Photo of 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 eAssist courtesy of GM.

Photo of 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 eAssist courtesy of GM.

General Motors will offer about 700 eAssist hybrid versions of its 2016 model year Silverado and Sierra pickups through California dealers, GM has announced.

The trucks will include eAssist, a new mild-hybrid system that includes an electric power boost, auto stop-start, and regenerative braking.

GM will offer about 500 Chevrolet Silverado and 200 GMC Sierra eAssist trucks through California dealers. Production could be increased for the 2017 model year if dealers report stronger demand for the trucks.

The eAssist system will be offered at a $500 premium over a comparable equipped two-wheel drive Silverado 1500 crew cab in 1LT trim or Sierra 1500 SLT crew cab rear-wheel model with the SLT Premium Plus package.

The eAssist system pairs a compact lithium-ion battery pack with the truck's 5.3L EcoTech V-8 and 8-speed automatic transmission. An on-board electric motor provides up to 13 hp and 44 lb.-ft. of supplemental power when accelerating and passing.

The electric motor also enables the Active Fuel Management system on the engine to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods, resulting in additional fuel economy benefits.

These features deliver a 13% improvement in city fuel economy, based on EPA estimates. The 2016 Silverado eAssist will have an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city, a 2 mpg improvement over the equivalent Silverado 1500 with the 5.3L V-8 and 8-speed automatic. EPA estimated highway fuel economy for the Silverado eAssist is 24 mpg, while the combined rating is 20 mpg.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet