Chevrolet recently unveiled the new Voltec Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) propulsion system that will be used for the brand's next-generation Volt that is slated to debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in January. In review, the system will be comprised of a battery, a drive unit, and a range-extending engine. Chevrolet claims that the new system will have better EV range and fuel economy compared to the current generation.
The new battery features a smaller package with 192 cells compared to the previous 288, making it 13kg lighter as well. Despite the compact packaging, it has 20% more capacity. Engineers were also able to place the battery lower in the body to provide a lower center of gravity. The battery will still be powered by Chevrolet's active thermal control system that maintains the electric range of the Volt.
The drive unit of the battery pack has been redone and is now focused in providing better efficiency, performance, better packaging and decreased noise/vibration. According to Chevrolet it now performs 5-12% better and weighs 45kg lighter than the current system. Its Traction Power Inverter Module, which regulates power flow between the battery and electric drive motors, has been integrated inside the drive unit which makes up for its smaller size and simpler build complexity.
Powering the vehicle itself is a new Range Extender 1.5-liter inline four engine that utilizes a direct injection fuel system, a high compression ratio of 12.5:1, cooled exhaust gas recirculation and a variable displacement oil pump.
Official specs of the new Volt will be revealed next year along with the EV range.