Watch First-Ever Chevrolet Bolt 57-kWh Battery Removal & Disassembly

FEB 27 2018 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 36

Check out the first-ever video showcasing removal and disassembly of the Chevy Bolt’s 57 kWh battery pack.

Yes, that’s right, it’s 57 kWh, not the claimed and advertised 60 kWh. Now you know…

Related – Chevrolet Volt Battery – Deep Dive 2-Hour Video

Chevy Bolt Battery

Weber Auto has once again released an amazingly detailed video featuring an electric car. Here are the “cliff notes” for the video above:

Grab your popcorn and get ready for the first YouTube video showing the removal of a Chevrolet Bolt EV Battery!

Video Timeline:

Video introduction at 0:10
High voltage disabling procedure at 0:26
Key fob removal at 0:39
12V battery negative cable disconnection at 0:59
12V system description at 1:25
High voltage service disconnect lever removal at 2:29
Removal of high voltage connector at 6:45
Verification of multimeter proper operation at 5:55
Verification of no voltage at inverter at 7:15
High voltage battery location at 9:20
Battery connections at 9:30
*Verification of no voltage at the AC charger connection 10:18
Verification of no voltage at the DC battery to inverter connection at 11:48
Disconnection of low voltage connections at 13:30

Chevy Bolt Battery

Draining the battery cooling system at 13:57
MUST SEE – Do you have a first or second design battery? at 17:00
MUST SEE – Better view of battery coolant connections 18:40
Disconnecting the battery bonding straps at 19:15
Finding the battery Center of Gravity at 19:48
Positioning the battery removal table at 20:23
Battery weight 1000 lbs (453.59 kg) at 20:25
Removing the battery to body bolts at 20:50
MUST SEE – Partial lowering of the battery at 21:58
Leveling the battery lift at 22:32
MUST SEE – My apprehension regarding lowering the battery at 23:17
MUST SEE – Lowering the Bolt battery at 24:10
Battery external review at 25:12
MUST SEE – High Voltage Service Disconnect connector and lever at 28:19
Under car views at 29:10
High voltage battery coolant heater at 30:53
High voltage Air Conditioning compressor at 30:58
Traction motor and differential at 31:04
Leaking steering rack at 31:14
Video review at 32:11

*UPDATE: When using the J-1772 Combo DC fast charger, the large 2 wire (X4) connector at the battery is used. The small 2 wire (X3) connector is only used when using a Level 1 or Level 2 AC J-1772 charger connector.

This is the first is a series of videos on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. This episode covers the removal of the 57kWh 350.4 volt 175 Ah battery from a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. 

Bolt Battery

But wait, there’s more.

The video below features the Bolt battery once again, but this time it’s being torn into. Okay, torn probably isn’t the right word to use here, but you get the idea.

Cliff notes first, followed by battery disassembly video:

Grab some more popcorn and get ready for the first YouTube video showing the disassembly of a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Battery!

Video Timeline:

Video introduction at 0:13
Corrections to battery removal video at 0:43
Charger connections at battery at 1:00
Undercar aerodynamic cover at 3:19
Removal of battery upper cover at 5:19
Battery cover seal removal at 7:24
Battery inside views at 8:00
Removal of large 2-wire connector at 12:27
Removal of Battery Disconnect Relay Center Cover at 13:29
Removal of charger connector at 13:39
Removal of Battery Disconnect Relay Center at 14:20
Removal of coolant from the battery at 18:50
Removal of internal coolant hoses at 27:40
Preparation for removal of battery section 5 at 29:38
Connections at the Battery Energy Control Module (BECM) at 30:20
Removal of internal wire harnesses at 34:04
Removal of Service Disconnect lever connector at 38:44
Removal of BECM at 39:33
Removal of battery bus bars at 40:00
Removal of battery section 5 cover at 43:16
MUST SEE: True battery kWh rating at 44:25
Stabilization of battery before removal of sections at 46:42
MUST SEE: Removal of battery section 5 at 50:42
Battery thermal conduction mats at 53:00
Closer look at battery section 5 at 53:48
Removal of battery section 1 at 57:15
Removal of battery section 2 at 1:06:35
Removal of battery section 5 cooling plate at 1:08:30
Spilling coolant on myself at 1:11:35
MUST SEE: Warning about battery section 2 at 1:14:24
Removal of battery section 3 at 1:14:53
Removal of battery section 4 at 1:15:20
MUST SEE: View underneath battery section 4 at 1:21:13
Removal of 4 cross-braces at 1:21:57
Removal of large cooling plate at 1:26:10
MUST SEE: View of underneath of large coolant plate at 1:30:04
Removal of insulation pads at 1:30:46
Removal of final connector bracket at 1:33:08
Video review at 1:33:55

Categories: Battery Tech, Chevrolet, Videos

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36 Comments on "Watch First-Ever Chevrolet Bolt 57-kWh Battery Removal & Disassembly"

newest oldest most voted

Despite the 57 kWh label, I’ve been told by little birdies that the Bolt’s battery is indeed 60 kWh usable (and confirmed by my own observations), and is likely 63-64 kWh in total capacity. LG/GM chose to officially label the battery 57 kWh for whatever reasons.

Very similar to Tesla underrating the LR Model 3 to 310 miles, despite achieving a 334 mile range in testing.
https://insideevs.com/long-range-tesla-model-3-epa-range-334-miles/

Capacity is a weird thing that varies with load. What you measure would be different from what the lab measured. But in general, 10% is within the “norm”.

As for your measurement, I find it exceedingly difficult to get less than 10% variation even in single drive session. That’s with hundreds of data points, but most people only look at couple of data points.

So is yours correct or label? Answer is both.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Actual battery capacity can vary by temperature, if not other things. So the “real” battery capacity is how it’s measured by the manufacturer. I think there are uniform standards for measuring the capacity of li-ion batteries across the industry, and if I’m right, it’s not a case of arbitrary standards used to make a product look better than it is. There was a long and rather contentious thread on the Tesla Motors Forum from a self-appointed “expert” who claimed that Tesla was overstating the capacity of its battery packs. But after quite a lot of discussion over scores or hundreds of pages of comments, I think the consensus was (by most, but not including the self-appointed “expert” who made the original claim) that he wasn’t measuring the capacity the same way Panasonic measures capacity. So, my question is who put a “57 kWh” label on the Bolt EV’s battery pack? Both the batteries and the pack were made by LG Chem/LG Electronics. If LG put the “57 kWh” label on the pack, then I would be highly skeptical of any claims that this number is “wrong”. If the manufacturer measured the pack at 57 kWh, then that’s most likely what… Read more »
(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Battery Manufacturers do their own testing. Usually more than 5 times cycled and the average is the value given. They have a very specific SPC and the packs that leave the plant are the packs that are within the SPC and given that labeled capacity whether it’s 57KWh or 60KWh.
Only way to know is to see the final test bench printout/data.

Volt Fan

You didn’t watch the video. I did. And Professor Kelly clearly explains that the 57 kW label is a LG (Lucky Goldstar) label, not GM.
The best section is how the cooling plate that LG manufactured is placed between the fourth and fifth sections which are under the rear seat. That allows both sections to be liquid cooled yet the heat from the fourth section is insulated and prevents heating the fifth section placed over it. Future battery packs can be layered and increase in capacity with only an increase in height.

Chris Stork

You wouldn’t round up Heinz 57 Sauce to Heinz 60 Sauce, so why would you round up your 57KWh battery to 60KWh???

I’d rather take the expert’s word for it, in the second video where he does the math after a complete teardown and comes up with 57.02
https://youtu.be/ssU2mjiNi_Q?t=44m25s

The Bolt’s usable capacity is 60 kWh, regardless of what the label says.

ClarksonCote

No no, clearly the label, the video, and a reference to Heinz Ketchup are true.

What you put into your battery and calculate out using real mathematics is irrelevant.

/sarc

Pushmi-Pullyu

“The Bolt’s usable capacity is 60 kWh, regardless of what the label says.”

Given that usable capacity of a BEV’s battery pack will always be less than the full nameplate capacity (as rated by the battery cell manufacturer), this is almost certainly wrong. If that was correct, then the full (nameplate) capacity of the cells would have to be more than 60 kWh.

kubel

This is a vista 2.0 pack, has anyone confirmed capacity with the new vista 2.0 pack?

All regulatory submissions and range tests that I’ve seen were with vista 1.0 packs.

This isn’t the first time that GM has quietly decreased capacity on a pack but maintained rated range.

Schorschi

Is there a way to empirically determine one’s EV battery capacity – as a consumer – just from calculations, the SOC% before and after a charge session and perhaps the dispensed energy some EVSE’s display? I know, there are a lot of variables, like charging losses, battery cooling requirements during charging that varies with ambient temperature and what not. Also, the SOC% reading on some vehicles is rather coarse, the Spark EV has a ten-bar gauge, but with using a CAN-bus adapter and a suitable smart phone app a much better reading accuracy can be achieved. The Chevy app isn’t accurate near 100% either, marking any level above 96% or 97% as full.

Pushmi-Pullyu

It is quite difficult, even for people with experience in the field, to measure the actual capacity of a li-ion battery pack. It’s far easier to measure the capacity of most other types of batteries.

If you want details, you can read a discussion of the subject at the link below. It’s specifically oriented toward the Tesla Model S, but I think you’ll find that most of the info applies equally to any BEV with a li-ion battery pack.

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/calculating-battery-capacity-degradation.52765/

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Tony Williams might know.

Bill Howland

I’ve gotten 59.9 kwh out of the battery on my BOLT EV.

(Obviously, the way that batteries have worked for the past 100 years is that if you discharge them slowly you lose less energy due to heat and get a greater percentage of the stored energy out of the battery terminals in the form of electric juice, which is the whole point in the first place).

I believe the 59.9 kwh figure.

Comments like “Now you KNOW” assume the article writer is smarter than the commenter.

It takes 67.77 kwh to trickle recharge the battery to the same point. Seeing as the recharging trickle charge facility (most efficient at 200-250 volts) doesn’t seem to generate much heat AT ALL, I believe the 59.9 kwh figure, and I have no doubt the car would release a real 60.0 kwh with a slightly slower discharging rate.

cmina

“I’ve gotten 59.9 kwh out of the battery on my BOLT EV.”

How did you get to that value ?
Did you factor in regen braking ?

Regen subtracts kWh used, so it’s already accounted for.

Bill Howland

After watching both vids, I seem to have a First Generation Battery – makes sense since my car is now 1 year old, whereas his was brand new.

(Another difference from the dashboard is that newer bolt ev’s seem to have yellow warnings when the battery discharges compared to the orange in my car).

As far as the 57 kwh ‘label’ – Mr. Loveday apparently isn’t aware of this – but ANY battery only has a given rating at a given discharge rate. Lead Acid batteries used to be rated at either a 20 hr or an 8 hr discharge rate. The ‘label’ in the vid did not specify the discharge rate – important because due to ESR, the battery capacity of ANY battery is variable, being bigger at a slow discharge and smaller at a fast discharge.

Now, whether there is an explicit CAPACITY difference between the 2 batteries I don’t know as of yet, – perhaps we shall learn more about this soon.

DL

Sorry Bill, but claiming battery capacity by stating the values given to you by the car’s instrumentation really doesn’t mean that much. You have no way to calibrate or verify those readings. On the other hand, you CAN verify the charging input kWh since you have total control over that feed.

Pushmi-Pullyu

All that is true, but measuring kWh used while charging won’t give you the true full capacity of the pack, or even the usable capacity. The amount of energy it takes to fully charge a battery pack includes losses from the onboard charger, which won’t be accounted for by simply measuring the energy input.

Presumably you could come close by using DC charging, bypassing the onboard charger. But even then, there will be a slight loss because the batteries themselves are not 100% efficient at charging.

ClarksonCote

Bill is generally the correct one here. The label is probably using industry standard discharge procedures to measure the pack capacity, which I would guess is a 1C rate, i.e. a constant 60kW (57kW?) draw from the battery, give or take.

In reality, you’re not using anywhere near that much on the Bolt EV, even at highway speeds, so the effective pack capacity would be higher for everyone not climbing up an infinitely high mountain.

ESR and voltage dip as a function of discharge rate and charge state causes this. Discharge it slower, and you get more electrons out instead of lost to heat.

kubel

Do you have a v1.0 or v2.0 pack. No one has a disassembly video or pictures of vista 1.0 modules, so no one knows how they are rated.

My theory is GM shrunk the pack size and all range tests and regulatory submissions were with vista 1.0 packs.

ffbj

Amusing Chevy’s battery with an LG Chem label in the promotional shot.

EVShopper

Why? I assume the Tesla battery probably has a Panasonic label.

ClarksonCote

Well that doesn’t matter because (insert irrational bias here).

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Well that doesn’t matter because (insert irrational bias here).”

LMAO

ffbj is wishing there was a delete function on here. LOL

Mister G

bro1999 aka Bob Lutz what if Tesla did this? Would you be outraged and calling for Elon’s resignation?

Volt Fan

Tesla batteries do have a Panasonic label on all of the cells.

Volt Fan

All of the North American brand EVs and hybrids use different battery brands. GM has LG and Hitachi cells. Ford has Samsung, Sanyo, and Panasonic cells. Weber Auto has done the Hybrid Pacifica receintly here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDPwQefY2KY

I have not seen any North American lithium-ion cell brands at all.

Jacked Beanstalk

I’d bet good money that the 2019 Bolt will have at least 60 KWh capacity. 80 KWh like the rumors? Highly unlikely, but not impossible. With a plan of over 20 EVs by 2023, a 2019 Bolt with over 300 miles of range isn’t as far out as it sounds.

What I would love to see is a Lightning Bolt™ with 80 KWh, dual motors, and a fully independent rear suspension. I’d buy one over a Model 3 without hesitation. Sadly, I don’t think such an EV will be offered until GM can sell it profitably.

Nix

57 vs 60 may be the difference between rated and usable.

You can take any battery and safely charge it slightly over the rating of the battery. In fact, if you go buy some fresh 1.5V “D” batteries that are marked 1.5V on the label, and you check them with a volt meter, and they may read 1.54V. So you get more usable capacity than it is rated.

With that said, I keep seeing math thrown around on the internet as if Chevy charges to 100%, and drains to 0% of rated capacity. I don’t buy that at all. The same company that built the Volt to use the least percent of any battery on the market isn’t going to also allow their EV to fully charge/discharge.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Nix said:

“57 vs 60 may be the difference between rated and usable”

Yes, I think that’s the most likely explanation for the disparity between 57 kWh and 60 kWh. That’s a 5% difference, which certainly does sound like an appropriate reserve percentage.

Mister G

Can anyone imagine if Tesla did this? American conservatives would be calling for Elon’s resignation LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS

Bill Howland

Steve L. mentioned on another article that the Label is a 95% rating per the D.O.E. of 95% makes a 60.0 kwh battery labeled at EXACTLY 57.0 kwh.

Au Contraire IEV writers, “Now you REALLY know”, hehe.

Robin Grindley

I have one of the very first Bolts, received in Jan 2017. It went in for the battery recall and they replaced the entire battery with a new one. My range has been very reliable at around 250 miles average on the original battery. On the new battery I am consistently getting 265 miles and above. Could be due to any/all of
– Battery is new, and will “settle in” a bit lower
– Battery calibration/software was changed for new battery
– New battery actually has 4-5 kWh more usable capacity

In any case, it was a pleasant surprise.