Autoline Reveals New Details On Next-Gen Chevy Volt Battery – Video


Next-Gen Chevy Volt Details Starting To Trickle Out

Next-Gen Chevy Volt Details Starting To Trickle Out

Did you know that the next-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt will feature a battery pack with less cells, but more kWh than today’s Volt?

Or that the next-gen’s 1.5-liter engine will be able to run on regular gasoline?

You’ll learn that and more in this episode of Autoline Daily.

Video notes below:

0:37 Ford Earnings Sputter
1:43 Lunch with Ford’s Mark Fields
2:27 Buffett to Create Largest Dealer Group?
3:25 New Chevy Volt Details
4:03 Toyota Dumps Tesla
5:00 What Experts Think of Gigafactory

Categories: Chevrolet


Leave a Reply

21 Comments on "Autoline Reveals New Details On Next-Gen Chevy Volt Battery – Video"

newest oldest most voted

I admit I am not aware of the technical hurdles but why stop at making it run on regular instead of supreme? Why not make it flex-fuel capable?

Ethanol is hard on ICEs especially when allowed to sit. The ICE in an Volt is primarily used as a backup thus many owners will sit with the same few gallons of fuel for months. Some Volt owners love their 1.4 litre ICE but many, myself included, will not mind the smaller extender. Either way, not a fan of ethanol.

I thought the problem with ethanol when it is allowed to sit is that it attacks water from the humidity in air. Would the Volt’s sealed gas tank eliminate any worries about water accumulation from outside air? I don’t think so. The Volt’s sealed gas tank prevents gasoline vapors from evaporating/escaping. But I assume when gasoline in the tank is pulled out by the fuel pump to feed the ICE, outside air is added to the tank to displace the gasoline that was sent to power the ICE.

+1 on making the Volt flex-fuel capable. But also make it able to be run on methanol and 100% ethanol, not just gasoline and 85% ethanol. Future proof the Volt’s ICE for as many alternative fuels as economically feasible.

That is a valid point also but lets not forget that E85 is only E85 in the summer time and that in colder weather it actually is E60 to allow easier starting in cold weather. E85 in a car may not work well if you bought gas in the summer and didn’t get around to burning till Christmas.

I am happy that I can get ethanol free fuel here at a few stations, but not in Premium. If we get a Volt 2.0 as a second car to replace my wife’s Civic, it would be nice to have the option to use ethanol free regular.

In Brazil they also use humid ethanol which is 95% ethanol and 5% water. That fuel is cheaper since the remaining water doesn’t need to be removed and it obviously is not afraid of atmospheric moisture. The engines are adapted to the water presence so there is no corrosion problem either. Wet ethanol would be a perfect fit for a range extender.

It’s interesting that in light of recent announcements of coming electric cars by major manufactures, ostensibly to compete with Tesla, that they have the temerity to say that there will not be enough demand for the batteries from the giga-factory. Hogwash and sheep-dip, from the rep from LG Chem.
Musk himself has said that there will needs be 100’s of giga-factories worldwide eventually. I don’t see demand as a problem.

It would be ironic if Tesla batteries where part of the new European offerings, now still on the drawing board.

Don’t know what the LG Chem guy is talking about when he argues that Tesla will have trouble selling the volumes needed to make the Gigafactory economics work because a $35K/200 mile vehicle would have to compete with offerings from regular carmakers at that price point.

Except those regular carmakers are not investing in super large scale battery production to get cost down so I don’t think there are going to be any competing 200 mile/$35K vehicles anytime soon.

They seem to be thinking it will compete with ICE, instead of simply BLOW ICE AWAY.

If you watch the full video that snippet comes from it makes a bit more sense. The LG Chem guy is asked, “How close are we to $125/kWh pack prices”. His response was, “I can’t talk cell prices as an OEM, blah, blah, blah”, but then adds, “We expect a 200mile under $35k EV using our cells in 2017”.

I wonder how they will achieve that. Not aware of any super scale battery plant investment plans from their part, but maybe they have other ways of cutting cost that don’t rely on scale economics so much.

LG Chem has apparently made great strides recently in energy density. To where their new pouch cells have level or better performance to Panasonic’s 18650s in energy density. IF you don’t need all the protection/thermal management the Tesla pack provides, you can cut a lot of cost out of the pack (given an equal energy capacity cost) with large format cells.

No, it’s not higher density than Panasonic. The LG Chem representative specifically said that their 2016/2017 battery has half the cost and 40-50% better energy density compared to the cells they provided GM in 2010 for the Volt.

The Volt’s cells were 140 Wh/kg cell level (90 Wh/kg pack level), so the new ones will be ~200 Wh/kg. Panasonic’s latest cells are close to 300 Wh/kg according to Musk.

If you care to hear more about the battery side of things there is a 26 minute video at the AutoLine link below. ATW #1833 The Charge of the Battery Brigade.

There are a number of other companies besides Sakti3 that are doing solid state batteries. Sastry claims her batteries test at an energy density of 1100 watt/hours per liter. She claims they are just about ready to go to market, but will appear first in consumer electronics.

ATW #1833 The Charge of the Battery Brigade.

Her claimed time frame was the most surprising. 1-2 years to appear in CE, 3 years for EVs.
I don’t believe it, but would be great if it was true. On top of the high energy density, you get: no need for heat/cooling pack, no need for BMS (since the materials aren’t volatile), smaller (no?) capacity penalty in cold weather.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they get to market soon, but I don’t believe her claims on cost.

1100 Wh/l will be easily sold for $1500/kWh in the CE market. An iPhone has a ~7Wh battery, so this tech could double the battery life in a $600+ device for about $20.

With such superior energy density, I see them selling at least 20 GWh/yr at $500+/kWh to the CE market. They’re going to need a 100+ GWh/yr market to even entertain the thought of reducing their selling price down to $100/kWh, no matter how cheap it is for them to manufacture.

For comparison, Toyota is also working on solid state batteries, but they don’t expect them to be ready until 2020 at the earliest with an energy density of only 400 Wh/L at that time. Toyota expects it’s solid state batteries to scale up to only 800 Wh/L by around 2027.

“Only” 400 Wh/L is still quite good, particularly if the entire battery assembly requires less thermal management or other protective structure.

With less packaging, it should be competitive with the denser battery technologies today, which is enough for the Model S to offer enough range to replace gas cars.


Yes, Shastry’s claims sound awfully good. If I understand her correctly, the batteries can be formatted to fit just about any available physical space, without the physical constraints and battery management safety constraints that 18650 or lenticular cells demand.

Shastry is very articulate and sounds like a straight talker. We’ll have to see.

In the meantime there’s the old joke about the top two finalists in the international liars contest.

Going into the final round were the top two most outrageous liars.

A used car salesman ended up going against a battery salesman.

The battery salesman won handily.

Yeah. You can’t touch the advantages of a solid state battery with a battery with a liquid electrolyte. The only problem being the non-existence of a solid state batteries 🙂

But what about EEStor?