Next generation Chevy Volt to have fewer batteries, lighter weight, extended range

The second-generation Chevrolet Volt will have a new extended range propulsion system that is based off first-generation Volt owners driving data. The next-generation Volt, with the Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system, will debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show in January.

The  Voltec system includes battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics. This combined advanced technology will further extend the EV range and overall fuel economy of the Volt.


“Our Volt owners truly love the EV driving experience, with more than 80 percent of all trips being completed without using any gasoline. We’ve used their real-world experiences to define the next generation Chevrolet Volt,” said Alan Batey, head of global Chevrolet. “By putting our Volt owners at the center of what we do and leveraging our electrification engineering leadership, we’ve been able to raise the bar and will exceed their expectations with the new Volt.”

With the ever-changing battery technology, General Motors has revised the cell chemistry for the 2015 Chevy Volt. Working in collaboration with LG Chem, the new batteries have an increased storage capacity of 20 percent based on volume when compared to the original battery cell. In turn, this helps to decrease the number of battery cells used from 288 to 192. This drops overall weight by 30 pounds, and that alone improves the overall fuel economy of the Volt.

The battery system continues to use the Volt’s industry-leading active thermal control system that maintains electric range over the Volt’s life.

“The current generation Volt’s battery has proven to provide our owners exceptional performance when it comes to quality and reliability,” said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM Powertrain’s electrification engineering team.

A recent study conducted by General Motors found that many owners of the first-generation Volt (in California) have been able to exceed the 35 mile EV range. According to GM, Volt owners have accumulated more than 600 million EV miles on the first generation Chevy Volt.

“It would have been simple for us to tweak our existing battery to provide nominally increased range, but that’s not what our customers want,” said Nitz. “So our team created a new battery system that will exceed the performance expectations of most of our owners.”

EV range estimates will be revealed in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Brad Halderman
Brad Halderman is a tire engineer and performance test driver that currently works for Hankook Tire Co. He loves cars and writing about them on and focuses on technical details of tires, wheels, and vehicles. His father is the well known automotive technical writer James Halderman, so he's grown up in the business so to speak.