The all-new Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system will continue to be the powerhouse providing Volt’s electric-driving experience. Owners should be able to drive more than 1,000 miles on average between gasoline fill-ups with a total estimated driving range exceeding 400 miles, 50 of those in all-electric mode.
Featuring a new, 192-cell/18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and new, 111-kW two-motor drive unit, the Voltec system is up to 12 percent more efficient and approximately 100 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the previous system. It also goes from 0-60 in 8.4 seconds.
“The improvements in the efficiency and performance of the 2016 Volt are driven by what owners said they wanted in the next-generation model: more range, better fuel economy and stronger acceleration,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. “Building on General Motors’’ industry leading battery and drive-unit technologies, we’ve delivered all of that, while also making the Volt more refined and fun to drive.”
Practically every element and component of the Voltec system, which includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics, is new or improved. The Volt’s greater EV range and all new range-extender, result in a quieter driving experience.
“Volt remains the only electrically driven vehicle with range capability similar to traditional engine- or hybrid-driven cars of its size,” said Farah. “In all climates, it can be driven across town strictly on electricity or across the country with the assist of its range extender – a claim that can be made of no other electric vehicle without condition.”
Increased Battery Capacity
General Motors’ industry-leading battery technology includes revised cell chemistry, developed in conjunction with LG Chem. Storage capacity is 20 percent higher on a volume basis when compared to the original cell, while the number of cells decreases from 288 to 192.
In short, the new Volt’s battery pack stores more energy – 18.4 kWh vs. the previous 17.1 kWh – with fewer cells, because there is more energy capacity per cell. It also has a more powerful discharge rate of 120 kW vs the previous 110 kW, which contributes to greater performance.
Two-Motor Drive Unit
A new, two-motor drive unit is at the heart of the 2016 Volt’s greater performance efficiency and expanded all-electric driving range. The motors are smaller and lighter than the previous motor-generator drive unit, while delivering more torque and power capability.
The new drive unit was also designed with improved noise and vibration characteristics that contribute to a quieter driving experience. Total motor mass reduction is more than 33 pounds (15 kg).
New 1.5L Range Extender
A range-extending engine is the key feature that makes Volt a no-compromises electric vehicle, providing owners the assurance they can go anywhere, anytime without having to worry about whether they have enough battery power to go through mountains or range for a spontaneous weekend getaway.
Energy for extended-range operation comes from an all-new, high-efficiency 1.5L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, rated at 101 horsepower (75 kW). It features direct injection, a high-compression ratio of 12.5:1, cooled exhaust gas recirculation, wide authority cam phasers and a variable-displacement oil pump to make the most of performance and efficiency. It also features a lightweight aluminum block, compared to the current engine’s iron block.