The 2013 Chevrolet Volt will offer a slightly higher all-electric range, up from 35 to 38 miles, General Motors said today.

The miles-per-gallon equivalent on the plug-in hybrid will jump from 94 miles to 98 miles over the 2012 model, the Detroit automaker said.

General Motors says it achieved this by making some minor changes to the material composition of the battery cell chemistry, which resulted in improved performance and durability.

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.

In English, 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.
GM has sold more than 7,000 Volts in the U.S. during the first five months of the year, including 1,680 in May — its second best month since launch.

GM came under criticism for saying it would sell 10,000 plug-in hybrid Volts in 2011 — and sold less than 7,700. The company abandoned its 2012 U.S. sales forecast for the Volt of 45,000 — saying it would instead match supply to meet demand.



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