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nextgen Volt: GM to add 1,400 jobs in Michigan - Detroit News
Automaker to put $450M into Hamtramck, Brownstown sites in ramp up of Chevy Volt

Melissa Burden and Christine Ferretti
April 5, 2014


...Industry analysts believe the redesigned Volt will hit as a 2016 model. Jeff Schuster, an analyst with LMC Automotive in Troy, said in a Friday interview that he expects the redesigned Volt to begin production in fall 2015.

He also expects GM will add another compact electric vehicle based off the Volt — with a lower electric range — that also would be built at Detroit-Hamtramck.

“They’re looking to take the Volt in kind of a split personality and have a plug-in version and likely a more affordable electric version,” he said.

McBride said GM cannot comment on any future products. Schuster said he expects a new electric vehicle would have a shorter range than the plug-in version, but with a lower price, to reach more consumers.

Sales of the Volt haven’t held up to the company’s expectations. Former Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson had wanted GM to sell 60,000 a year. Last year, GM sold 23,094 Volts and lowered the price by $5,000 to help boost sales. Sales this year total 3,606, down 15 percent from the same period in 2013.

The new Volt is expected to have a longer electric range than the first generation, which debuted in fall 2010 as a 2011 model. Currently, the Volt can travel for 38 miles on electric power before a back-up engine kicks on, providing total driving range of 380 miles.

Akerson told Bloomberg Radio last summer that GM was working to “significantly” improve the range on the next-generation Volt and to get its battery range up to 50 to 60 miles or more...

...Last year, a GM executive said the company was working on an electric vehicle that can go 200 miles on a charge. GM management last year also reportedly was studying electric car company Tesla Motors, whose cars have gotten rave reviews. Schuster said GM may pursue a strategy similar to Tesla’s with “really different sized battery packs and different ranges and price points for the models.”...

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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

Without investing in substantial nationwide marketing, the Volt has to depend on word of mouth for it's sales. But a 50 mile plug-in hybrid and 200 mile EV would do very well.
 

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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

apparently Reuters thinks they have an
Exclusive:
GM planning lower-priced version of 2016 Chevy Volt - sources - news.yahoo.com
Reuters - 7 hrs ago
By Paul Lienert and Bernie Woodall

...Hoping to boost demand for its slow-selling Volt hybrid, Chevrolet is planning to sell two versions of the redesigned 2016 Volt, including a lower-priced model with a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range, supplier sources told Reuters on Tuesday...

...
The standard Volt won't deviate dramatically from the current model, which is priced from just under $35,000 and has a driving range of up to 380 miles, according to Chevrolet.

GM also wants to offer a lower-cost edition, priced from just over $30,000 that would likely have a range of less than 300 miles, with less equipment, the supplier sources said...

...At just over $30,000, the "entry level" Volt would be one of the least expensive plug-in hybrids in the U.S. market...

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O RLY?
 

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Mercury C557
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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

apparently ^that^ is correct...
swiped from Perian @ GMI
"More On NG Volt, NG LaCrosse & New Cadillac Flagship Sedan"

Automotive News E-Mail Alert
April 8, 2014

Article Quotes:
(Reuters) -- Hoping to boost demand for its slow-selling Volt hybrid, Chevrolet is planning to sell two versions of the redesigned 2016 Volt, including a lower-priced model with a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range, supplier sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

A smaller version of the next generation Volt also is being planned by General Motors' Opel unit in Europe, sources last week told Automobilwoche, the German affiliate of Automotive News.

The second-generation Volt is slated to go into production in about 16 months at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant, the sources told Reuters.

Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano declined to comment on the brand's future plans but said: "Volt customers are the happiest customers in the world. We found a formula that works for them, and we're not going to deviate from that formula."

GM on Tuesday said it will spend $384 million to upgrade tooling and equipment at Detroit-Hamtramck, which it said will build the next-generation Volt "and two future products."

Detroit-area suppliers familiar with GM's plans said the future products include a new flagship sedan for Cadillac in late 2015 and a redesigned Buick LaCrosse midsize sedan in spring 2016.

The 2016 Volt, suppliers said, will share its underpinnings with the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze, which is due to begin production in late 2015 or early 2016.

The standard Volt won't deviate dramatically from the current model, which is priced from just under $35,000 and has a driving range of up to 380 miles, according to Chevrolet.

GM also wants to offer a lower-cost edition, priced from just over $30,000 that would likely have a range of less than 300 miles (480 km), with less equipment, the supplier sources said.

The strategy is similar to the one employed by electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc., which originally offered its Model S luxury sedan with a choice of three different battery packs at three different price points.

At just over $30,000, the "entry level" Volt would be one of the least expensive plug-in hybrids in the U.S. market.

Meanwhile, Opel is planning a small-car offensive and a new car with electric drive. Sales chief Peter Christian Küspert disclosed the developments at a recent meeting with German Opel dealers.

“His talk was really electrifying,” a participant said.

Sources told Automobilwoche that Küspert announced a purely electrically driven car code-named “BEV” for 2016/2017 that will be significantly smaller and more affordable than the Volt's sister, the Ampera.

Küspert said alternative powertrains are indispensable for Opel and other automakers to meet the tighter CO2 standards that take effect in 2021.

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crossreference: "What new electroVehicle(s) should F-L produce Next?" Poll-thread
 

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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

I expected GM to give Buick a version of the Volt for the Chinese (and maybe US too) market.
 

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Mercury C557
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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

2016 Chevy Volt spotted testing its electric beating heart - Autoblog
By Jeremy Korzeniewski
Posted Apr 15th 2014

...As you can see from our gallery of spy shots above, the 2016 Chevy Volt is indeed being tested by the automaker, right out in the eye of the public. Comparing the new Volt with the old (below), we're pretty sure that the bodywork is completely new, and even if the overall shape is very familiar, it appears to be sleeker than before. If you look closely, you'll see the tell-tale plug-in port, the Volt badging and what appear to be safety shut-down switches on the bodyside and rear end of this test prototype. Oh, and don't miss the plug hanging limply from the front fascia...
 

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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

^ :joyous: + [ old rant ]
imho GM shoulda STARTED voltec-ifying with a Buick "Electra"

[ less-old rant ]
dunno why GM & Ford can't see putting a $10k+ drivetrain in mainstream vehicles is LUDICROUS
Yeah. Those pesky Powerstrokes and Duramaxes are a complete waste of time and money.

Economics of scale and maturing technology will continue to let Voltec make inroads in the marketplace. I'm more stoked on diesel tech personally but having driven a Volt I can definitely see the appeal, especially since it drives like a car as opposed to a science project.
 

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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

Scoop: First Glance at Next Generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt - CarScoops
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
By John Halas
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoopS


...to arrive late next year as a 2016 model.

While heavily camouflaged, the new Volt's silhouette suggests that the reports about Chevrolet refreshing, but not dramatically altering the design of the car, likely hold true. However, it does appear to have a sleeker and pointier shape, if you will...

More... incl 11 other pix
 

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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

Its clear there is two cars here, the AutoBlog one is a bit longer than the one shown on CarScoops, which like the same size as the current Volt.

What has me confused is why make two cars so close in size? Battery Size, EV range and price-point differentiation I guess, but averaging +/- 2,000 units a month, seems odd to want to fragment the sales.


------------------------------------------


Additional observation; the photos of the longer sleeker-looking car on AutoBlog reminds me of the old Pontiac G6, where the rear axle seem to hang-out much farther than one would proportionally expect.

 

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Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

GM unveils more efficient 2016 Volt powertrain - SAE.org
Author: Lindsay Brooke

“I can’t think of a powertrain we’ve re-engineered more extensively within a five-year period than this one,” observed Larry Nitz, GM’s Executive Director, Transmission and Electrification, speaking about the range-extender hybrid system in the second-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt. Major changes to the car’s battery, Voltec electric drive system, and gasoline-engine generator—all are essentially new—are expected to increase its overall driving range and energy use by up to 12% compared with the current Volt, he said. The 2015 Volt’s driving range is rated at 380 mi (611 km) after depleting both the 16-kW·h battery and 9.3-gal (32-L) gasoline tank.

Nitz and key Volt program engineers unveiled the new powertrain to Automotive Engineering and other media at GM’s Warren, MI, transmission plant, where the all-new 5ET50 electric drive unit will be manufactured. The 2016 Volt will debut at the North American International Auto Show in January; SOP is scheduled for late summer 2015. At the Detroit show, GM will announce range estimates along with other changes aimed at increasing the new Volt’s efficiency and performance.

Nitz and the other technical leaders on hand—including Electric Drive Engineering Director Pete Savagian, Executive Chief Engineer Pam Fletcher, Chief Engineer Andrew Farah, Electrification General Director Tim Grewe, and GM’s Battery Systems Director Bill Wallace—are veterans of the first-generation Volt program. They noted other benefits resulting from the 2016 improvements, including 20% stronger low-speed acceleration and quieter, smoother operation when in “range extender” mode with the gasoline engine engaged. These are a result of redesigned electric motors (two per drive unit) and clutch array, a new, higher torque 1.5-L four-cylinder combustion engine that replaces the previous 1.4-L unit, and a revamped TPIM (traction power inverter module).

The new Voltec system also is 130 lb (59 kg) lighter than the first-gen system, thanks in part to the ICE’s aluminum cylinder block (the incumbent 1.4-L block is iron), the direct mounting of the TPIM to the transmission case which eliminates the heavy orange 400-A cables, and an overall focus on systems integration. Farah, who was disappointed in the original Volt’s 3781-lb (1715-kg) curb weight, indicated that the 2016 car will be lighter overall as a result of these and other measures.

New Voltec system
Greater range (particularly in EV mode), fuel efficiency, and power were the top three requests from owners of 2011-2013 Volt models, Nitz said. He explained that 60% of Volt buyers sign on to a GM program that funnels customer-use data directly to GM Engineering—“our secret weapon,” Nitz chuckled. Volt owners do more than 80 percent of their driving in EV mode, and his team was surprised to find that owners charge their cars’ batteries on average more than once per day, rather than the expected overnight charge. This indicates greater access to curbside charging at their destinations and a general desire for more battery energy-storage capacity.

“They want greater EV operating capability” than the typical 35 to 40 miles per charge in the first-generation car, Nitz noted.

Many observers of Volt’s development, including the author, expected GM to use its recently introduced 1.0-L global Ecotec three-cylinder gas engine as the second-gen Volt’s range-extender generator. But a triple “presents some NVH challenges, particularly at start-up, in an electrified vehicle where noise and vibration are not welcome in the drive experience,” explained Nitz. While the team’s strategy with the original car was ‘full-size battery with a half-size engine’, sticking with naturally-aspirated four-cylinders and adding 100 cc of displacement provide the optimum balance of refinement and the additional torque customers crave, at moderate cost.

GM claims the noise intensity of its new 1.5 L four is up to 50% quieter than Volkswagen’s EA211 1.4-L four and up to 25% quieter than Ford’s 1.0-L turbo three-cylinder. The Ecotec features 12.5:1 compression, cooled EGR, and a new variable-displacement oil pump. It is certified to run on 87 octane regular-grade gasoline, according to Grewe.

In creating the Gen-2 Voltec drive system, engineers achieved a 60% volume reduction in the power electronics and inverter, not counting the rest of the hardware, noted Savagian, compared with the existing 4ET50 electric transaxle, along with a 5-12% efficiency gain overall and a 2% increase in motor efficiency when the electric machines are operating as generators. There was also a significant focus in reducing the use of rare-earth materials.

Pointing to a sectioned TPIM on display, Savagian noted the electronics use double-sided cooling on a custom automotive-grade package for the IGBTs (insulated gate bipolar transistors). “In past technologies we used something more akin to industrial-type IGBT packages,” he explained. “And making the unit smaller means it’s also more rigid which is good because the transmission-mounted environment is more severe—up to 6 times greater vibration frequencies than previously.”

The twin electric machines, designed by GM and manufactured at Hitachi’s Kentucky facility, use the bar-wound rectangular wire technology and tooling common to GM’s other e-motors developed in-house. The motors are oil cooled, and together they use 10% less steel than is used in a single motor of the Gen-1 Voltec system. Total mass reduction in the motors is 33 lb (15 kg), Savagian said.

While the stators of both motors are in identical, their rotors are different. “We began considering the second-gen system a little before the launch of the first-gen Volt,” Savagian revealed. “And in that 2010-2011 time period there was a huge spike in the cost of rare-earth materials, which alarmed everyone in this business—that the consumption of rare-earth metals was something we should consider minimizing.”

So the work of Savagian’s team resulted in a reduced-dysprosium-type grain boundary diffusion magnet technology for the Gen-2 Voltec’s Motor B: rare-earth content dropped from 282 g (10 oz) to 40 g (1.4 oz). Motor A is rare-earth-free. It uses a GM proprietary ferrite multi-barrier magnet technology, developed from the ferrite magnets commonly used in high end industrial and automotive (starter motor) applications. The two new motors together reduce total rare-earth content from 3.2 kg (7 lb) on the Gen-1 system to 1.2 kg (2.6 lb)—“We’re pretty proud of that,” he noted.

Clean-sheet battery
Overall the 2016 Volt’s propulsion system carries over only a few parts from the current model, engineers said. Besides the new ICE, the 300-V battery pack is still T-shaped and serves as part of the vehicle structure. It carries over only nine parts—“it’s a clean-sheet design with the emphasis on performance, efficiency and quality,” Wallace said. Its cells retain the prismatic-pouch form factor and feature an all-new internal architecture.

The cell chemistry, developed by the incumbent Volt cell supplier LG Chem, enabled engineers to reduce the number of cells in the pack from 288 to 192 (still 96 cells in parallel), while reducing pack mass by 30 lb (13.6 kg). The larger cells also are positioned .5-in (12.7-mm) lower in the pack which in turn lowers the new Volt’s center of gravity.

“From that big customer data stream, we learned a lot about how our customers use their vehicles—how they charge, plug-in in harsh environments, we learned about thermal management. And we learned that our batteries are durable,” Wallace said. “We’re proud of the fact that capacity-fade on our batteries is exceptionally low.”

Wallace said that LG Chem is producing the Volt cells at its Holland, MI, plant at quality rates under 2 ppm. He said the entire Gen-2 pouch was totally redesigned from a three-parallel design (three cells arranged in parallel) to a two-parallel design which allowed engineers to increase energy capacity of each cell by “somewhat more than 50%―precise numbers will come later,” Wallace said.

He said this team worked with LG all the way down to the component material and cell-design levels. "Our new electrode-face area is slightly larger, and our chemistry is still NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt)/LMO (Lithium Manganese Oxide); we changed those ratios a bit. We even changed binder materials to improve our electric connectivity. And we were able to drive our electrode count down and our coating weights up; that helps us get more energy in a small space. We were able to improve our volumetric energy density by 20% at a cell level, and we use a new type of graphite on the anode side that improves its performance and life."

In terms of cell control—“lithium cells can be a bit temperamental,” Wallace said—GM engineers went to a centralized system versus the more electrically-complex distributed system. They improved BSE (battery state-of-charge estimation) incrementally, and the pack’s mechanical architecture reduced seal count by 33%.

Many more details on the new Volt and its vastly improved powertrain will be forthcoming. According to Savagian and Grewe, GM is preparing at least five SAE Technical Papers for publication at the 2015 SAE World Congress; highlights will be presented at the 2015 SAE Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Symposium, February 10-12 in Los Angeles; go to http://www.sae.org/events/hybridev/.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: next Volt + new version? - Detroit News

don't know if there's been a more recent thread for this ... oh well

6 Ways the 2016 Chevy Volt Has Been Improved - HybridCars.com
by Jeff Cobb
May 5, 2015

...the “range” comes by way of a new 18.4-kwh battery with fewer but more-efficient pouch cells assembled stateside from Korean company LG Chem. The bigger battery saves 20 pounds and is in the same T shape...

...Under the hood, the range extender is now an all-aluminum direct-injection, DOHC Ecotec 1.5 liter four from GM’s new family of small engines co-developed with a Chinese partner, SAIC. This is a bit bigger than the 1.4, rated 41 mpg instead of 37, and requires regular gas instead of premium...

...The electric front-wheel drive transaxle – the “drive unit” is now a new two-motor design...
...And, the drive unit is adaptable now to other vehicles whereas GM says the gen-one Volt’s was not. This has less bearing on Volt ownership but is good for GM. The Malibu Hybrid was co-developed with the new Volt, for example, and the new Volt is meant as a DNA donator to plant new electrified vehicles within the automaker’s future lineup.

...the horsepower is the same at 149 (111 kw) but torque has been improved from 273 pounds-feet to 298...
...And as for the all-important efficiency, GM says miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) is now 102 compared to the former 98 although fans at the GM-Volt.com forum are hoping GM will have a surprise that this is even better...


More plus pix & Links @ site
 

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2016 Chevy Volt EPA Ratings: 53-Mile Electric Range, 42 MPG On Gas
GreenCarReports.com

By John Voelcker
Aug 3, 2015


The 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid has been rated by the EPA at 53 miles of electric range, a nice boost on Chevy's earlier promise of "at least 50 miles."

The EPA also rates the 2016 Volt at 42 mpg combined when the engine is running, and 106 Miles Per Gallon Equivalent combined when operating solely on electricity.

Together, those three ratings are substantial improvements over those of the outgoing 2015 Chevy Volt: 38 miles, 37 mpg on gasoline, and 98 MPGe on electricity...
 

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2016 Volt - testdrives

2016 Chevrolet Volt First Test Review
Revolution Two: The 2016 Chevy Volt Proves There Are Second Acts in Automotive Lives
MotorTrend

By Kim Reynolds | Photos By Julia LaPalme | August 31, 2015

... A few weeks earlier I’d driven the car from San Jose to Monterey and back along with several other journalists, and I actually got the worst EV range of anybody there—and that was still 49 miles. Yes, driving like a nut. Some got upward of 57...

...I stared at the old Volt. Sitting next to our 2016, it looked like a chunky electronics project box I’d buy at Fry’s Electronics. By comparison, the new one appears to have been poured through a fine-mesh nerd filter, both more conventional-looking—in a generic/beautiful way—but slinkier and sexier, too. And sure, I see the Honda influence in its stern—frankly, the whole car might be the world’s all-time best-looking Civic...


...While waiting for the battery’s state-of-charge graphic to slowly rise, I climb around the interior. The seats are torso-wrapping, the twin 8-inch displays are brightly high-res, the center-stack controls are easier to use, and my first brush with Apple CarPlay was a thumbs-up... ...In back, I folded myself into the new, temporary middle-seat perch that requires straddling the battery but expands the car into five-seater territory (though there’s no center headrest). Even a kid would complain about this spot, but it’s a check in the box next to the words “conceivably, I could.”...

... I asked the Volt’s engineers if they could think of any powertrain in world that’s more complex than this one. They looked at each other and offered a collection of twisted faces but could think of exactly … none. Although it’s easy to describe Volt 1 and Volt 2’s drivetrains with the same vocabulary—four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, planetary gears—World Wars I and II could be described with the same words, too.

How are they different? Volt 2’s gas engine is all-new and bigger—1.5 liters (from 1.4), aluminum, direct-injection, widely variable cam timing, has more hp (101 vs 84), and now runs on regular fuel. The two electric motors are slightly closer in power (one’s still stronger, 117 hp to 64) but their combined power is less. Less? Less is more when they can be locked together in so many myriad ways via two (instead of one) planetary gear sets and a trio of clutches (one, a dog-clutch). Now, the two motors can combine their grunt off the line, other times negotiate which better handles the chores, one can be a generator, and sometimes both can slumber while the engine directly locks into an efficient one-gear ratio relationship with the wheels...

Drivetrain weight drops by 130 pounds by jettisoning those thick orange cables and making things more compact. Being smarter. Those smaller motors save weight and cost. (The added price of the secondary planetary unit is negligible—GM pops these out like Campbell’s makes soup cans.) The smaller motor is now a simple, cheaper ferrite type, while the costly rare-earth that remain in the other one is more efficiently concentrated (altogether, they’re reduced by 63 percent). Upstream, the LG Chem battery’s architecture is fundamentally the same (a “T” shape running down the center tunnel and splintering beneath the back seats), but its chemistry is lab-latest, there’s fewer packs (192 from 288), and the whole thing’s lighter by 30 pounds and squats slightly lower. The sum of all the incremental advances ramps the car’s combined EV and gas range to a diesel-like 420 miles; Chevy says that typical owners will now do 90 percent of their trips without the engine evening starting...

... I squeeze the Regen on Demand paddles behind the steering wheel to whoa-down the car with my fingers. Cool. The car moves as a coherent whole, balanced, responsive, reminding me of how suited a properly integrated electric drivetrain is for serious driving (see every story written about Tesla for more information). The original Volt had some real strengths—finger-snap torque off the line being the best. But it heaved heavily over road undulations, and its engine sometimes went into a panicked, roaring regen frenzy when the battery got too low. This one has no vices. I’d forgotten from our press drive along Pacific Coast Highway how nimble it is. How its sense of battery weight now feels more like solid, road-quieting ride motions. Never did the new, bigger engine sweat and scream to redline to recharge the battery—it’s too smart to let itself get painted into an awkward operational corner like that. Although the Volt’s 120-foot emergency stopping distance is so-so, the vastly better brake feel is great for briefly scrubbing speed...

...This Volt is a whole new deal, as revolutionary anything else out there. Try it again.

Specs: page 2
 

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50+ EV miles in a plug-in hybrid is the way to go. The best of both worlds. And at $1k less than the outgoing 30 EV mile version. This means the next Ford Energi need to offer 30+ EV miles.

Wait....Volt launched with MY2011. Fusion Energi launched in 2012 aw MY2013. New MY2016 Volt is launched in 2015. Refreshed MY2017 Fusion Energi is launched in 2016. This means we wont' see a new Fusion until MY2019 in 2018. Which means the MY2017 Fusion Energi refresh has to offer substantial mechanical upgrades to compete with Volt over the next 2 years.

Volt should be a run away success for a 50+ EV mile compact car. And if Ford can do 30+ miles with the MY2017 refresh, the same can be said of the Fusion Energi. Which could be done with more energy dense batteries, more compact battery pack, redesigned trunk floor 'designed' to hold the battery pack(previous battery pack was an after thought just placed where it could go 'after' the Fusion engineering was done.).
 

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