To restate my main points, IMO, the Volt's principle inadequacies are as a result of GM’s decision to use an existing ICEV traction engine, that is fundamentally unsuited for the role of an ICE generator, as an EV range extender, since:
It is far too large to be used efficiently for the task required.
It runs on an unstable and highly polluting fuel, gasoline.
Which also prevents the hydrocarbon fuel from being used for the one purpose for which these fuels are ideally suited, to heat the passenger cabin (and battery pack, if so required) using a combustion heater.
GM made an excellent decision, this is why:
1. existing ICE engine is much cheaper than developing and EPA certifying a dedicated genset engine, GM was short for time and money at that point, if you recall.
2. GM intended to use a derivative of their already designed (and very expensive) 2 Mode FWD electric transaxle (designed in partnership with Mercedes and Chrysler), but modified to a simpler configuration.. this transaxle was designed to fit a conventional ICE, not some new fangled cold fusion reactor or H2 fool cell.. it was a requirement that in certain hybrid modes the ICE could be coupled semi-directly to the wheels, required for a desire for efficiency.
3. GM engineers had a requirement that the Volt would run at 100mph while in the hybrid mode, thus that forced the requirement of the large 80hp engine.. as a matter of fact the engine was slightly too small to afford an atkinsonizing process and also required using premium fuel.. most likely the next generations of the genset will use a larger engine, unless GM drops the 100mph requirement. Voltec tech is adaptable to this kind of stuff.. hopefully they will use a atkinson ICE.
Why are you saying that gasoline is an unstable and polluting fuel? .. this is not true at all. Are you a paid patsy of the EV Cartel?.. paid to spread FUD?.. do you think GM can afford to put a diesel in a Volt, or a CNG tank?
Kerosene or alcohol would be a better liquid fuel for a heater, if that is all you want.. but GM wanted a no compromise BEV that would behave like a conventional car once the battery is depleted. Yes the Volt is heavy, blame that on all the heavy steel required by the safety goons in the Insurance Cartel.
The cost of the Volt is not bad, once you consider the cost of the much inferior PIP, the Focus BEV, the Coda and even the Leaf. I personally prefer a Leaf but I will not tolerate Volt abuse because its fashionable among certain people. Its understandable the Leaf and PIP are expensive, its due to the exchange rate of the Yen to the Dollar.
Step back and observe something.. here we have an almost 4000lbs behemoth, praised for its luxurious ride, safety and sportiness, driven by a lousy 80hp engine and still getting 35mpg on the city and 40 on the hwy.. and once it gets the California $2500 rebate its cost will drop below the average transaction price of vehicles sold in the US... and you still get the benefits of a BEV if driven less than 40 miles. Its a win-win without all the trip pre-planning and angst of a crippled pure BEV.