LG Chem- - the Unsung Hero For Chevrolet’s Bolt EV and a Great Example of Collaboration
While the range on the Chevrolet Bolt is very impressive, the car also brims with other innovative technology: customizable infotainment screen (hardware and software designed by LG), surround vision (allowing a bird’s eye view of the vehicle), rear camera view (which eliminates the blind spots when the driver backs up the vehicle), 4G data sharing, and Apple Carplay/Android Auto connectivity. Journalists were surprised by the car’s agile feel and verve on pre-production units. 0-60 mph is expected at 7 seconds. The vehicle may not be as sleek as the upcoming Tesla Model 3, but Bolt’s mission is about everyday usability in a CUV format that allows for maximum utility.
While Chevrolet and GM have received tremendous limelight and kudos for the range achievement on the Bolt, I believe the applause should also go to an unsung hero: LG Chem.
LG Chem has had close collaboration with General Motors for at least the past 5 years. Their first major application of an EV battery went to the 1st generation Chevrolet Volt (2011 to 2015). The battery boasted an innovative design that allowed for each cell to be thermally protected with liquid-cooling. This thermal management system (TMS) was integral to the reliability and durability of the battery pack for the Chevy Volt, and many owners benefited, as there haven’t been any widespread documented cases of cell degradation, capacity loss, or perceived range loss. In fact, one owner, Erick Belmer, has crossed over 300,000 miles (over 100,000 of which are EV miles) on his 2012 Chevrolet Volt without any perceived battery degradation or capacity loss.
- AT 238 miles per charge, Chevy Bolt ranks as Tesla Model 3 beater
- How Serious Is Competition Between Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3: Similarities and Differences
- If Chevy has some kind of promotion for LEAF owners to encourage them to cross over, some may do
LG Chem also benefited from the collaboration with GM, learning valuable insight into how their batteries fared in the real world. The low and high buffers for the Gen 1 Volt pack (original packs were not allowed to charge below 20% or above 80% to improve battery life and maintain capacity) were reduced slightly, increasing EV range from 35 to 38 miles over the life of Gen 1’s production run.