General Motors and ABB Group displayed an electrical backup system for private homes this week. The mechanism can provide enough energy to power three residences for approximately two hours, and is powered by used EV batteries from Chevy Volt automobiles. With a maximum output of 50 kWh of energy, the system was the result of a joint effort by ABB Group, General Motors, and Duke Energy. Each power box is composed of five used lithium-ion battery packs from a Volt hybrid-electric automobile.
Because Chevrolet is constantly improving the Volt, both from a driving and a design perspective, it is interesting to take a look back at one of the first public test-drive sessions of the innovative car. Shot in 2009 at the LA Auto Show, the clip joins a guest driver along with the man who was Chevy’s line director for the car, Tony Posawatz, in the passenger seat as the two cruise along a closed track. Tony provides some very interesting commentary and answers the driver’s questions during the trip. Considering that hybrid-electric technology was still very new at the time, it is surprising how simple, quiet, and low-key the test drive was. If you have never been a driver or passenger in a Chevy Volt, this film footage will introduce you to the basics of how the car works and moves.
A GM senior manager for battery lifecycle management, Pablo Valencia, expounded on the new power packs at a company event in California this week, noting, “This is an industry first to be able to do secondary automotive batteries in a grid-based application.” ABB is a Swiss technology firm that specializes in automation and power. Duke Energy is based in North Carolina.
For more information about the Chevy Volt, see Chevrolet’s dedicated website for the hybrid-electric, award-winning car: