making the technology cheaper.
No pricing has been announced for the Volt yet, however estimates place it at around USD $40,000 (AUD $58,000).
Tax credits and government rebates could reduce that figure to USD $30,000 (AUD $43,600), a price tag that will keep the Volt out of the reach of a large proportion of US buyers.
If GM can get it right - and that's not 'a given' - it will be hoping the Voltec drivetrain will extend the capabilities and performance of hybrids beyond those available today.
It's a big call. You can bet GM will be working furiously to make sure the Volt lives up to expectations. After all, there's more riding on its battery-packs and drivetrain than might be immediately apparent - it might just be the most important range of vehicles in the company's modern history.