2013 Chevrolet Volt boosts EV range to 38 miles

June 8, 2012
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. Models sold in commuter-congested California will have a Low Emissions Package that qualify for carpool lanes regardless of the number occupants in the Volt.

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 of the chemistry, resulting in improved performance and . 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.

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.

Explore further: Michigan to get 5,300 charging stations for electric cars

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5 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2012
GM needs to stop calling this an electric car, it isn't. It's a plug-in hybrid and all the claims they make for it are relevant to any plug-in. Maybe if they stopped pushing a lie, people would buy.
1 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2012
Oh for f's sake ; big deal.
not rated yet Jun 08, 2012
dschlink, you are correct, but it is a hybrid that won't leave you stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery. I suspect the reason for poor sales is the ROI. Couple that with much reduced capability (i.e, towing a boat, for example).
Now, change the equation with solar panels large enough to charge it while you leave it parked at work, then maybe for commuters and city drivers it might make more sense. I think a major paradigm shift in zoning and work schedules that minimize both commute length and smooth out traffic flow might be more practical. As far as hybrids go, equipping them with multifuel EXTERNAL combustion engines have much to offer. Home made methanol would be an ideal fuel. The Volt and it's contemporaries are just the beginning. like the Model A, for example.
1 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2012
I drive my car 22 miles each way to work, where there is a charging station. 2 miles to the grocery store for a major shop twice a month. Anywhere else, beach or just for a ride, I take my motorcycle. Hunting or camping I take my truck. I figure with a Volt able to go electric only for 38 miles on a charge, my biggest problem would be the gas going stale in the tank.

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