Chevrolet Volt: It’s what’s inside that counts

The Chevrolet Volt is more than just a car: some call it a true electric vehicle; others call it a plug-in hybrid. To many, it’s a political hot potato, being discussed and dissected by everyone from Rush Limbaugh to NHTSA to every journalist in the country — automotive and otherwise. It’s also been anointed as the potential savior for General Motors, and also a disappointment in sales. GM predicted that Volt sales would reach 60,000 units in 2012. So far, in the first two months of this year, Volt managed to sell just over 1,600 units.

Because of the slow sales, GM recently announced that Volt production is taking a hiatus for five weeks to help maintain inventory control. Volt is currently at a 154-day supply, which is way more than it should be. Some of this slowdown may be attributed to the backlash from NHTSA’s investigation of potential battery fires in the Volt, of which the probe was officially closed. Chevrolet has made structural upgrades to the battery pack for increased protection. Click here to read about the modifications.

For the most part, though, Volt owners seem happy overall with their vehicles. Like most hybrid vehicle customers, Volt owners care more about fuel economy than anything else. However, there are a few owners who are interested in the technology. Recently, UBM Electronics and Drive for Innovation held a webinar where they did a full-scale teardown of the Volt over three days to go in-depth with the battery, the charging system, the communications module and more. The one-hour seminar was thorough and detailed, and while we know it may put some to sleep, for those who are really interested in this technology, click on the link below to see the detailed pdf of the presentation.

Volt Teardown


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BJ, one of the first female automotive journalists in the country, has been testing and writing about automobiles for almost three decades. A former Road Test Editor for Motor Trend magazine. BJ now freelances for numerous automotive titles and websites. She is the Road Test Editor and co-host of “Driver’s Talk” Radio, a simultaneous vodcast/broadcast that is heard in over a dozen markets across the country as well as on the internet and Stitcher. BJ is a multiple winner of the prestigious IAMC awards, including the “Best of Radio,” and has served as a judge on numerous automotive competitions, including Concept Vehicle of the Year. A big racing fan, her love of automobiles started early, having been exposed to the field through her father, who owned an assortment of collector classics, such as a ’61 Austin-Healey 3000, a ’641⁄2 Mustang, and other vehicles. BJ, a native Southern Californian, is married to automotive photographer Scott Killeen, and is a two-year past president of the Motor Press Guild, the organization that represents almost 900 automotive journalists and industry representatives across the country. BJ and Scott (Team Killeen), are publishers of the BUILD BOOK, a serial publication that follows the build of one custom vehicle from start to finish.