For months word has circulated that General Motors was preparing to kill one of the cars that helped launch the company’s resurgence from bankruptcy, the Chevrolet Volt.
But GM is making a game effort to silence the chatter with the announcement of a series of technical and equipment changes to what will be the 2019 version of the Chevrolet Volt, starting with a new 7.2 kW charging system the cuts recharging times nearly in half and power seats. The change in the charging system will almost double the all-electric driving range per hour of electric charge, Chevrolet said.
The changes will take effect this fall and could be one last effort to save the Volt from extinction.
The new charging system, however, headlines a number of additional enhancements for the 2019 Volt and increases the vehicle’s all-electric utility for owners who take advantage of “opportunity charging,” or plugging in around town to top off the battery charge.
(EV tax credits soon to end for some automakers. Click Here for the story.)
“With about twice the range added during 240V Level 2 charging sessions, the 2019 Volt’s 7.2 kW system makes opportunity charging more worthwhile,” said Jesse Ortega, chief engineer, Chevrolet Electric Vehicles.
“It effectively extends the vehicle’s all-electric driving range, while providing about twice the range for the money when plugging in at public facilities that charge by the hour,” he added.
In practical terms, with the new 7.2 kW system, a complete recharge can be achieved in as little as 2.3 hours with a 240-volt outlet and supporting hardware, Chevy said. The new system is standard on the 2019 Volt Premier model and available on the LT trim. A 3.6 kW charger is standard on the Volt LT.
The new charging system complements the Volt’s extended-range electric propulsion system, which with a full tank of gas and a full charge offers an EPA-estimated 53 miles of pure EV range and 106 MPGe, or gasoline equivalent. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered generator kicks in to extend the driving range to a total of 420 miles (675 km) on a full tank.
For Volt owners in colder climates who want to minimize the use of gasoline, the 2019 Volt allows activation of the automatic engine-assisted heating system to be deferred until much lower temperatures — minus 13 degrees F / minus 25 degrees C — for more all-electric operation.
The 2019 Volt also features new Low and Regen on demand profiles that enable increased regenerative braking capability when drivers let off the accelerator pedal. The feature helps the vehicle achieve its class-leading EV range, and the updates come with an improved driving feel with smoother operation when slowing.
(Click Here for more about GM, Honda teaming up for next-gen batteries.)
A new Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with an 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen incorporates a new Energy App are also available on the 2019 Volt.
The app’s Impacts Screen lets drivers know how driving style, route, weather conditions and cabin comfort setting could affect range and conveys the impact more intuitively based on mileage rather than the previous numerical “score.”
The 2019 Volt also introduces its first power driver’s seat. The six-way seat is standard on Premier and available on LT models.
Additional features include GM’s continuing evolution of the pedestrian alert system, first deployed in 2011, which will front and rear speakers to provide audible alerts when operating at slow speeds, as well as a new digital rearview camera that replaces the analog system found on previous versions of the Volt.
A new driver-controlled Adaptive Cruise Control allows the choice of conventional cruise control or adaptive cruise control. A dealer-installed blackout package also is available for 2019 and includes sport pedals, black front/rear bowtie emblems and 17-inch machined-aluminum wheels with black-painted pockets.
“The 2019 Volt’s enhancements give customers more of what they love with the vehicle and make it even more useful as an everyday electric vehicle,” said Ortega. “It’s a more seamless experience than ever.”
(To see more about GM increasing Bolt production, Click Here.)
However, one thing GM didn’t do for 2019 is change the Volt’s exterior, except offering a new exterior color: Pacific Blue Metallic.