Chevy Volt concept. Click image to enlarge
Warren, Michigan – Engineers at General Motors’ battery testing facilities have developed a new computer algorithm that will accelerate durability testing of the lithium-ion batteries needed to power the Chevrolet Volt concept vehicle for up to 64 km of electric-only driving.
The advanced computer program duplicates real-life vehicle speed and cargo-carrying conditions, and compresses ten years of comprehensive battery testing into the Volt’s development schedule. Results from the test data will help predict the long-term durability of the battery.
“Production timing of the Volt is directly related to our ability to predict how this battery will perform over the life of the vehicle,” said Frank Weber, global vehicle chief engineer, Chevrolet Volt and E-Flex systems. “The challenge is predicting ten years of battery life with just over two years of testing time. The battery team is able to utilize human and technical resources around the globe to reducing testing time.”
The T-shaped battery will be located down the vehicle’s centre tunnel and under the rear seats, which requires the battery to be treated as part of the vehicle structure. In addition to its battery, the Volt concept also contains an internal combustion engine which is run solely to produce electricity rather than to power the wheels.