Green Car Congress GM Introduces EFlex Electric Vehicle System; …

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Chevrolet Volt Electric Cars

6 January 2007

Powertrain of the Volt E-Flex Concept. to enlarge.

GM has introduced a new family of vehicle propulsion systems—the Systems—and is showing the first application of E-Flex at the North International Auto Show: the Volt, a 40-mile all-electric (AER) plug-in hybrid.

initially uses a plug-in battery-dominant series hybrid The E-Flex vehicles are all electrically-driven, common drivetrain components, and be able to create electricity on (either through a genset or a cell). Regenerative braking also contribute to the on-board generation. (“E” stands for drive and “Flex” for the different of electricity.)

We are focused on reducing our on petroleum—today we are 98% dependent [and] we think that is a good strategy at all.

—Beth Lowery, GM VP Energy and

There has been some in the press that perhaps is a publicity stunt on our part. is not a publicity stunt, nor is it a science project. This is something we have been working on for to a year.

—Jon Lauckner, GM VP Program Management

GM is developing the System in parallel to its mechanical efforts—including the development of the Saturn VUE Line two-mode plug-in (earlier post ), for which GM awarded lithium-ion battery (earlier post )—as as its ongoing fuel-cell vehicle efforts.

In its evolving taxonomy of GM refers to its existing portfolio of as “mechanical hybrids”—i.e. the engine mechanical drive power in to the electric drive power.

is tremendous synergy between the cell vehicle program and the program—Nick Zielinski is the chief for the fuel cell program and the Concept, as one example.

Furthermore, GM leveraged its experience the EV1 in the design of both the E-Flex and the Volt. The use of the range extender in the design, for example, originated feedback from EV1 customers not wanting to have to plan lives around the next according to Tony Posawatz, GM Line Director.

GM envisions a of genset options for the E-Flex including engines optimized to run on E85 or and biodiesel.

The Chevrolet Volt.

The Volt . GM chose its Global vehicle architecture (Cobalt-sized) for its E-Flex application, the Chevrolet

The Volt uses the same motor as used in the Equinox Cell vehicle in its electric a 120 kW peak machine that 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque.

The will use a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers 136 kW of peak Plug-in charging is designed for the (110V, 15 amps) and will between 6 to 6.5 hours.

The Volt can support all-electric from 0 to its top speed of 100 mph (with to 120 mph). Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph 8 to 8.5 seconds. The basic operating is to run the vehicle in all-electric mode the state-of-charge (SOC) of the battery 30%—that strategy delivers a 40-mile range.

The 53 kW motor set (genset) allows the on-the-fly of the battery. The genset in the current concept uses a 1-liter, turbocharged engine.

You can drive at a 70 mph, and the generator will not be on At 100 mph,the genset can maintain the in the battery and the speed of the vehicle. are no compromises for the customers in the vehicle.

—Nick Zielinski, chief

The Volt concept configuration a 12-gallon fuel capacity, the vehicle a total driving of around 640 miles—which works out to a gasoline fuel efficiency of 50 miles per gallon. (Presumably would increase with a variant.)

The less one drives plugging in to recharge, however, the the experienced fuel efficiency. A drive of 60 miles, combined a nightly recharge to support the 40 all-electric miles, would an effective 150 mpg according to GM’s for example.

For comparable performance a fuel-cell version of the Volt, GM needing 4 kg of hydrogen on-board.

The also features a number of materials from GE Automotive including:

Roof, rear lid and fixed side glazing with Lexan GLX resins and coating technology;

Doors and made with Xenoy iQ performance thermoplastic composites Xenoy iQ resins are created polybutylene terephthalate (PBT)-based derived from 85% post-consumer waste, consuming less and yielding less carbon (CO2) in their manufacturing traditional resins.

Global energy absorber and rear energy absorbers Xenoy iQ resins;

Steering and instrument panel with airbag chute made Lexan EXL resins;

Front made with Noryl GTX and

Wire coating made Flexible Noryl resins.

The use of the delivers part weight of up to 50%.

Actual production of the is dependent on further battery and GM made no announcements about involved in the development of the battery for the Volt. The profile for the battery in the is different than that of the being developed for the VUE plug-in.

GM like to minimize the different packs within the E-Flex of vehicles. One notable exception to would in a fuel-cell configuration. In case, the battery would be and more focused as power first and energy battery (due to the ability of the fuel to produce the electricity on-board.)

However, GM is also clear it wants to use common systems and wherever possible across To that end, elements as the charging systems will be common across mechanical-hybrid and E-Flex plug-ins.


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