Voltec Battery Design and Manufacturing
In July 2007, GM announced that it would produce the Chevy Volt, the first high-production volume electric vehicle with extended range capability, by 2010. In January 2009, General Motors announced that the Chevrolet Volt's lithium ion Battery Pack, capable of propelling the Chevy Volt on battery-supplied electric power for up to 40 miles, would be designed and assembled in-house. The T-shaped battery, a subset of the Voltec propulsion system, comprises 288 cells, weighs 190 kg, and is capable of supplying over 16 kWh of energy. Many technical challenges presented themselves to the team, including the liquid thermal management of the battery, the fast battery pack development timeline, and validation of an unproven high-speed assembly process. This paper will first present a general overview of the approach General Motors utilized to bring the various engineering organizations together to design, develop, and manufacture the Volt battery.