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Chevrolet Electrifies Crowd with 2016 Volt at NAIAS

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Second-Generation Chevy Volt Increases EV Range to 50 Miles

General Motors today unveiled a new and improved version of Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The redesigned 2016 Volt will travel about 50 miles purely on electricity stored in a new lighter 18.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack. That’s up from 38 miles in the 2015 Volt. Estimated range has been increased to more than 400 miles when assisted with the 1.5-liter Ecotec range extender engine.

The batteries were also a target for reingineering. Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using fewer cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds. This weigh reduction furthers the next-generation Volt’s efficiency and performance.

2016 Chevrolet Volt at NAIAS

At the same time, the 2016 Volt is quicker than the current model. Its two-motor electric propulsion system is 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter than its predecessor. That allows the second-generation Volt to accelerate from 0 to 30 mph in 2.6 seconds—compared with 3.2 seconds in the current model.

2016 Chevrolet Volt at NAIAS

2016 Chevrolet Volt at NAIAS

The visual design of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt is designed to appeal to a wider mainstream audience—rather than the first wave of eco-geeks who make up the majority of today’s Volt drivers. The new version replaces the current Volt’s angular lines and inset windows with more sweeping curves and a wider stance.

2016 Chevrolet Volt at NAIAS

Designers from General Motors attempted to expand its cabin design from a four-seat model to one that carries five passengers. However, the car now requires that the middle second-row passenger to squeeze in, and straddle the battery tunnel. It remains less than ideal.

Beyond the expanded 50-mile capability of the Volt, General Motors also announced that in about 2017, it would introduce the Bolt (with a B). That pure EV model, introduced in Detroit as a concept model, promises 200 miles of driving range on a single charge—and a purchase price of about $30,000 after federal tax incentives.

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