Picture caption: The 2016 Chevrolet
Volt will feature an all-new Voltec propulsion system, that is made up of the
battery, drive unit, range extending engine and electronic controls.
Based on a GM study of more than
300 model year 2011 and 2012 Volts in service in California for more than 30
months, many owners are exceeding the EPA-rated label of 35 miles of EV range
per full charge, with about 15 percent surpassing 40 miles of range. Current
generation Volt owners have accumulated more than 600 million EV miles.
EV range estimates will be
revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
GM will manufacture the Volt
battery pack at its battery assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich.
Drive Unit Focused On Improved Efficiency
Like the battery system, the
next-generation Volt’s drive unit was reengineered with a focus on increased
efficiency and performance, improved packaging and reduced noise and vibration
characteristics. The two-motor drive unit operates approximately 5 to 12
percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current
The Traction Power Inverter
Module, which manages power flow between the battery and the electric drive
motors, has been directly built into the drive unit to reduce mass, size and
build complexity while further improving efficiency.
The boost in performance comes
from both motors operating together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and
extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver more
than 20 percent improvement in electric acceleration. GM engineers designed the Voltec electric
motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare
earth-type magnets at all.
The new drive unit will be
manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Mich.
New 1.5L Range Extender
Energy for extended-range
operation comes from an all-new, high-efficiency 1.5L 4-cylinder engine. The
engine features a direct injection fuel system, high-compression ratio of
12.5:1, cooled exhaust gas recirculation and a variable displacement oil pump. The
Voltec range extender runs on regular unleaded fuel.
The 1.5L engine will be
manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of
production, then shift to the Flint, Mich. engine plant.