The Chevrolet Volt is expected to receive a few updates for the 2013 model year, including a function that aims to optimize the extended-range electric vehicle for maximum battery efficiency.

According to the Chevrolet 2013 ordering guide, the 2013 Volt will receive an EV Hold Mode. GM Inside News, a GM enthusiast forum with no official ties to the automaker, says the mode “will allow Volt drivers to force the car to go into extended range mode (meaning the gas engine is generating power) to hold the battery pack’s power.”

This feature is advantageous on trips that start out with freeway driving followed by city driving. “Switching over to extended-range mode, in which the gas-powered on-board generator is used, would be better in that situation because high speeds drain a plug-in's battery charge a lot more rapidly than city driving,” writes Autoblog.

“The Chevy Volt also gets some more updates,” writes Kicking Tires, “including a body-colored roof and liftgate – instead of black — and a leather and suede insert upholstery option.” The Volt will also receive additional safety features, including lane departure warning and forward collision alert.

GM Inside News expects that the 2013 Volt will begin production later this year. The European version of the Volt, the Opel Ampera, already has the EV Hold Mode battery preservation feature. The 2012 Volt starts at $39,145 before federal tax credits.

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