General Motors has expressed their desire to increase the efficiency of the Chevrolet Volt in moving to the next-generation model. Many media outlets, including us, reported the 2016 Chevrolet Volt would use a smaller 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine to do this.
However, it’s become apparent that GM will actually move in the opposite direction, upsizing the gasoline generator from 1.4L to 1.5L as it folds in with the new line of Ecotec motors, which will be used in the automaker’s small cars globally. The 1.5L will be both more powerful and more efficient at charging the battery pack than what we’ve seen previously.
The new 1.5L Ecotec in the 2016 Chevrolet Volt will work with a new battery back that will increase in storage capacity by 20 percent on a volume basis when compared to the original cell, while the number of cells decreases from 288 to 192. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an even lower center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack has decreased by almost 30 pounds (13 kg). At the same time, it’s expected to deliver more power to the front wheels. Silent speed, baby.
Production of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s electric drivetrain components will also move from their current location in Mexico to a new factory in Detroit. The 1.5-liter engine will be built at GM’s engine plant in Flint, Mich., while the battery cells will continue to be made by LG Chem in Holland, Mich. The lithium ion battery packs are also made in a facility just outside of Detroit and production of the next-gen EREV is expected to stay in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.