The 2016 Volt and its Voltec propulsion system

Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2016 Volt electric car with extended range, that offers 50 miles (80 km) of pure electric range and improved performances.

The Volt’s new propulsion system will offer a General Motors’-estimated total driving range of more than 400 miles (650 km) and with regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles (1600 km) on average between gas fill-ups.2016 Chevrolet Volt

“The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.”

2016 Volt highlights

  • New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the first-generation drive unit
  • Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph (0-50 km/h) acceleration
  • Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 21 pounds (9.8 kg)
  • 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 (5.7 l/100 km) but EPA estimate is pending

2016 Chevrolet Volt Internal combustion engine

  • New braking system with improved capability and blended Regen feel
  • New, five-passenger seating with available rear heated seats
  • Location-based charging capability
  • 120V portable cord with more convenient storage location
  • Available illuminated charge port

The 2016 Volt goes on sale in the second half of 2015.

New Voltec propulsion system

An all-new, second-generation Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system is the power behind the 2016 Volt’s increased all-electric driving range. It was engineered based on the driving behaviors of first-gen Volt owners.

Volt owners complete more than 80 percent of their trips without using a drop of gasoline and they tell us they love the electric driving experience. Putting that experience at the center of the new Voltec system’s development helped us improve range, while also making the new Volt more fun to drive,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. “We established a precedent when the original Voltec propulsion system debuted and this newest iteration sets the EV technology bar even higher.”

The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics.

GM’s battery technology has been re-engineered 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.2016 Chevrolet Volt Battery

The next-generation Volt’s two-motor drive unit operates up to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system.2016 Chevrolet Volt two-motor drive

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.

Voltec propulsion system data

TypeRechargeable energy storage system comprising multiple-linked modules
Size/case5.5-foot-long T-shaped; steel base (tray) and glass-filled polyester structural composite cover
Mass (lb / kg)403 / 183
Battery chemistryLithium-ion
Thermal systemLiquid active thermal control
Cells192 prismatic pouches
WarrantyEight years / 100,000 miles (10 years / 150,000 miles in ARB states)
Energy18.4 kWh
Type1.5L DOHC I-4
Displacement (cu in/cc)91 / 1490
Bore & stroke (in/mm)2.90 x 3.40 / 74 x 86.6
Block materialCast aluminum
Cylinder head materialCast aluminum
ValvetrainOverhead camshafts; four valves per cylinder, double continuous variable cam phasing (DCVCP)
Ignition systemIndividual coil-on-plug
Fuel deliveryDirect fuel injection
Compression ratio12.5:1
Output (kW/hp @ rpm)75/101 @ 5600 RPM
Max engine speed (rpm)5600
Emissions controlsSplit Volume Common Can (SVCC) catalyst; fast light-off Oxygen sensor
Fuel typeRegular unleaded (87 Octane)
Electric Drive
TypeElectric, two-wheel, front-drive
MotorsTwo-motor arrangement
TransaxleTwo-motor continuously variable, integrated controls
Motoring Power
Generating Power
Torque (lb-ft/Nm)294/398
Charging times
120 Vabout 13 hours @ 12 amps
240 Vabout 4.5 hours
Source: GM

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Romain Nicolas

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