2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Gets Electric Drive

2016-Chevrolet-Silverado-eAssist-050 II

With fuel prices likely to remain at less than $40 per barrel for a while, the advancement of full electric, hydrogen and mild-hybrid technology for automobiles could see a slowdown. However, improved fuel economy for pickup trucks remains a key demand of consumers. To that end, GM seems to be making a push.

GMC fired the first shot with the return of its mild-hybrid Sierra 1500 for the 2016 model year, but this time with a less complicated and less expensive powertrain improvement that provides better results, called eAssist.

The technology has worked with limited success in the last several years in Chevy and Buick cars (Malibu, Impala, Regal and LaCrosse). Now it's migrating to larger, heavier vehicles like the 2016 Silverado and Sierra 1500 pickups, providing as much as a 13 percent mpg improvement (according to EPA estimates) when combined with the new stop-start capability and regenerative braking.

The Chevy that gets the mild-hybrid powertrain will be the Silverado 1500 1LT crew-cab two-wheel-drive half-ton and will be sold only in California for this first model year, limited to approximately 500 units. The eAssist power-boost system uses a 24-cell, air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the center console that provide an additional 13 horsepower and 44 pounds-feet of torque as needed. The system will be paired only with the 5.3-liter V-8 and eight-speed transmission, and will deliver an EPA rating of 18/24/20 mpg city/highway/combined. The system will provide a short-term power boost during off-the-line and passing situations, but is likely to be most effective during loaded or towing situations.

Chevrolet currently is signing up interested dealerships to sell the mild-hybrid trucks, and dealers should be ready to take orders by early April. Chevrolet says it will adjust 2017 availability numbers of eAssist models based on 2016 demand.

Official pricing has not been announced but given some of the local and national allowances available for standard Silverado 1500s with similar configurations, we're guessing the price of the eAssist models will be around $42,000. We'll have to wait and see if consumers are willing to pay the small premium for the small bump in fuel efficiency.

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Eco beater!

wow a whopping 13 percent, on a pickup truck, why do that when you can goto a diesel in the ram and get 30%+ over this set up, that is if FE is all you care about, like BIg AL does


in central Florida where I live the price of diesel at the pump (retail) is not very appealing compared to regular unleaded.

That said, these features don't appeal to me much because I've had a chance to try them in other models and the gain is not worth the pain--same with diesel.

If regular unleaded gets north of $4 per gallon, it all changes.

FE is a funny thing. Very few single innovations/changes bring serious improvement (over 10%) without dramatic price increase, issues with reliability, or changes in performance. An all new engine/powertrain/drivetrain is the biggest single improvement one can make. These often have the issues associated with being very complex and expensive needing time to be refined and proven (like the ecoboosts and ecodiesel neither of which has been around long enough to really be considered proven even though both are sales success). The other thing is to continue to improve performance while raising MPG (like ecoboost and ecodiesel). The diesel delivers the biggest single improvement in FE for perfomrance in these regards although the EB has advantages in weight and cost and also appeals to a larger market.

Where this whole FE thing gets really fun is all the tricks the bring to try to edge/inch fuel economy higher while keeping performance/capability. So you pick up 2% here and 4% there... by having active grillshutters, start stop feature, cylinder deactivation, a spoiler on the tailgate lip. You drop weight from the body by going aluminum (even if its just your hood right now), You look at hybrid assist, direction injection, DOHC, Vari Timing, Free flowing exhaust. You invest millions into transmissions with 6, 8, 10 speeds... that each bring a 8% increase in MPG. Eventually an inch here and a few there add up to a few feet and with a serious engine you are legitimately knocking on or through the 30MPG door. This game is cumulative and while a few 2 to 4% improvements don't mean much by themselves together they add up to "best in class" (with some legal stipulation that suits your class/classification).

Its not just the future its the present and its not going away even with cheap gas prices for now. The losers will wait and not play this game well. The biggest losers will not play at all. These decision affect the companies for decades.

Is everyone ready for another 1K on the sticker for cameras that delete the side view mirrors? These massive elephant years create tons of drag that the manufacturers dying to meet CAFE and up the sticker price even more cant wait to get rid of for another 5%ish on MPG.

@ PAPA, after owning a both a diesel and a gasser same truck, I found out on average if I have the same truck in diesel and get 2 MPG more than gas its about the same with the price 40 cents difference between the 2. In the case of the 1500 ram diesel getting 5-6mpg better than the gas version on the highway, you would need to have that diesel price dollars more per gallon than gas......in the NE right now, the difference between gas regular and diesel is 30 cents/gallon, it was around 50 back when all prices were high, but again my case going from a mid grade gasser to a diesel was still in the 15 cents range, just sayin if you were at all interested in that to take a very close look at it..

@Nitro good stuff. so did the improved FE (and muscle) cover the additional cost of the diesel engine upgrade? In most trucks, the diesel upgrade cost is huge compared to a gasoline engine upgrade.

Not even a GM guy but, that is very interesting tech. Wonder if they will transfer it to 4wd systems.

Don't forget diesels oil changes cost more, fuel filters, def fluid, greasy gas pumps, northern climates need additives to prevent gelling, they don't start well in extreme cold, lack of heat in extreme cold...I just don't see the adv of diesels unless the vehicles works or tows allot. Just my opinion...Also in Chicago area diesel costs about same as prem.

Small improvements in MPG make me sleepy. *YAWN*

"....providing as much as a 13 percent** mpg improvement (according to EPA estimates) when combined with the new stop-start capability and regenerative braking."


1) How much of the 2 mpg improved gas mileage came from the contribution of stop/start and regeneration, and how much came from the battery and e-motor system?
2) What about hybrid overheating under intense desert towing or hauling?
3) How long is the expected battery life, since we keep trucks about 15 years? Replacement cost?
4) Will the electric motor last 150,000 miles?
5) How does the hybrid system perform at minus 20 deg F in Minnesota in January?
6) What is the reduction in hauling and towing specs from this hybrid add-on?
7) How does the hybrid system affect cornering and handling in braking and emergency handling situations?

** Less than 2 mpg


Well the 5.3 definitely needs that extra power compared to the competition. But a what price?

Nice try but not worth it,,
my 08 silvy w 4.8 v8 gets 26 mpg easy..
Stop fckin around GM and Go full hybrid electric like via motors do

@Chevrolet builds a better way...

Sorry dude, but that's BS 26 mpg with a 4.8 half ton?

No way. I have an 09 half ton Silverado and 55 mph on level ground gets me 22 mpg at best.

No way you're getting 26 unless you're going downhill with a tailwind--coasting, with the motor off.

This site is too pro chevy. Sick of all this GM crap. This is the SECOND time they had an article about GM electric drive in less than a week! WAAAA WAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! It's not fair. I am crying now. where are my tissues. Might as well call this GMpickuptrucks.com

Funny that if a 08 Silverado 4.8 gets 26 mpg. Why did they discontinue that engine???


Pro-Chevy? That's funny: last week, everyone was complaining that this is a pro-Ford site! (^_^)...

Maybe it simply looks to be in favor of whichever brand has the most interesting ("newsworthy") stuff going on in any particular week. It's probably Ram's turn next week....


Sarcasm in case you couldn't tell. Just want all the girls to stop complaining about so called bias whenever their favorite brand isn't praised by mark williams.

papa jim Agreed most I ever got out of my 09 4.8L was 23.

@ Papa, cost of upgrade to diesel worth it? I do not see that ever happening unless you tow for a living thats when the FE is huge compared to gas. I would not drop 65K on a new one, so I bought a 2 year old one with low mileage still under warranty for the same price as a brand new 3/4 ton gas

@PAPA, let me restate that, it was for sure worth it, towing alone was worth the extra grunt and ease of towing, but money wise for the upgrade if you bought new, doubt you will save money, but will get a lot back in resale

@Nitro yes, yes and yes. we agree. buy diesel if you need the grunt. can't beat it for towing. FE is a wash unless you do most of your driving with a warmed up motor. diesel does not like the cold.

Here's the scoreboard: Feb 2016. car sales report

•Fiat Chrysler: +11.8% (+9.2% expected)
•Nissan: +10.5% (+7.2% expected)
•Ford: +20.2% (+12.6% expected)
•GM: -1.5% (+5.1% expected)
•Honda: +12.8% (8.8% expected)
•Mazda: -16%
•Volkswagen: (-13%)
•Toyota: +5.2% (+4.9% expected)
•BMW: -12.4%
•Porsche: +11.2%
•Hyundai: +1%
•Kia: +13%
Here's the scoreboard:

•Fiat Chrysler: +11.8% (+9.2% expected)
•Nissan: +10.5% (+7.2% expected)
•Ford: +20.2% (+12.6% expected)
•GM: -1.5% (+5.1% expected)
•Honda: +12.8% (8.8% expected)
•Mazda: -16%
•Volkswagen: (-13%)
•Toyota: +5.2% (+4.9% expected)
•BMW: -12.4%
•Porsche: +11.2%
•Hyundai: +1%
•Kia: +13%

"Ford Motor Co. led the way with a 20.4 percent sales gain thanks to an uptick in its fleet business, while sales at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles rose 11.8 percent. General Motors Co.’s sales fell 1.5 percent due to a decrease in daily rental sales."

"Ford’s retail sales rose 11 percent, but its strong numbers can be explained by a 36 percent increase in fleet sales."

Yeah Ford is killing it! Resale values anyways...

It's good to see GM make another attempt to bring a Hybrid Powertrain Package back into it's Pick Up Truck portfolio, but the 4.3 Liter V6 is already getting 18 MPG City, 24 Highway EPA numbers there's just not much of an advantage for this new package to convince many consumers to pay that $42,000.00 price tag based on the V6 model that can start off at $24,000.00, but I guess it all comes down to the V8 Horsepower to Fuel Economy ratio that will get some consumers to buy in on this offer regardless.

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