Take A Deep Dive Into The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Battery And Drive Unit5
Engineers have gone through great lengths to ensure the battery and drive unit of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV create a fun to drive experience, while setting a benchmark in affordable, long-range EVs.
The driving experience begins with a single high capacity electric motor to propel the car. This is very much like many other electric vehicles currently available. But a powerful and quiet motor design, gearing configuration and shift-by-wire technology help set the 2017 Bolt EV apart.
In the end, the system is capable of producing 200 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque and at least 200 miles of pure electric driving. Combined with a 7.05:1 final drive ratio, it helps propel the Bolt EV from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds.
Chevrolet and, more specifically, General Motors, worked heavily with LG Chem to develop a new generation of battery technology for the 2017 Bolt EV. Preliminary specifications for the battery system include:
- 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack
- 288 lithium ion cells
- Five sections
- 10 modules
- 96 cell groups – three cells per group
- 960 lbs. (435 kg) total weight
In order to keep things cool, the batter system uses active thermal conditioning, similar to the Chevrolet Volt, which Chevrolet says will help maximize overall battery life.
The new cell design houses nickel-rich lithium-ion, which provides improved thermal operating performance over other chemistries, and requires a smaller active cooling system for more efficient packaging.
The 2017 Bolt EV also really helps pioneer one-pedal driving by allowing regenerative braking to become more than a tool to boost range. Through a combination of increased regenerative deceleration and special software controls, one-pedal driving allows the 2017 Bolt EV to come to a complete stop without touching the brake pedal.
When operating the Bolt EV in “Low” mode, or by holding the Regen on Demand paddle located on the back of the steering wheel, deceleration will be intense enough to bring the car to a stop.
We’ve said it once before, and we will say it again, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV houses the design and technology to have a real shot at becoming the mass-market statement Chevrolet wants this car to be.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
“When operating the Bolt EV in “Low” mode, or by holding the Regen on Demand paddle located on the back of the steering wheel, deceleration will be intense enough to bring the car to a stop.”
I keep seeing this ‘feature’ in Tubes and articles about this car and feel like there’s a little spin going on somehow. That a product flaw is being spun as a feature.
If you ask me — I don’t want a car that has two breaks in two entirely different places, no matter the benefit of using the hand break to recycle energy. What I want (and presumably any owner would want) is the regenerative features be included in the real breaks. You know, the ‘normal’ way we’re used to slowing the car down.
Why can’t this be offered this way? And isn’t it the way it’s already offered in a Prius? Since I don’t own one I don’t know.
As usual, I must ask which pinheads are downvoting what is essentially a fair question. (Yes, I know a likely suspect and his fake sock puppet friends, but I digress. Oh, and I downvoted it once myself — just to feel like a tool.)
Anyway — thanks to Google — I’ve now learned other companies in fact do offer this ‘feature’ inside the normal breaking system VS some sort of switch on their steering wheel. Like so —
“With regenerative brakes, on the other hand, the system that drives the vehicle does the majority of the braking. When the driver steps on the brake pedal of an electric or hybrid vehicle, these types of brakes put the vehicle’s electric motor into reverse mode, causing it to run backwards, thus slowing the car’s wheels. While running backwards, the motor also acts as an electric generator, producing electricity that’s then fed into the vehicle’s batteries. These types of brakes work better at certain speeds than at others. In fact, they’re most effective in stop-and-go driving situations. However, hybrids and fully electric cars also have friction brakes, as a kind of back-up system in situations where regenerative braking simply won’t supply enough stopping power. ”
As that paragraph explains, regenerative breaking is best in stop and go traffic. Hence why a paddle behind the wheel is sort of interesting. But then this still strikes me as ‘creating work’ where a car should be doing it for you. I mean if cars are just around the corner that can drive you across town, why is it so troubling to make regenerative breaking automatic somehow? Perhaps tied with an auto braking system in traffic?
Someone explain to me how having this in the steering wheel is a plus?
Try this for a long shot! GM’s way of initial testings for the futures electric corvette paddle shift regen system.
Actually, it’s bad enough the way it is on the Prius now. I can’t stand nearly rear-ending a Prius because they just happened to take their foot off the accelerator. Every Prius driver, and every other vehicle with the same regen braking system, should be ticketed each time they drive it because their brake lights don’t work. And every car that has these kinds of regen braking systems should have a recall for their brake lights. Carmakers should have to fix the brake lights so that the brake lights go on every time the regen braking system is engaged.
Btw, I upvoted you and all the downvoting fanboys can go back to busting one over the Avista. I might do the same actually.
Interesting. So this is a sort of industry secret most people out of the Prius loop are clueless about. Regenerative braking isn’t what it should be yet. Hence GM trying it a different way, which on the surface sounds ‘impressive’ but may be essentially as flawed as the Prius alternative.
You make me wonder if the brake lights illuminate with the Bolt steering wheel pads. And why GM doesn’t offer an auto-breaking functionality that does the regen work for the driver in stop and go traffic. Killing two birds with one stone.
Of downvoting fanboys — it’s really comical. I’m not trying to trash the Bolt. I want one. But if someone asks if something is a product shortcoming — and instead of an explanation to the contrary they only receive infantile downvotes –> said response only CONFIRMS my theory.
Thanks for actually addressing the question.