2016 Volt highlights:
- New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation drive unit
- Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph acceleration
- Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds
- Regen on Demand™ feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a convenient paddle on the back of the steering wheel
- New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg (EPA estimate pending)
- Stronger body structure and quieter ride
- New braking system with improved capability and blended Regen feel
- New, five-passenger seating with available rear heated seats
- Location-based charging capability
- 120V portable cord set has a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location
- Available illuminated charge port
Chevrolet exhibited the brand new 2016 Volt electric vehicle at the recently concluded 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The revamped nameplate promises to be efficient and responsive with a sleeker and sportier package capable of going 50 miles solely on electricity.
The all-new propulsion system further improves the Volt’s driving range to a General Motors’-estimated 400 miles. Charging the vehicle regularly also allows owners to go an average of 1,000 miles before needing to refuel.
“The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.”
“According to independent surveyors, Volt owners are the most satisfied in the industry and they were our compass for developing the next-generation model,” added Batey.
The 2016 Chevy Volt stands on a muscular build incorporating the company’s performance vehicle design philosophy rigorously tested for the best aerodynamics.
Its active grille shutters up front help it stick to the road when at high speeds, and allows it to cool down during bumper-to-bumper traffic. A dynamic shape, carved body sides and fenders that disappear into the hood, and bright upper and lower grille pads gives it a form reminiscent of previous Volts.
The latest Volt is a five-seater sedan with blue ambient lighting inside for a cozy and inviting aura. It ships with Chevy’s signature dual digital color display with an eight-inch reconfigurable screen mounted on the instrument cluster. On the center panel is another eight-inch touch screen controlling Chevrolet’s MyLink system. Rounding up the new Volt’s interior are climate control knobs and buttons below the central display for easy operation.
New Voltec Power Plant
An improved Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system is at the heart of the 2016 Volt’s efficient and responsive performance. The engineers behind the EREV based improvements on the driving behavior of previous Volt customers.
“Volt owners complete more than 80 percent of their trips without using a drop of gasoline and they tell us they love the electric driving experience. Putting that experience at the center of the new Voltec system’s development helped us improve range, while also making the new Volt more fun to drive,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. “We established a precedent when the original Voltec propulsion system debuted and this newest iteration sets the EV technology bar even higher.”
The whole system is composed of a battery, drive unit, range-extending engine, and power electronics.
The battery is an 18.4kWh power source featuring better cell chemistry developed in partnership with LG Chem. Though the overall storage capacity is increased, the 2016 Volt’s battery actually has fewer cells compared to its predecessor; from 288 to 192. The result is a pack 9.8kg lighter, with the cells positioned lower in the body for a lower center of gravity.
Meanwhile, the Volt’s two-motor drive unit delivers the characteristic powerful experience with lesser noise and vibration. It operates 12 percent better and is 45kg lighter than the previous drive unit.
The two engines are capable of running side by side in more driving situations, in both electric vehicle and extended-range operations. Using both motors helps the Volt go from 0 to 30mph in just 2.6 seconds, a 19 percent improvement; and from 0 to 60mph in 8.4 seconds, a 7 percent improvement.
Charging Made Easier
Various features make juicing up the 2016 Volt more convenient. These include:
- GPS location-based charging
“Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for ‘home’ charging and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at ‘home’ based on GPS data,” said Farah, the chief engineer. “The new Volt will give owners greater flexibility for charging on their terms and make public charging easier.”
This allows owners to determine whether they want a 120V charging level of 8 amps or 12 amps; if they want to charge immediately; to set a departure time for each day of the week; or set a departure time and utility rate schedule. Programming these once enables the Volt to default to them when it’s at home location.
- Better charge status indicators
The brand new Chevy Volt revamped its charge status system so owners can easily gauge its power level. It features a new tone indicating that the vehicle is charging, with additional tones for delayed charging. It also notifies customers if the charge port door was left open after unplugging the power cord.
Drivers can also determine the Volt’s power level with a quick glance at the indicator light on the instrument panel. Lastly, the charging port lights up making it easier to use even when it’s dark.
- Portable Cord Set Enhancements
The nameplate’s 120v portable cord has been redesigned, and a cord storage bin has been added to the left side of the Volt’s rear cargo compartment for easier access.
Various safety features are on hand so passengers of the new Volt are protected from all kinds of road mishaps. Included are rear-vision camera; ten standard air bags with driver and front-passenger knee air bags; lane keep assist with lane departure warning; side blind zone alert with lane change alert; rear cross traffic alert; forward collision alert with following distance indicator; front automatic braking; advanced park assist with front and rear park assist; body made of high-strength steel; and better structural load paths with reinforced rocker panel structures and side structure reinforcements.
Testaments to the 2016 Volt’s safety grit are several awards, including a 5-Star overall New Car Assessment Program rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
General Motors is putting in USD 435-million in the production of three products, including the new Chevrolet Volt at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant; and future battery technologies at the Brownstown, Michigan Battery Assembly Plant.
GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Michigan is in charge of producing the new drive unit, while GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant will be the initial manufacturer of the 1.5L engine before operations move to the Flint, Michigan engine plant.
The newest 2016 Chevrolet Volt will have approximately 70-percent of its components from U.S. and Canada, a 20-percent improvement from the first Volt.