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2026 Chevrolet Volt Comes Back From the Nether to CGI-Salute GM's New PHEV Strategy

Last year, General Motors kept its lead across the US automotive market with 2.6 million deliveries. It was a comfortable one – Toyota sold a little over 2.24 million units and Ford almost two million. However, very few of these autos were full EVs.
2026 Chevrolet Volt rendering by vburlapp 26 photos
Photo: burlappcar.com
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Obviously, GM isn't at the level it wanted to be with zero emissions models – the GMC Hummer EV is a flop, and the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV, Chevy Equinox EV and Blazer EV are only hitting the market or incoming. Besides, all of them – including the Cadillac Lyriq – are plagued by lots and lots of problems, especially on the software side. As such, we are surprised that in a recent conference call with investors at the end of January, GM's Mary Barra announced a significant change of strategy with a renewed focus on reintroducing plug-in hybrids to the lineup.

Of course, it's still early on, and the head honcho refrained from naming specific details or model nameplates – but it's clear they need them as fast as possible to make sure the company will meet the ever-more-stringent federal fuel economy regulations, according to CNBC. Initially, GM led the way in the PHEV sector with the Chevrolet Volt produced over two generations between 2010 and 2019 – but the model was phased away, citing slowing demand and other factors.

Naturally, at the time, they were also highly confident that the internal EV revolution would make PHEVs superfluous by this time – which wasn't exactly the case, as it turns out. Instead, it turns out that Toyota's slow rollout of EVs was a saner strategy for a legacy automaker as nobody seems able to compete with Tesla's quick-rising sales and fast-dropping prices just yet.

The imaginative realm of digital car content creators has also noticed GM's new idea and quickly came up with a solution through Vince Burlapp (aka vburlapp on social media or burlappcar.com), a prolific virtual artist who loves to dream of all the latest models across the wide-ranging automotive realm. As such, to get GM out of the predicament quickly, the pixel master simply envisioned a third-generation Chevrolet Volt.

There's logic behind it, as the model would have a loyal following already, and people will immediately see it as a potential rival to the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime. Interestingly, not long ago, the author also envisioned a potential Prius EV as Toyota's next step for the series.

So, do you think the CGI expert nailed the styling of a potential reborn Volt, and would it be quirky yet enticing enough to jeopardize the popularity of the new Prius Prime? Also, is GM prepared for a return to PHEVs, or should we be fearful they might botch them just like they did with the BEV3 and Ultium-based EVs?


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Editor's note: Gallery includes official images of Chevrolet Volt.

About the author: Aurel Niculescu
Aurel Niculescu profile photo

Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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