Electric Cars

2019 Chevy Volt charges in half the time of last year's model

A new charging system is only part of Chevrolet's tech upgrades for its long-serving range-extended electric car.

Chevrolet

In a world where long-range electric vehicles are becoming more common and more affordable, the Chevy Volt often gets overlooked, and that's kind of a shame. General Motors is hoping that it can change that with some fairly serious electric charging overhauls that should allow the 2019 Chevy Volt to charge in half the time it took before.

I've always had a soft spot for the Volt. It was the first electrified car I ever drove, way back in 2012, and despite a relatively short pure-electric range, the range-extender gas engine made it seem so practical at a time when EV chargers were a rarity. Now, though, things are different, and the Volt has kind of languished in the background, playing second fiddle to the all-electric Bolt and vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, not to mention snazzier cars like the Tesla Model 3.

The 2019 Chevrolet Volt gets a bunch of upgrades to help it keep up with newer EVs.

Chevrolet

In addition to the new 7.2 kilowatt-hour charging system, which comes standard on the Premier and is an option on the LT model, Chevy has added more tech to the Volt with things like adaptive cruise control, an updated pedestrian alert system and a digital rear-view camera. The car will also sound its horn when you're filling the tires and the desired pressure has been reached. That's pretty dang convenient.

The 2019 Volt will run for 53 miles in pure-EV mode, then the gasoline-powered range extender kicks in, giving the car an all-in range of 420 miles.

"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."

The 2019 Volt's party piece is the inclusion of a 7.2 kWh charger which halves the time it takes to charge fully.

Chevrolet

The Volt's interior is getting a bunch of upgrades, too, like an available Power Convenience Package which gives the LT a power driver's seat and a wireless charging system for devices, making it more comfortable as well as easy to live with, which is always a Volt strong suit.

The 2019 Volt should go on sale this fall, and while pricing hasn't been announced, we wouldn't expect any drastic changes over previous model years.

How to decide if a hybrid or electric car is best for you: Roadshow's team of experts helps you weigh the pros and cons.

Expect 125 million EVs on the road by 2030: An International Energy Agency report anticipates 24 percent annual growth.


2017 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB LT