Automotive

EPA stamps 53-mile electric range on 2016 Chevy Volt

The second-generation Volt debuts at the 2015 Detroit auto show
The second-generation Volt debuts at the 2015 Detroit auto show
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The second-generation Volt debuts at the 2015 Detroit auto show
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The second-generation Volt debuts at the 2015 Detroit auto show
The new Volt gets a new look, an extra seat and increased efficiency
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The new Volt gets a new look, an extra seat and increased efficiency
The new Volt drives 53 miles on battery power and 420 miles altogether
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The new Volt drives 53 miles on battery power and 420 miles altogether
The 2016 Volt at NAIAS 2015
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The 2016 Volt at NAIAS 2015
The 2016 Volt at NAIAS 2015
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The 2016 Volt at NAIAS 2015
The 2016 Volt's electric drive and gas range extender
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The 2016 Volt's electric drive and gas range extender
The new Voltec powertrain
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The new Voltec powertrain
The new T-shaped lithium-ion battery packs enough capacity for up to 53 miles of zero-emissions driving
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The new T-shaped lithium-ion battery packs enough capacity for up to 53 miles of zero-emissions driving
Inside the 2016 Volt
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Inside the 2016 Volt
Inside the 2016 Volt
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Inside the 2016 Volt
The 2016 Chevy Volt gets 42 mpg when driven via its 1.5-liter gas engine-generator
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The 2016 Chevy Volt gets 42 mpg when driven via its 1.5-liter gas engine-generator
A look at the range-extending hybrid powertrain on the new Volt
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A look at the range-extending hybrid powertrain on the new Volt
2016 Chevy Volt
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2016 Chevy Volt
The EPA has released its Volt ratings in preparation of the car's market launch
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The EPA has released its Volt ratings in preparation of the car's market launch
The 2016 Chevy Volt starts just under $34,000
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The 2016 Chevy Volt starts just under $34,000
The Chevy Volt made its world debut at NAIAS 2015 in January
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The Chevy Volt made its world debut at NAIAS 2015 in January
The 2016 Chevy Volt has a larger 18.4-kWh battery pack when compared to the first-generation Volt
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The 2016 Chevy Volt has a larger 18.4-kWh battery pack when compared to the first-generation Volt

The US EPA's ratings on the new Chevy Volt are in and they're a bit better than Chevy announced when it introduced the second-generation plug-in at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The car travels for 53 miles (85 km) on battery power before requiring assistance from its 1.5-liter gas engine generator. It gets 106 mpg-e (2.2 l/100 km) under electric power and 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km) when the gas engine is supplying power.

Chevy was using a round 50 miles (80 km) when estimating the 2016 Volt's range earlier this year, so the official 53-mile figure is a tad higher. More importantly, though, it's a 39 percent improvement over the outgoing Volt's 38 miles (61 km), a fact that will help the car appeal to those looking to lessen the influence ever-fluctuating gas prices have on their daily lives.

Chevy expects many 2016 Volt owners to drive on battery power alone for 90 percent of their trips. As a result, it's advertising that buyers can expect to drive for more than 1,000 miles between fill-ups.

"We listened to our customers,” says Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. "They were very clear when they told us that they wanted more range and a fun driving experience behind the wheel. We are confident that the 2016 Volt delivers both.”

The EPA has released its Volt ratings in preparation of the car's market launch
The EPA has released its Volt ratings in preparation of the car's market launch

After driving 53 miles under power from the 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, the Volt's 1.5-liter range extender kicks in to bring the total range to 420 miles (676 km). The gas-driven fuel economy of 42 mpg represents an improvement over the 2015 Volt, which rates at 37 mpg. The new 106 mpg-e figure is up from 98 mpg-e on the outgoing Volt.

In addition to adding performance, Chevy has actually dropped the price of the car when compared to the 2015 model. The 2016 Volt will cost US$33,995 after $825 destination fee, a clean $1,000 decrease from the $34,995 launch price of the 2015 Volt. Those qualifying for the maximum US federal tax credit for plug-in vehicles will be able to purchase the car for as little as $26,495, while the price in California drops as low as $24,995 with a mix of federal and state incentives, according to GM.

When it launched in 2010, the 2011 Volt started at $41,000. Chevy has since worked the price down little by little, with the most dramatic drop coming on the 2014 model, which decreased by $5,000 from MY2013 levels to $34,995.

More car/less money seems like a formula that will help drive Volt sales, which dipped just below 19,000 units last year, down from around 23,000 in 2013.

Source: General Motors

6 comments
Aross
I would love to hear the performance stats when the outside temperature is well below freezing.
thomasgtsr
How about we compare this car to the Volkswagen Jetta TDI in price and mileage..... I bet you money the Volkswagen matches and exceeds this car in every way and on top of all that it is less than this cars MSRP after the government rebates. Why even waste your time with this car??? I know the Volkswagen can't do 1,000miles on one tank(its about 600-700miles), but neither can a person because that equates to 14hours of driving non stop. Just about no one can do that.
Eric G
@Aross I own a volt and the maximum range from battery power alone does go down below freezing but I haven't found it to be anything to worry about. They claim 38 miles range and I consider that a bad day, in good weather my car says I have 42 miles range which it seems to adjust based on my most current driving conditions. During the the cold weeks of winter here in Texas 10-30 degrees F the distance might drop to 36 miles, which if 2-4 miles difference in range bothers you then you probably should look elsewhere. That all changes if you run the heat and expect it to be as toasty as your house. You will probably drop to 20 miles range if you do that. Just bundle up and turn on the seat warmers. It's probably not great for cold climates where the winter is 6 month a year but typical 3 month winters it would perform fine. @thmasgtsr My brother owns a Jetta TDI, so I've driven both extensively and there really isn't a comparison. I don't think the same people should even consider both cars. The Jetta TDI is a great midsize car that gets awesome fuel mileage and very versatile. The Volt is much more niche in that it's great for daily commutes that are under 40 miles, but you sometimes (1-3 times a month) need extra range. The real cars it compares with are the Nissan Leaf that has a niche market of people that always stay under 80 miles range and likely have another car for road trips. The Toyota Prius is the opposite end of the spectrum where if you consistently exceed 60 miles per day then this is a much better option than a Volt in terms of efficiency. The Jetta TDI is likely a much better comparison to the Toyota Prius because obviously you don't care about always burning fossil fuels. The Volt is much closer to the Leaf in that regard since it's an electric car unless you go over 40 miles. Also by my opinion there is no comparison in the driving experience either. The Volt is so quite and smooth when in electric mode that it drive me crazy when I exceed the electric range and can hear rumble and feel the of the slow response of the gasoline engine. While the Jetta TDI is silent for a diesel, the sound of that rumble compared to the silence of the electric is night and day. Diesel engines are also notoriously slow to respond to acceleration compared to a gasoline engine. Likewise gasoline engines are similarly slow in response compared to an electric because of the instant torque. In terms of drive experience, it's a luxury car vs a pickup truck (with a little exaggeration).
kmccune
Electric haters bug off,why are you people always dissing any improvements on these vehicles?You must realize while the Diesel is a pretty good deal,its a comprimise also,having worked on and been around diesels all my life I know the advantages and disadvantages,when the Diesel business took off for autos in the US,it was slow process too,give the hybrids and electrics as much time for new development,there will surely be improvements also. Regular gas is so cheap now(thanks to the alternative forms of personal transport,Diesel,Hybrids,electric,etc,so I guess we need all three)I think if everything still ran off of regular gas and there was no competition,Gas prices would be double now,somebody must be running scared of losses in the market share as long as gas is cheap,the development of alternative transport will be held back to a certain degree.
thomasgtsr
@EricG I understand your argument and it is a good one, but not 100% correct. Diesel jettas are extremely quite compare to other petrol cars. So lets look at what you get for your money and we will not cheat with the government rebates. Starting price on the volt is $34,000.... starting price on jetta TDI is $21,700. So from the beginning you need to have $12,000 worth of savings in gas to justify spending the money because the volt does not come with more useful features than the jetta. If the argument is that "at least your not burning fossil fuels", then your not thinking about the manufacturing process of the batteries and the extra use of electricity on the city grid. Also diesel is better for the environment than petrol so even if the gas mileage stats were the same diesel still wins and the jetta is better with highway mileage. So if your in the market that doesn't drive much per day how will you get your money back? I know. The government will give it to you. Because that makes perfect sense. Also what happens to the 10%-15% ethanol gasoline sitting in your tank that is never used??? Probably will do something bad eventually (corrosion). your whole last paragraph is an opinion. I love engine noise and hearing turbo wine of the jetta. How about actually making a difference in greenhouse emissions with the government giving companies incentives to let employees work from home. If they did that less people would be on the road and the roads would last longer. I think that would help more. last but not least if diesel is already better for the environment, more efficient, and are typically longer lasting motors why not give the $8,000 tax credit for them. If you were able to pay $13,000 for a jetta TDI or $26,000 for a volt which would you choose? @kmccune your argument is just bad. Don't call me an electric hater. If there was an electric car that could charge quickly, cost less than a gas car, and go long distances I would get it in a heart beat. But I am tired of the government giving tax rebates for technology that is not ready when they could give us tax rebates on diesels.
P3t3r
I have a Volt in OZ, pity we will not be getting anymore delivered to these shores. I was looking forward to the new 5 seater.