Chevrolet is introducing a new mild-hybrid system, titled eAssist, to the available options for the 2016 Silverado pickup truck. While eAssist will only be an optional package in limited quantities in California, that makes General Motors the only automobile company to include hybrid trucks in any of its many brands, as the hybrid package will be added to both the Silverado and the GMC Sierra. The Silverado eAssist hybrid will make use of this cutting-edge, innovative technology that was created using inspiration from Chevy’s own Volt and Malibu Hybrid.
The base 2016 Silverado will retain the same engine that comes standard to the truck, the 5.3-liter V8 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. However, the eAssist hybrid package will add an electric motor alongside a 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The mild-hybrid system will boost the V8 by about 13 horsepower and 44 lb-ft of torque, as well as improving the fuel economy by about 13 percent, giving the hybrid variant an advantage over the standard truck in both power and efficiency. The power improvements easily compensate for the extra 100 lbs that the battery and motor add to the Silverado’s weight.
The Silverado eAssist hybrid also comes with a few new smart technology features that help conserve battery power, such as smart-stop technology and regenerative braking, which allows the brake system to generate power as the Silverado hybrid is driving. The eAssist models will be sold in limited quantities for the 2016 year, but if sales go well in California, General Motors has plans to expand the package’s availability to those in other states across the country. Plus, with only a small price tag of an additional $500, the cost of the eAssist hybrid package is affordable and well worth the extra money.