Design Secrets of the General Motors Chevrolet Volt Revealed at DESIGN West

What makes the Chevy Volt run? Find out during DESIGN West, March 26-29, when UBM Electronics, the daily source of essential business and technical information for the electronics industry’s decision makers, and Avnet Express, the e-Commerce engine for Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT), reveal the design secrets behind the Volt following their Drive for Innovation’s Teardown of the vehicle.

Brian Fuller, editorial lead of the Drive for Innovation – a year-long, cross-country road trip created to uncover and celebrate innovation in the electronics industry – will moderate a series of three presentations that center on key insights learned from a three-day teardown of the Chevrolet Volt. The teardown team, which included analysts from Munro & Associates and UBM TechInsights, removed approximately 600 components from the car. The presentations will take place in the DESIGN West Theater.

Working a few feet from the torn-down Chevrolet Volt, which will be located in booth 643, Munro’s Al Steier and TechInsights’ John Scott-Thomas will offer extensive detail on the key electronics sub-assemblies of the car, including:

  • Battery pack
  • Battery pack’s ECM
  • Infotainment system and communications modules
  • Body control module
  • Charging system and inverters

“The Chevrolet Volt is considered a transitional technology as the automotive industry moves away from internal combustion engines and fossil fuel reliance,” said Fuller. "But what engineers will see in the teardown is bleeding-edge electronics design coming from Detroit that offers an amazing view of the future of automotive design."

”This is the ultimate peek under the hood of the Chevrolet Volt,” said Beth Ely, senior vice president, Avnet Express. “Not only will engineers be able to see how the Volt runs, but they get  a front-row seat to examine the components inside that power this game-changing vehicle.”

The sessions include:

  • Chevrolet Volt Tear Down: Battery Pack will be held on Tuesday, March 27 at 12:30 p.m. This session will showcase advanced analysis of the Chevrolet Volt’s lithium-ion battery pack made by LG in South Korea. Steier and Scott-Thomas will join Fuller to describe the 380V battery’s properties, its design and safety systems and then describe a half-dozen boards and front battery pack control module.

  • Chevrolet Volt Tear Down: Charging System will be held on Wednesday, March 28 at 12:30 p.m. This session will showcase the significant (and sophisticated) charging systems used to pull energy from the grid into the vehicle’s main battery and then run a variety of subsystems. Steier and Scott-Thomas will show the modules and intricately designed boards that make up the charging system’s inverter, AC-DC convert, DC-DC converter and charge cable.

  • Chevrolet Volt Tear Down: Infotainment will be held on Thursday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. This session will highlight the infotainment system in the Chevrolet Volt. It is a state-of-the-art interface that includes two displays (one a touch screen) and capacitive-touch control buttons for entertainment, climate control and navigation. Steier and Scott-Thomas will show many of the boards they removed from the car that control communication, radio, navigation, body positions and the flat panel displays (driver display and navigation/entertainment) in this presentation.

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