Lighter, Quicker and more Efficient
The newly announced 2016 Chevrolet Volt has updated their propulsion system to provide more EV mileage, overall range, and efficiencies. Enhancements for the new Volt include:
- New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation drive unit
- Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph acceleration
- Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds
- Regen on Demand™ feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a convenient paddle on the back of the steering wheel
- New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg (EPA estimate pending)
The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics.
GM’s industry-leading battery technology has been reengineered for the next-generation Volt. The 2016 Volt will use an 18.4 kWh battery system featuring revised cell chemistry developed in conjunction with LG Chem. While overall system storage capacity has increased, the number of cells have decreased from 288 to 192 as the result of a revised chemistry. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack is 21 pounds (9.8 kg) lighter.
Like the battery system, the next-generation Volt’s two-motor drive unit delivers increased efficiency and performance along with reduced noise and vibration. The drive unit operates up to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system.
Both motors operate together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver a 19 percent improvement in electric acceleration from zero to 30 mph (2.6 seconds) and a 7 percent improvement from zero to 60 mph (8.4 seconds). GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets.
With the EV market heating up, General Motors needed to increase the usability of this model. They’ve done so. In doing it they also made it more visually appealing. We thank them for that.
We’re anxiously awaiting the market debut later this year.