The next generation Volt will debut at the 2015 NAIAS

GM’s Chevrolet Volt extended range electric car will be getting a second generation model at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in January next year.

An extended range electric car is basically a car that uses an electric motor for propulsion, just like a regular electric car. In the Volt’s case, the electric motor component of the car’s Voltec system draws its power from the car’s batteries, which you charge via a charger point.

But in the case the batteries run dry, an internal combustion engine starts up to provide additional power by recharging the batteries. It does not drive the wheels directly. According to GM, 80% of all Chevy Volt trips are completed without the range extender starting up.

2016 Chevy Volt Voltec Drive Unit and Range Extender

The second generation Volt will get a more efficient battery pack developed in conjunction with LG Chem, with a 20% increase in capacity on a volume basis, while the number of cells have been reduced from 288 to 192. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an improved centre of gravity, while the pack itself has had its weight reduced by 13 kg.

The range extender itself has had its cubic capacity enlarged from 1.4 litres to 1.5 litres. The four cylinder engine features direct injection, a 12.5:1 compression ratio, cooled exhaust gas recirculation and a variable displacement oil pump.

This second generation Voltec system could see itself introduced in other GM extender range electric car products such as the successors to the Cadillac ELR and the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera.