Chevrolet has announced that select models of the 2016 Silverado will now be offered with the eAssist mild-hybrid technology. The hybrid pickup truck was developed by leveraging technology from Chevrolet's electric vehicles, specifically the battery cells from the Malibu Hybrid and software from the Volt. The overall result is a reasonably priced hybrid pickup with improved fuel economy.
"Silverado already leads the full-size truck segment in V8 fuel economy. For customers and small-business owners who use their trucks for more urban driving, the addition of the eAssist can further reduce their fuel costs without sacrificing the utility they expect in a full-size truck," said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevrolet Trucks.
The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado is initially powered by a 5.3-liter four-cylinder V8 engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers 355 horsepower. The eAssist mild-hybrid electrical system, priced at $500 over the standard Silverado price, will add an electric motor and a 24-cell 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Though there is a 100-pound weight gain, the Silverado eAssist model gains an additional 13 horsepower and 44 lb-ft. of torque.
The engine also comes with an Active Fuel Management system, Start/Stop capability and Regenerative Braking. The electric motor allows the Active Fuel Management system to last longer and it also acts as a generator. Braking generates electricity which is used to recharge the on-board battery pack.
The introduction of the hybrid system gives the Silverado pickup truck up to 13 percent improvement in fuel economy. Its EPA estimates are now 18 mpg for city driving, 24 mpg for highway driving and 20 mpg for combined driving.
Chevrolet will be offering over 500 units of the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado eAssist trucks this year. The hybrid pickup trucks will be sold exclusively through California dealers. Depending on customer feedback, Chevrolet may opt to increase volume of production for the 2017 model year. Furthermore, Chevrolet is also offering 200 units of the 2016 GMC Sierra with the eAssist hybrid technology.