GM Throws All Switches On For Volt Development
GM released more details on development progress of their Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Leftlane News notes that the Chevrolet Volt could prove to be one of the most important automotive launches of all time.
Engineers at GM’s battery test facility have developed a new computer algorithm to accelerate durability testing of the advanced lithium-ion batteries needed to power the Chevrolet Volt for up to 40 miles (64 km) of electric-only driving. This advanced computer program duplicates real-life vehicle speed and cargo-carrying conditions, and compresses 10 years of comprehensive battery testing into the Volt’s brisk development schedule.
Production timing of the Volt is directly related to our ability to predict how this battery will perform over the life of the vehicle. The challenge is predicting 10 years of battery life with just over two years of testing time, said Frank Weber, global vehicle chief engineer, Chevrolet Volt and E-Flex systems.
The engineering team have also integrated T-shaped battery into the structure of the car rather than making it a separate component. The battery will be located in the ‘center tunnel’ (where a normal transmission is) and under the rear seats.
The GM has set a launch date of 2010 for the Volt. And the company is serious. Leftlane mentioned that managers have been given a blank check to fund the project.
The Volt is the No. 1 priority project we have at GM. There are no resource shortfalls, Weber told Automotive News. Whatever it takes, we will do. We are working with incredible speed.