Chevrolet has developed a hybrid system, named eAssist, that the brand intends to begin selling with certain models of the 2016 Silverado lineup. The system is intended to work with the pickup’s 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine to deliver improved fuel economy, and drivers who want to purchase the Silverado eAssist hybrid truck will have an additional cost of $500 added to the model’s sticker price when the option goes on sale sometime this year.
When developing the system, Chevrolet engineers took technology from the company’s lineup of advanced and innovative electric vehicles in order to achieve improved efficiency by pairing the Volt’s software and the Malibu Hybrid’s battery cells. The $500 eAssist package will add a 24-cell 0.45 kWh battery and an electric motor to the Silverado’s drivetrain. This boosts the truck’s power output by 13 horsepower and 44 lb-ft of torque. New, smart features like regenerative braking will come standard with the Silverado eAssist hybrid as well, allowing the battery to last longer and boost economy even further.
While the base Silverado paired with a V8 already has the highest fuel economy of any truck in the full-size pickup segment, the Silverado eAssist hybrid receives an extra leg up over the competition, receiving a fuel rating of 18 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined. Chevy truck marketing director Sandor Piszar says the option was made available for urban truck drivers who need efficiency in addition to the heavy-duty power provided by the Silverado lineup of full-size pickups. The eAssist hybrid option will only be available in California for the 2016 model year, but depending on the success of the add-on, the eAssist system models could receive more widespread release for 2017.