General Motors can make a claim for its Chevy Volt battery pack that has eluded the competitive Nissan Leaf: there’s been zero battery degradation in the Volt.
That topic came up during a recent media tour of the GM Brownstown battery assembly plant near Detroit. Most of the attention during that trip was given to the wide selection of lithium-ion batteries GM is building for its electrified vehicle lineup.
While the second-generation Volt has a new battery pack that will carry it farther on battery power, GM is still building battery packs for the older, first-generation model. While the second-gen Volts are now being sold at Chevy dealerships, the first-gen battery is bring produced in Brownstown since GM is legally required to provide replacement parts under its battery warranty.
GM says that, so far, it has had to replace zero Volt battery packs due to what’s been defined as “general capacity degradation.”
In 2012, after reports of premature battery degradation in hot states for the Nissan Leaf, especially in Arizona, Texas, and California, Nissan upgraded its warranty to guaranty 70 percent charge holding capacity for five years and up to 60,000 miles. That made warranty programs for battery packs a hot topic for companies like Nissan, GM, and Tesla to market to car shoppers and safety regulators. It pushed the envelope out to 8 year/100,000 miles as the industry standard for lithium-ion battery packs in electric cars.
Battery storage has been one of the applications for Volt batteries that tap into the long-lasting durability. GM has used Volt batteries for a renewable energy storage project. The automaker is using a few of them at its Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan, where it will help supply power to its new Enterprise Data Center.
Launched in December 2010, the Chevy Volt has so far withstood the test of time in battery durability.