IS General Motors (GM) Getting Serious About Electric Car Production with the new with the Chevy Bolt EV?
Video transcript: Hello, I am Jim Anderton, Director of content here at engineering.com. You know with the hype surrounding Tesla motors, electric cars simply aren’t the spectacle that they used to be. I see you around my daily commute almost every day when you include the odd chevy volt and Nissan Leaf. No one really notices their presence on our streets anymore. however, the reality is that electric vehicles are just a tiny fraction of total sales. With continuing concerns about cost and range anxiety, they’ve been slower to grow than many anticipated. Crude oil prices are low. In addition, the American love affair for large SUV’s and pickups works against widespread electric vehicle manufacturing at least for now. But this doesn’t mean that mainstream manufacturers aren’t hoping to spread electric car popularity. With lower-cost longer range technology, General motors Chevrolet bolt EV is an example, and the way GM is engineering the vehicle shows just how serious they are.
General Motors rejected their traditional in-house vehicle development process and selected LG electronics as their partner in developing the new bolt EV. So what’s the goal here? The goal is an affordable usable electric vehicle with a 200-mile range eliminating the need for away-from-home recharging. For the vast majority of motorists, now the narrow mile range is a challenging specification which, when combined with consumer demand for very sophisticated infotainment systems in the cabin, makes the partnership sensible. LG electronics offers the expertise and infotainment battery systems. While GM has proven in-house capabilities with the validation of an electric motor design, battery control system, and vehicle body system integration, all engineers know that making it good is relatively easy. However, making it good and cheap is exponentially more difficult. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is no exception. The Bolt EV concept was shown at the north american international auto show in January this year (2016). Chevrolet has announced that the Bolt EV will go into production at GM’s Orion Township plant in Michigan in late 2016. Now LG electronics vehicle components leads a team of LG companies, including LG Chem, LG innotek to help develop the Bolt EV. LG has invested more than 250 million dollars in their engineering and manufacturing facility in Incheon Korea to support the component development in manufacturing for the Bolt EV components. GM’s relationship with LG is new. It began in 2007 when LG Electronics supplied the vehicle communications module for OnStar, GM’s telematics system. Another LG-owned company, LG Chem, was chosen as the sole supplier of battery cell for the first generation Chevrolet Volt which launched in 2010. You know LG has already delivered more than 23 million cells and less than two problems per million cells produced for that first-generation Chevy Volt. That’s better than six-sigma Quality Assurance for this critical component. So what does all this matter? Well mainly these electric cars, although interesting and suggestive of low-cost, green transportation is not a disruptive technology. They are too expensive for the average motorist, and they lack range. Real impact awaits true low-cost long range technology that compares dollar for dollar with similarly equipped gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. Now it’s not clear at this point whether the Bolt EV will be that vehicle, but if the pricing can be held under forty thousand dollars and the range meets the 200-mile goal, maybe this vehicle will truly ignite the switch to non-petroleum transportation. If it works, the Bolt EV may become as iconic as Ford’s Model T, volkswagen beetle, or the original Austin mini. We will keep it on and let you know how it goes.
See more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBYHjhPsUFg