In the world of alternate and “Green” vehicles, driving range and mileage are the main driving factors to a vehicle’s success. For the 2013 model year, the different kind of electric vehicle, Chevrolet’s Volt, will be getting an extra boost on the competition as both its EV mode and MPG ratings will increase. Jumping up 3 miles from 2012, the Volt can now travel up to 38 miles in zero emissions mode when fully charged. Increasing as well will be the car’s equivalent MPG (MPGe) – now 98 – and its total, extended driving range which can now be up to 380 miles.
Blame for the added efficiency can be put on the Volt’s lithium-ion battery pack and the cells within. Subtle changes and additions to the material composition resulted in the manganese spinel chemistry being modified and increasing performance. “The best way to explain what we’ve done at the cell level is to compare it to a cake batter recipe. 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,” said Bill Wallace, GM director of Global Battery Systems Engineering.
Quiet changes to the Volt didn’t just stop at the battery’s material as its power has been bumped up as well. Total storage capacity for the 2013 has been increased from 16 kilowatt per hour to 16.5 kilowatt per hour. The battery system has also been allowed to tap into the battery’s life more so compared to the 2012. Increasing ever so slightly is the car’s state-of-charge window which will allow for faster charge times as low as 4.25 hours using a 240 volt system. All in all, the 2013 model year Chevrolet Volt may have received very subtle changes, but they should go a long way in keeping the car completely surprising.
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