2016 Chevy Silverado And GMC Sierra Get eAssist Mild-Hybrid System
General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] continues to make refinements to its Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, with the latest update being the availability of a new mild-hybrid system. Known as eAssist at GM, the mild-hybrid system used on the popular pickup trucks leverages technology developed for the Chevrolet Volt and is said to improve fuel efficiency by as much as 13 percent.
Designed for the 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V-8 offered with the trucks, which already features fuel-saving features such as direct injection, variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation and an available eight-speed automatic, eAssist adds a small electric motor and lithium-ion battery. The battery is charged using energy recovered under braking. It’s a 0.45-kilowatt-hour unit that adds about 100 pounds to the vehicle’s curb weight.
Energy stored in the battery is used by the electric motor to aid the engine by providing a power boost—up to 13 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque—during acceleration and passing and also enabling the engine to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods. The electric motor is also used to restart the engine which can now be switched off when the vehicle is at a stop light or in heavy traffic.
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