General Motors engineers are close to finalizing proposed fixes for the Chevrolet Volt battery pack that engineers believe would get rid of the risk of fire being triggered days after a crash, according to sources that spoke with Reuters today.
The Volt has been under fire since the NHTSA opened a formal probe into the plug-in hybrid electric-car this past weekend following test results that caused electrical fires up to three weeks after crash test.
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Sources say that the proposed repair would involve laminating the circuitry in the Volt’s battery pack, reinforcing the case surrounding the lithium-ion battery. The solution would better protect the coolant system from leaks in a severe crash.
GM engineers are expected to provide an update senior management by the end of the week. The fix is expected to be of relatively low-cost.
Refresher: The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, ‘T’-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. The system puts out 149-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes 4 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 10-12 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries an 84-hp 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 379 miles. The 2012 Chevrolet Volt gets an EPA estimated 93 miles per ’gallon-equivalent’ when driving under electric power only, 37 mpg when in gasoline mode and over the long term it is estimated to get 60 miles per gallon in combined gasoline-powered and electric-powered driving. Prices for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt start at $39,995 but with a full federal income tax credit (which range from $0 to $7,500), the Volt can cost a total of $32,495.
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Automotive News