2016 Chevrolet Volt gets mileage boost from decreased weight and better chemistry image

General Motors has recently announced the production plans for its fully electric Chevy Bolt, but before 2017 eager clients can get a taste of electric power via the second generation 2016 Volt plug-in hybrid.

While the electric car market is not yet up to speed as automakers wanted, they have no other choice but to keep pushing such models, with global regulations eager to promote zero-emissions vehicles in order to decrease the worldwide carbon footprint. As an intermediate step, we have the plug-in hybrids – such as the Volt. And because progress is needed when generational changes are introduced, GM engineers made the model more attractive by boosting the model’s range on a battery charge from 38 miles in the outgoing to 50 miles in the new model. The plug-in hybrid, set to reach US dealerships during the second part of 2015, took a diet to lift performance and range. It’s 243 pounds lighter than the 2015 variant – with powertrain and other notable engineering changes.

For starters, the gasoline engine grew a little from 1.4 to 1.5 liters, delivering now 101 hp through the use of direct fuel injection. For the loss of weight, the engineers opted to have the block made of aluminum. GM also needed a new electric transaxle – it previously featured one large electric motor. Now they have two motors to drive the vehicle and a third, smaller, to lubricate and cool components. One, two or a combination of both is used depending on driving conditions, maximizing power usage and performance while the new transaxle is still 33 pounds lighter than the old one. The battery pack, provided by South Korea’s LG Chem has improved chemistry, being lighter and more powerful: 120 kW instead of 110 kW and 403 pounds instead of the previous 434.

Via Automotive News