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GM reveals details of next Volt drivetrain

Set to be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January, the second-generation Volt has been developed based on data gathered from existing owners, which General Motors said all-electric journeys accounted for over 80% of the total.

The all-new battery pack features cells developed with LG Chem, with revised chemistry delivering 20% extra capacity. In turn, this has allowed General Motors to reduce the number of cells from 288 to 192, shedding 13kg of weight and shifting the centre of gravity lower for improved stability.

Its drive unit, which sheds 45kg, is designed to use both motors simultaneously to improve efficiency by up to 12%, while boosting electric-only acceleration by a fifth.

The Traction Power Inverter Module, which manages the power flow between the motor and batteries, is now integrated to reduce size, weight and manufacturing complexity, and rare earth materials use is significantly reduced. One motor uses none at all.

Finally, the drivetrain features a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as a range extender, including a variable oil pump and cooled exhaust gas recirculation to improve efficiency.

The drive unit and battery pack will be manufactured in Michigan, which recently received a substantial investment in preparation for the new model, while the engine will be built in Toluca, Mexico.

Alan Batey, head of global Chevrolet, said: ‘By putting our Volt owners at the center of what we do and leveraging our electrification engineering leadership, we’ve been able to raise the bar and will exceed their expectations with the new Volt.’

While Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has confirmed that the Ampera, which is based on the outgoing Chevrolet Volt, will be replaced, as yet it isn’t clear whether the replacement will be based on the next-generation car.

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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