The Chevrolet Volt’s all-new second-generation Voltec extended-range electric propulsion system (earlier post) delivers 53 miles (85 km) of all-electric range, based on EPA testing. That is nearly a 40% improvement over the first-generation Volt, and a 6% boost over the projected 50-mile (80 km) AER estimated at the new Volt’s unveiling in January. (Earlier post.)
Chevrolet expects many next-generation Volt owners will use power solely from their batteries for more than 90% of trips. Today, Volt owners use battery power on 80% of their trips, according to GM. The additional range would enable the average Volt owner to travel well over 1,000 miles (1,609 km) (in multiple trips) between gas fill ups, if they charge regularly.
In a paper (Duhon et.al, SAE 2015-01-1164) presented at SAE World Congress in April this year, GM engineers reported that in an evaluation of one year of in-use operating data from the first generation Chevrolet Volt, initial Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) starts were reduced by 70% relative to conventional vehicles under the same driving conditions. These Gen 1 Volt drivers were able to travel 74% of their total miles in EV without requiring the ICE’s support.
The authors noted then that, even with the original expected AER of 50 miles, second generation Volt drivers located in moderate climates who do not often select hold or mountain mode may be able to achieve nearly 90% of trips driven all-electrically.
For the first 53 miles, the Gen 2 Volt can drive gas and tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its new 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, rated at a combined 106 MPGe, or gasoline equivalent. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range for a total of 420 miles (676 km) on a full tank.
The next-generation Volt’s new 1.5L range-extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km).
Data shows that drivers of the first-generation Volt achieved, and often exceeded, the published EPA-estimated mileage. Chevrolet expects the same label-exceeding result with the next-generation Volt.
Duhon, A., Sevel, K., Tarnowsky, S., and Savagian, P. (2015) “Chevrolet Volt Electric Utilization,” SAE Int. J. Alt. Power. 4(2) doi: 10.4271/2015-01-1164