General Motors is reportedly developing an all-new 55 kW max/30 kW continuous power inverter which will find its way into future hybrid and electric vehicles released by the company, including the next-generation Chevrolet Volt. The new inverter was announced by GM’s Sean Gleason at the Department of Energy’s Annual Merritt Review in June, where he revealed they are nearly two-thirds of the way finished the $16.6 million project.
Charged EVs says work on the new inverter began in October 2011 and will conclude in January 2016. It will produce 14.1 kW/kg of specific output with 94 percent efficiency. Gleason said the inverter will also bring the cost of electronics down to $3.30 per kilowatt for every 100,000 units produced, which is crucial if GM hopes to succeed in making the new Volt cheaper than the current car.
The inverter is modular and can be adapted into more than one vehicle application, not just the new Volt. GM worked with multiple suppliers on the project including Hitachi, Delphi, Infineon, HRL, Panasonic and more.
GM hopes to extend the all-electric range of the Volt to around 50 or 60 miles with the next-gen car. It may also increase the vehicle’s combined range by implementing a smaller gasoline generator, possibly the 1.0-liter three-cylinder unit currently employed by Opel in the Adam and the upcoming Corsa hatchback.