New Volt has longer EV range and five seats

New Volt has longer EV range and five seats

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The new Chevrolet Volt range extender hybrid, unveiled today at the Detroit show, will be able to go further in electric vehicle mode, up to 50 miles claims the carmaker, while also offering greater efficiency and stronger acceleration.

General Motors estimates a total driving range of more than 400 miles and with regular charging, owners can expect to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between fuel fill-ups.

The 2016 Volt also features:

  • New two-motor drive unit up to 12% more efficient and lighter than the first generation drive unit
  • Two-motor design enables 19% improved 0-to-30 mph acceleration
  • Battery capacity increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation)
  • Regen on demand feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a paddle on the back of the steering wheel
  • New 1.5-litre petrol range extender engine
  • Stronger body structure and quieter ride
  • New braking system with improved capability and blended regen feel
  • New, five-passenger seating with heated rear seats
  • Location-based charging capability
  • 120V portable cord set has a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location

The new generation model goes on sale in the second half of this year.

Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer, said a second-generation Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system is the power behind the increased electric driving range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. It was engineered based on the driving behaviours of first-gen Volt owners.

He said: "Volt owners complete more than 80% of their trips without using a drop of gasoline and they tell us they love the electric driving experience. Putting that experience at the centre of the new Voltec system’s development helped us improve range while also making the new Volt more fun to drive."

GM’s industry-leading battery technology has been reengineered using 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) centre of gravity and the overall mass of the pack is 9.8 kg lighter.

The two-motor drive unit operates up to 12% more efficiently and weighs 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% improvement in electric acceleration from 0 to 30 mph (2.6 secs) and a 7% improvement from 0 to 60 mph (8.4 secs). GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets.

GM is spending US$435m on production of the new Volt at the Detroit-Hamtramck factory and at the Brownstown, Michigan battery assembly plant where its lithium-ion battery pack is produced.

The new drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Michigan and the 1.5-litre engine in Toluca, Mexico, for the first year of production, then shift to the Flint, Michigan engine plant.