Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Volt will help experienced electric-car drivers maximize their electric driving and minimize the times the gas engine needs to run.
The biggest improvement is a new 7.2-kw on-board charger that can effectively cut charge times in half.
The advantage for Volt drivers will come when they have the opportunity to recharge in public during the day. The car can take on twice as many electric miles per minute during opportunity charging sessions. This will be especially useful at public charging stations paid by the hour.
Adding more miles during opportunity charging sessions will give Volt drivers more incentive to take on quick charging hits as they go about their daily errands, and will make it less likely that they'll rely on gasoline to complete their trips.
With the 7.2-kw on-board charger a full charge takes as little as 2.5 hours.
(The new on-board charger does not give the Volt Level 3 fast-charge capability.)
2019 Chevrolet Volt
The 2019 Volt also adds the regenerative braking settings from the Chevy Bolt EV, a low-range in the gear selector that dramatically increases regen force and effectiveness, which makes it possible to drive mostly using only the accelerator pedal to accelerate and slow down and a more aggressive "engine braking" paddle behind the steering wheel.
Software settings have been changed to deliver stronger regen more smoothly than in previous models.
Another complaint Volt drivers have expressed (along with most plug-in hybrid drivers) is that the car is too quick to start the engine just to provide heat for the cabin in cold weather. (The gas engine makes a very effective, but very inefficient cabin heater.) A new setting will allow drivers to override the "engine-assisted heating system" all the way down to -13 degrees, again to maximize electric driving.
A new energy app in the 8.0-inch center touchscreen details how much energy the car is using for power as well as for climate control and other loads. Where older Volts gave drivers a single eco-driving score, the new system gives insight that will help them see where they can conserve power.
The 2019 Volt also adds several comfort and convenience features never available before, most notably a power driver's seat that is optional on base LT models and will come standard on the Volt Premier.
Drivers can now switch the adaptive cruise control available in the Driver Confidence II Package between standard and adaptive settings.
The inductive Qi wireless charging pad available with the navigation system has been moved in front of the shifter, where Chevrolet says it is easier to use.
Finally, when it comes time to refill your tires with air, the 2019 Volt will tap the horn when the tire reaches full pressure.
The 2019 Volt will go on sale this fall.