DETROIT — The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will deliver an electric range of 53 miles, a 15-mile improvement over the current model, when it arrives at Chevrolet dealerships this fall, GM said in a statement Tuesday.
Importantly, it will also return an EPA-estimated 42 mpg combined when its plug-in battery power is depleted. For comparison, the 2015 Volt delivers an electric range of 38 miles and a combined fuel economy rating of 37 mpg, according to the EPA. It also requires premium fuel. The new model does not.
The 2016 Volt's total range will increase to 420 miles, compared to the 380 miles on the current car, thanks in part to improved electricity consumption of 32 kWh/100 miles versus 35 kWh/100 miles.
When the 2016 Volt debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, GM said the car would deliver a new maximum of 50 miles in electric mode.
The improvement in the Volt's total range edges it a bit closer to the total range of some key competitors, including the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and the 2015 Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid. The C-Max Energi has a total range of 550 miles, while the Prius Plug-in has a total range of 540 miles, according to the EPA. Neither can match the 2016 Volt's electric-only range, however, with an EPA-estimated 20 miles for the Ford and 11 for the Toyota.
GM said the 2016 Volt's miles-per-gallon equivalent or MPGe rating is pegged at 106, compared to 98 for the 2015 Volt.
"Chevrolet expects many next-generation Volt owners will use power solely from their batteries for more than 90 percent of their trip," GM said. "Today, Volt owners use battery power on 80 percent of their trips. This means the average Volt owner could expect to travel well over 1,000 miles between gas fill-ups, if they charge regularly."
The 2016 Volt features an all-new drive system that consists of dual electric motors (the first-generation Volt uses a single motor) and a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that serves as a generator to charge the Volt's lithium-ion batteries once their initial charge is depleted.
Power goes to the wheels through a two-motor, continuously variable transmission or CVT.
"We listened to our customers," said Andrew Farah, Volt vehicle chief engineer, in a statement. "They were very clear when they told us that they wanted more range and a fun driving experience behind the wheel."
GM sold 1,313 Volts in July, a decrease of 35 percent compared to July 2014, according to the automaker's sales report.
The 2016 Volt is priced at $33,995, including an $825 destination charge, reflecting a $1,175 price cut.
As the redesigned Volt prepares to make its showroom debut, gasoline prices have dropped significantly from a year ago.
The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Tuesday pegged the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline at $2.64, versus $3.50 a year ago.
On Monday, AAA said drivers are paying the lowest averages for this date since 2009.
Edmunds says: The 2016 Chevrolet Volt consumes less gasoline and electricity, goes farther on a charge and no longer requires premium gas. It seems like all the boxes have been checked.