We've spoken with Denise Gray, GM's director of Hybrid Energy Storage Systems (she's working to get the hybrid taken out of her title, considering the whole E-REV thing), about the Chevy Volt's batteries many times in the last year or so (read our talks from August 2007, November 2007, and January 2008). At the Volt briefing last week, Gray gave the collected journalists a 15-minute presentation on where the batteries are today.
The goal for these cells, from A123 Systems and Compact Power Inc. and currently being tested by GM, is to be able to move the Volt from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds or less and to give the driver the expected "passing capability" and "predicted drivability." The trick is to provide this capability over the full life cycle (10 years and 150,000 miles) of the Volt. Of course, the 40 mile electric range in city driving is also important.

Gray said her desire is to have the batteries tested at every level. GM is doing its own testing, natch, but the suppliers will be feeding reams of data to Gray and her team on the thermal properties, the materials and more. There are more than 60 battery scientists, engineers and researchers globally in Gray's department, and then dozens more who are not directly tied to her. There are multiple battery cell and pack cyclers and thermal chambers/simulators in use at all locations globally. The challenge, of course, is to simulate 10 years of battery operations in just two years, give and take. GM's solution will be described in the battery test update.

Listen to Denise here:




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