Trucks

Chevrolet Silverado eAssist: The hybrid pickup returns!

For about $500, your 2016 Silverado can come with a mild hybrid system that promises a 13-percent jump in city fuel economy.

Ken Pagliaro

You won't have to deal with any sort of hippie-dippy, hybrid-only trim pieces. Hell, you won't even be able to tell that it's a hybrid. Is this one in the picture a hybrid? Who knows!

Chevrolet

Ford might have a hybrid F-150 in the works, but Chevrolet just beat its rival to the punch with the 2016 Silverado eAssist. It's a slightly different approach than seen on the previous Silverado Hybrid model, which left the marketplace before the 2014 model year.

The Silverado eAssist utilizes a 0.45-kWh, lithium ion battery pack tucked under the center console (or, on some trims, the front bench seat). Combined with a 13-horsepower, 44-pound-foot electric motor, the Silverado gains multiple efficiency-boosting traits.

The hybrid system can be used for a boost of extra power and to help the V-8 engine under cylinder deactivation. In addition, the truck gains stop-start capability as the battery provides power while the vehicle is turned off. Finally, the motor can also be used as a generator, granting the vehicle regenerative braking. All in, Chevrolet states that the eAssist system will boost fuel economy in the city by 13 percent, to an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city.

It's not a terribly expensive upgrade, either. Chevrolet says its eAssist system will require a $500 premium over a comparably equipped, two-wheel-drive Silverado 1500 1LT crew cab. That said, only 500 Silverado eAssists will be available in 2016 -- the company will use this initial allocation to gauge interest for a 2017 model.