General Motors asked what Chevy Volt owners wanted more of, and the overwhelming response was “more range!” With the introduction of the 2016 Chevy Volt, everything is better, particularly range and fuel economy.
First, General Motors upgraded the 17.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack to 18.4 kWh. According to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates, this gives the new Chevy Volt a range of 53 miles, almost 40% better than the 2015 Chevy Volt’s 38 miles of electric-only range. Then, the 1.4 ℓ range-extender was also upgraded, and the new 1.5 ℓ range-extender, which runs on regular unleaded fuel, is also more efficient.
Running in range-extending mode, with the gasoline engine supplying the energy to the electric motor-generators, the new Chevy Volt is rated at 42 mpg, compared to the outgoing Volt’s 38 mpg (miles per gallon). On a full charge and full tank of gas, the 2016 Chevy Volt has a range of 420 miles and overall fuel economy rating of 106 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), while the outgoing 2015 Chevy Volt had a range of 380 miles and overall fuel economy rating of 98 MPGe.
Over the years, General Motors has kept track of how Chevy Volt owners use their cars, and the results are surprising. In spite of having the convenience of running on gasoline, about 80% of Chevy Volt mileage is electric-only. With increased electric-only range, up to 53 miles per charge, General Motors suggests that figure could increase to 90%.
Of course, that doesn’t take into account Chevy Volt hypermilers, some pushing thousands of miles per gallon, passing every gas station in sight. Car enthusiast Jay Leno’s Chevy Volt, for example, averages over 2,000 mpg! What will the new average be?