GM’s Volt-related technical papers set SAE record

  • 01-Apr-2011 02:18 EDT
Volt tops SAE papers.jpg

2011 Chevrolet Volt.

General Motors is turning heads this month—on the technical literature front, that is. The automaker is publishing 12 SAE International technical papers related to the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. SAE Publications experts believe the dozen papers received from a single source, in a single year, focused on a single topic, represent a milestone in the tech-paper realm.

It’s not uncommon for SAE International to publish multiple technical papers related to a single subject in any given year. This typically occurs when the industry is pushing hard to meet new regulatory mandates, such as those regarding emissions and occupant protection. In most cases, papers published on a single topic are submitted by a variety of sources—perhaps an OEM, a few suppliers, and a research university, for example.

But the dozen papers on Volt’s development and technologies were authored by GM engineers, and the effort coordinated and sanctioned by GM. The Volt papers are among 1250 new tech papers being published, as is SAE tradition, at the 2011 World Congress. (Go to

“It’s pretty safe to say that this hasn’t happened before, and I give kudos to GM,” said Colette Wright, Auto Sector Manager, SAE Engineering Events Development & Management.

The Volt-focused papers cover a broad range of topics, including the car’s aerodynamic development; the new 4ET50 electrified transaxle (two separate titles); Voltec battery design and manufacturing (three separate titles); high-voltage contactor control function; development of the car’s portable charge cord; 12-V stop-start system optimization; high-voltage power allocation management; EMC requirements and test methodologies; and co-development with Goodyear of the Volt’s low-rolling-resistance/multi-capability tires.

The papers came as no surprise to AEI editors. About halfway through Volt’s 48-month development, GM engineers alerted us to expect a “flurry” of SAE tech papers related to various facets of the new extended-range electric vehicle.

“We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in this vehicle,” said Pete Savagian, GM’s Director of Hybrid and EV Powertrain Engineering, and Electric Motor Release. “We decided pretty early in the program that we’d go heavy on getting much of our learnings out into the industry, publishing it through SAE."

GM and Ford are each publishing 38 tech papers at this year’s SAE World Congress, more than other automakers, according to Erin Moore, SAE’s Product Manager, Technical Papers. GM has applied for more than 100 patents for Volt-related technologies.

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