Every car gets a mid-life refresh to keep the customers flocking in, but a hybrid poses its own unique challenges: it has to give yet another reason to skip buying an (often cheaper) gas-only ride. Chevrolet's solution for the 2013 Volt is to keep drivers on electric power for longer. A slightly larger battery capacity with more real-world room lets the new Volt run for up to 38 miles (up from 37) solely on its electric motor, 98MPGe (up from 94) if you have to draw on the fuel tank and 380 miles of range before you're looking for a plug or a gas station. If gas looks to be the only option for a long drive, an EV Hold Mode borrowed from the Volt's Opel Ampera cousin will keep the electricity in reserve until you're closer to a charging location. Hypermilers have some entertainment through a new center stack that merges GPS, satellite radio and USB media playback into a seven-inch touchscreen unit. They likewise get a lane departure warning system as well as uniform roof and trunk colors -- that signature, two-tone Volt look is going away. We're still waiting to see if prices have changed, but you can get the current scoop after the jump.
2013 Chevrolet Volt Boosts EV Range to 38 Miles
Battery storage capacity increase and cell chemistry changes enable improved range
DETROIT – The all-electric vehicle range of the 2013 Chevrolet Volt will be 38 miles on a single charge, providing owners with a three-mile EV range increase from the 2012 model. The miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) will increase from 94 miles to 98 miles and the total range, including extended range operation, will be 380 miles.
Based on real-world experience by Volt owners since the vehicle launched in late 2010, engineers made minor changes to the material composition of the battery cell chemistry, resulting in improved performance and durability. Manganese spinel chemistry remains the foundation for the Volt's battery system, but the amount of each material has been slightly modified to provide better life performance.
"The best way to explain what we've done at the cell level is to compare it to a cake batter recipe. Sometimes if you use more sugar and less vanilla you get a better tasting cake. We've done some work at the cell level to modify the 'ingredients' to make a better end result," said Bill Wallace, GM director of Global Battery Systems Engineering. "This attention to detail will allow our customers to experience more pure EV range, which is the true benefit of owning a Volt."
In addition, the total storage capacity of the Volt battery has been increased from 16 kWh of energy to 16.5 kWh, and engineers have expanded the state-of-charge window to use 10.8 kWh of the total battery energy – up from 10.3 kWh used in the 2012 model. The battery system maintains a buffer to ensure battery life, but that buffer has been reduced.
The improved EV range capability will result in slight increases to the Volt's charge times. A full recharge using a 120V could take 10.5 hours and 4.25 hours using a 240V charging unit.
Cells with improved chemistry have accumulated 150,000 test miles to date. The tests have revealed less battery degradation, the ability to withstand temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius and less impact by energy throughput.
For the first 38 miles, the Volt can drive gas and tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16.5-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank. Volt owners have travelled more than 65 million miles since the vehicle launched late 2010. Roughly two-thirds of those miles were powered by grid electricity.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
New for 2013
Increase in EPA-estimated EV range of three miles, to 38 miles
Hold drive mode in addition to Normal, Sport and Mountain drive modes, allows owners to conserve battery charge for use in the most efficient manner
Low-emissions package (e-AT-PZEV) makes Volt eligible for single-occupancy HOV-lane access in California and New York
Body color roof and liftgate
Pebble Beige premium cloth seats
Pebble Beige leather-appointed seats with suede inserts
Available audio system with GPS-based navigation, AM/FM/Sirius XM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback capability, navigation and USB port, seven-inch-diagonal touch-screen display and Radio Data System
Removable rear center armrest with storage included in available Premium Trim Package
Comfort Package includes heated driver and front passenger cloth seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel
Available Safety Package 1 includes auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, rear park assist and rear vision camera
Available Safety Package 2 includes front park assist, forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems
CHEVROLET VOLT: THE INNOVATIVE ANTIDOTE TO PAIN AT THE PUMP
The Chevrolet Volt has established an entirely new segment in the global automotive market. It is a five-door, four-passenger car designed to provide the fuel-saving and emissions-reducing benefits of an electric vehicle without the range limitations associated with all-electric vehicles.
With numerous awards that include prestigious North American Car of the Year and European Car of the Year honors – as well as a loyal and passionate customer base – the innovative Volt is bringing new customers into Chevrolet dealerships.
For 2013, Volt offers an e-AT-PZEV specification that earns the Volt a coveted "green sticker" for single-occupancy HOV lane access in California and New York. Volt also adds a Hold mode that allows owners to direct when the Volt uses its gas generator. This feature helps save money because owners who mix city and highway driving can save the battery charge for city travel, where the Volt's EV mode operates most efficiently.
Other updates for 2013 include a body-color roof and decklid, available lane departure warning system and forward collision alert crash-avoidance technologies, as well as GPS-enabled navigation capabilities to Chevy's MyLink infotainment system.
A new exterior color, Silver Topaz Metallic, and new interior color, Pebble Beige, also join the Volt lineup.
The Volt is available throughout the U.S., with additional exports to Europe, China and Canada.
The Volt is built at General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, home to the largest photovoltaic solar array in southeast Michigan. The facility can use the 516 kilowatts of solar energy generated by the 264,000-square-foot array (24,526 sq. m) to charge up to 150 Volts or help power the plant.
Volt propulsion system
The heart of the Chevrolet Volt is its Voltec propulsion system, which combines pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending engine, giving the Volt up to 382 total miles (615 km) of range.
The Volt's long-life battery consists of a 5.5-foot (1.6 m), 435-pound (198.1 kg) T-shaped, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It supplies energy to an advanced, 111-kW (149-hp) electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. Using only the energy stored in the battery, the Volt delivers an EPA-estimated 38 miles (61 km) of fuel- and tailpipe emissions-free electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature.
The Volt battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty. When the battery energy is depleted, the Volt seamlessly transitions to extended-range mode. Power is inverted from a technically advanced, 1.4L 84-hp (63-kW) gasoline-powered onboard engine to the electric drive unit to provide up to 344 (553 km) additional miles of range.
Charging the Volt's battery is simple and intuitive, and can be done with a 120V conventional household electrical outlet, or a dedicated 240V charging station. The vehicle is completely rechargeable in about four hours using a 240V outlet and 10 to 16 hours in a 120V outlet (depending on charging level and outside temperature).
Once the vehicle is plugged in, owners can schedule either immediate or delayed charges, even coordinating charging according to departure time or when electricity rates are lower. Owners also can manage and monitor the Volt remotely via computer on MyVolt.com; or via a smartphone through RemoteLink, an exclusive smartphone application powered by OnStar.
Volt design and exterior features
Working closely with aerodynamicists in GM's wind tunnel to shape the Volt, design and engineering teams developed the most aerodynamic vehicle in Chevrolet's history. By reducing the energy needed to overcome air resistance, Volt aerodynamicists contributed an estimated eight miles (5 km) of electric range, and 50 miles (80 km) of extended range.
The Volt's rounded and flush front fascia, tapered corners and grille enable air to move easily around the car to reduce drag. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler control air flow. A n aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass also help reduce turbulence and drag.
Additional exterior features include:
Body-color roof and liftgate
Daytime running lamps with LED illumination
LED center high-mounted stop lamp
Heated and power-adjustable mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators
Seventeen-inch five-spoke painted aluminum wheels are standard
Seventeen-inch five-spoke forged, polished aluminum wheels and 17-inch sport alloy wheels with black inserts are available
Pedestrian-friendly alert, featuring a driver-activated horn chirp
Exterior color choices: Silver Ice Metallic, Summit White, Black, Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Viridian Joule, Cyber Gray Metallic, Blue Topaz Metallic and (new) Silver Topaz Metallic.
Inside, the Volt offers the space, comfort, convenience and safety features customers expect in a premium five-door sedan – including storage compartments and 40/40 rear-folding seats. It also delivers them in a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options unlike any offered before on a Chevrolet sedan.
Two seven-inch, high-resolution full-color screens are featured: One is a reconfigurable graphic cluster display and the other, in the center stack, features a touch-screen display, touch-control switches and integrated shifter.
Standard interior features include:
Chevrolet MyLink includes Bluetooth streaming audio for music and smartphones, voice recognition for phone, music and radio, compatible with Pandora and Stitcher with Gracenote (playlist and album art) capability
Color touch AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback, includes seven-inch-diagonal color touch-screen display
USB audio interface port
SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a three-month trial
Bluetooth phone connectivity
Automatic climate control
Keyless access and ignition
MyVolt.com vehicle connectivity
Three auxiliary 12-volt power outlets – one in the front center console, one in the rear console and one in the upper instrument panel storage bin
Remote vehicle starting system
Universal Home Remote
Premium cloth seats
Front bucket seats with reclining seatbacks and adjustable head restraints
Interior trim combinations include: Jet Black seat with Ceramic White accents, Jet Black seats with Dark accents, Jet Black and White seats with Ceramic White accents, Jet Black and Spice Red seats with Dark accents, and Pebble Beige seats with Dark accents.
Available interior features include:
Audio system with navigation includes color touch AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback capability, GPS navigation, USB port, seven-inch diagonal touch screen display, Radio Data System, Chevrolet MyLink
Bose energy-efficient, seven-speaker sound system
Comfort Package with heated driver and front passenger cloth seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel
Safety Package 1 includes auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, rear vision camera and rear park assist
Safety Package 2 is available when Safety Package 1 is ordered, and includes front park assist, forward collision alert and lane-departure warning to help drivers avoid potential collisions
Premium Trim Package with leather-appointed seat trim, heated driver and passenger front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, removable rear seat armrests and premium door trim.
Volt chassis and suspension
The Volt's MacPherson strut-type front suspension, sophisticated compound crank rear axle and quick-reacting, rack-mounted electric power steering system with ZF steering gear have been tuned to deliver a smooth, refined ride with responsive handling and a solid, on-center feel.
A low center of gravity combines with the wide track and long wheelbase for balanced performance. Front and rear hydraulic ride bushings help eliminate road harshness.
An electro-hydraulic regenerative brake system captures energy up to 0.2g for transfer back to the battery. The friction braking system features large rotors with a special finishing process that protects against corrosion and promotes longer life.
The Volt rides on lightweight aluminum wheels that weigh only 17.8 pounds (8.1 kg) each, compared to 24.2 pounds (11 kg) for typical 17-inch wheels. They're wrapped in Goodyear Fuel Max all-season, low-rolling resistance tires optimized for electric vehicle range, noise, feel and performance.
Volt safety and crash-avoidance features
The Volt helps protect occupants before, during and after a crash. C rash-avoidance features include standard anti-lock brakes with traction control, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and advanced, LED daytime running lamps that make the Volt more visible to other motorists and pedestrians.
Occupant protection continues with a strong structure, and the Chevrolet Volt's body-frame-integral structure strategically blends advanced steels to help ensure crashworthiness and stiffness. Nearly 80 percent of the Volt's overall structure consists of high-strength, advanced high-strength or ultra high-strength steel.
Because the Volt operates so quietly in all-electric mode, a driver-activated feature sounds a noise to alert pedestrians, particularly those with visual impairments, in an intersection. The alert was developed in conjunction with the American Federation of the Blind.
Additional safety features include:
Eight standard air bags, including dual-stage driver and passenger air bags; front driver and passenger knee air bags to help mitigate lower leg injuries; roof rail side-curtain air bags that extend over both seating rows for side-impact and rollover protection; and seat-mounted thorax and pelvic side air bags
Available forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems warn drivers of a potential crash
Available front and rear park assist
Available rear vision camera
Automatic occupant sensing system detects the presence of a child or smaller adult in the front passenger seat and suppresses the air bag to help avoid an injury
Rollover sensing and protection system
Collapsible pedal assembly to protect against lower leg injuries
Safety belt retractor and lap belt pretensioners in the driver and front passenger positions
LATCH child seat installation system in rear seating positions
Anti-lock brakes, traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability enhancement
Tire pressure monitoring system.
After a crash, the Chevrolet Volt offers the security of OnStar, which uses built-in vehicle sensors to automatically alert an OnStar advisor in certain types of collisions. The advisor is immediately connected to the vehicle and can request that emergency help be sent to its location.
Three years of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Volt. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar's RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
Volt features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.