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2013 Chevy Volt Gets Bigger Battery And Range Boost
The Chevy Volt is really giving the Nissan Leaf a run for its money. For the 2012 model, its price inched ever closer, and now another important figure is creeping up on Nissan. The 2013 Volt will use a re-engineered lithium-ion battery to increase both electric-only range and overall fuel economy.
The new Volt, which will hit dealerships in August, adds three miles to its zero-emissions range for a total of 38 miles. In terms of overall efficiency, the new Volt boasts a 98 mpg-e figure, up from 94 mpg-e. The new Volt can travel a total of 380 miles on a full charge/full tank of gas, according to GM.
At first glance, that 98 mpg-e figure looks awfully close to the Nissan Leaf's 99 mpg-e. However, as hard as GM tries, the Chevy Volt isn't an all-electric vehicle like the Leaf, so the mpg-e isn't the final figure. That figure still needs to be averaged with the gas-only 37 mpg figure for the "combined composites" fuel economy. The EPA rated the 2011 Volt at a combined rating of 60 mpg, so the 2013 model will likely be a little above that.
In terms of how GM improved its batteries, the official info reads a little like a mix of high school science lesson and battery science for kindergartners.
We like the latter version, and Bill Wallace, GM director of Global Battery Systems Engineering, gives it to us: "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."
In addition to some juggling of ingredients, the battery gets a slight capacity boost to 16.5 kWh (from a flat 16). That capacity adds a little time to charging: 10.5 hours total with a 120V charger (up from 10) and 4.25 hours using a 240V charging unit (up from 4).
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Reports
Tags: Chevy, Volt, 2013 Volt, GM, plug-ins, hybrids, green
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