Chevy Volt and battery pack, courtesy UBM Electronics

Chevy Volt teardown reveals future battery pack upgrades and safety monitoring systems

UBM Electronics recently performed a teardown of a Chevy Volt to better understand the technology, and learned the battery management system makes it easy to adopt future battery technologies.

UBM Electronics, as part of their Drive For Innovation tour, recently conducted a teardown of the Chevy Volt down to the nuts and bolts. The disassembly team looked mostly at the on-board electronics, finding an extensive sprinkling of microprocessor control systems all through the car. While the team estimates that over 40% of the Chevy Volt value is in the electronics, we're most interested in what it showed about the battery pack safety systems, given the recent Volt battery pack fire furor.

UBM's Drive For Innovation tour is a one year project to showcase electronics innovation and automotive system design in which EE Times Editorial Director Brian Fuller drove a Chevy Volt to "innovation hubs" around the U.S. to conduct interviews. In a one-hour webinar today, the team presented a high level overview of the circuit boards, the chips on the boards, and the connecting cables between subsystems. The overview came from details the team learned by tearing the Volt down to its component parts, then examining each board to identify major chip part numbers, and manufacturers, as well as the overall function of the system. The purpose was to better understand the Chevy Volt, as well as the future of automotive technology.

Of course our primary interest is to learn what the team discovered about Chevy Volt battery pack safety. We'll get to that in a minute.


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