The 2013 Chevrolet Volt will be able to drive 8.6 percent further solely on electric power, but recharging the battery will take slightly longer, General Motors said today.
The 2013 model will be able to travel 38 miles on a single charge — three miles more than the 2012 model. Coupled with its extended-range gasoline engine, the Volt’s total range will be about 380 miles, GM said. When the battery is exhausted, the gasoline engine will power the car for about 340 more miles..
The automaker also said that the miles-per-gallon equivalent will increase from 94 mpg to 98 mpg.
GM slightly altered the composition of the Volt’s battery, allowing to it store 16.5 kilowatt hours of energy, up from 16 in the 2012 model.
Bill Wallace, GM’s director of global battery systems engineering, said the increase was achieved by minor modifications to the battery’s composition.
“The best way to explain what we’ve done at the cell level is to compare it to a cake batter recipe,” Wallace said in a statement. “Sometimes if you use more sugar and less vanilla you get a better tasting cake. We’ve done some work at the cell level to modify the ‘ingredients’ to make a better end result.”
But the battery will take longer to charge. Using a 240-volt outlet, the 2013 model can be fully recharged in 4 hours and 15 minutes — about a15 minute increase from the current model. It will take 10 hours to charge the vehicle from a 120-volt outlet, a half-hour increase. The battery cells are manufactured by supplier LG Chem, and the batteries are assembled by GM at a plant in suburban Detroit.
GM sold 7,057 Volts during the first five months of 2012. It sold 2,184 during the same time period last year.
The 2013 Volt goes on sale in August, GM says.