Published: August 6, 2014
2015 Chevrolet Volt
By Antony Ingram, special from Green Car Reports
There's a childish pleasure in seeing something disassembled to its component parts, whether it's a jigsaw puzzle, Lego set or an entire car.
The Chevrolet Volt is new enough that you're unlikely to see too many broken up at scrapyards right now, but crash-damaged ones still give some individuals the opportunity to explore its workings in greater detail.
For d55guy, the author of the video above (via Inside EVs), it's an opportunity to strip down the Volt's T-shaped battery pack and its motor, inverter and generator.
Diving into the workings of an advanced vehicle like the Volt isn't something for the faint of heart (and not for the un-qualified), but at the same time it's reassuring to see that despite its batteries and dual-power drivetrain, its constituent parts aren't overly complicated.
Under an easily-removable cover, the lithium-ion battery pack is split into four modules, though each module contains different numbers of cells.
Each is connected electrically but also by the Volt's cooling system--considered a factor in the lack of range degradation Volt owners are experiencing. Along the sides run various cables and on top you'll find battery management components.
Perhaps the most significant component is a voltage safety cut-off that sits atop the pack where the longitudinal part of the pack meets the transverse section.
The large, clearly marked key can be unplugged from the pack, quickly reducing voltage to zero and rendering the pack safe.
At the front, a separate module handles connections for the packs, the cooling system, the battery management modules, the inverter and the charging connections.
The motor and inverter setup is relatively simple too, particularly stripped of the gasoline engine.d55guy notes the inverter's connections, the input shaft on the motor and the output for the axle shafts.
With a little imagination it's easy to see how the motor setup could be used in other vehicles--potentially making for a fun electric vehicle conversion.
Once again, it should be noted that stripping down the Volt's drivetrain (or that of any electric vehicle) isn't a task that should be undertaken by anyone without plenty of electrical experience.
But even a car like the Volt, with electric and gasoline powertrains and a large battery pack, isn't as complicated as you might first expect.