GM provides update on Chevrolet Volt development

Earlier this week, engineers and other members of the Chevrolet Volt team provided the media with an update on the development of the new plug-in hybrid vehicle.

There is less than one year to go before GM starts making the production Chevrolet Volt, according to Vehicle Chief Engineer Andrew Farah. The plug-in hybrid is scheduled to go on sale in Nov. 2010.

Click through to see highlights from the presentation.

Here are some highlights from Farah’s presentation:

  • GM has teamed with LG Chem to produce a great battery cell for the vehicle. It puts the team in a position to meet customer expectations and to use this technology to make vehicles beyond the Volt.
  • Inside the Volt”s battery are cells, which are grouped together into modules that are grouped together into battery packs ““ or, the T-shaped objects that actually go into the vehicle.
  • The Volt is meeting energy power requirements and is now balancing issues such as safety, regulations and customer satisfaction with other issues such as performance, durability, packaging and vehicle design.
  • The team has completed the pre-production build process and is in the process of testing the vehicles. Some are being tested around the clock 24/7.
  • The team has built all 300 packs for the Volt and the results have been excellent.
  • There have been more than 250,000 miles of testing on the pre-production and mule vehicles. Some of the highlights of this testing include hot weather testing in Death Valley, mountain testing at Pikes Peak and a 65% calibration drive.
  • Everything is not perfect on these drives, but there are not any problems that will not be handled before production. This is not unlike any other challenges that come with developing a new type of vehicle such as the Volt.

Engineering Group Manager Bill Wallace:

  • There are 50,000 cells available for testing and to date, none of the cells have failed in the tests.
  • Pack development is lining up with overall vehicle development and both tracks will meet with the start of production in November 2010.
  • Battery cells go through 150 tests, including cell crushing, cell overcharging and cell life cycling.
  • There are three major battery modules (groups of cells) inside the pack and they are tested to measure pressure, stress and high dynamic impact, among other things.
  • The battery pack itself undergoes more than 20 different types of tests, including corrosion, crash and life cycle use.
  • The team learned that the battery is well protected inside the vehicle and the cell abuse tests have shown the cells to perform as expected.
  • Since the vehicle is so quiet, noise is an issue and the team is working on ways to reduce ambient noise when the vehicle is in motion.

2011 Chevrolet Volt:

– By: Kap Shah

Source: GM FastLane Blog