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The Next Generation “Voltec” Extended Range EV Propulsion System

Journal Article
ISSN: 2167-4191, e-ISSN: 2167-4205
Published April 14, 2015 by SAE International in United States
The Next Generation “Voltec” Extended Range EV Propulsion System
Citation: Conlon, B., Blohm, T., Harpster, M., Holmes, A. et al., "The Next Generation “Voltec” Extended Range EV Propulsion System," SAE Int. J. Alt. Power. 4(2):248-259, 2015,
Language: English


The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle (EV) with extended-range (ER) that is capable of operation on battery power alone, and on power generated by an on-board gasoline engine after depletion of the battery charge. For 2016, GM has developed the next generation of the Volt vehicle and “Voltec” propulsion system.
Building on the experience of the first generation Volt, the second generation targeted improved all-electric range, improved charge sustaining fuel economy, and improved performance. All of this was to be accomplished while maintaining the EV character of the first generation Volt which customers clearly valued.
This paper describes the next generation “Voltec” system and the realized improvements in efficiency and performance. The features of the propulsion system components, including energy storage, transaxle, electric motors and power electronics, on-board charging, and engine are described and compared with the previous generation. Next, the transaxle powerflow is discussed and operation under typical driving conditions is explained. Finally, system efficiency and performance data, based on component tests, is presented and compared with the previous generation.
This system includes a battery pack with greater energy density, a new transaxle with integrated power electronics and motors, and an engine with optimized displacement, direct injection, and other advanced features.
As a result of these improvements, the second generation Volt vehicle is projected to achieve a 30% increase in EV range, an 11% improvement in charge sustaining label fuel economy, and improved vehicle performance both as an electric vehicle, and in extended range mode.