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The cold weather test was already done a few months ago, now the Chevrolet Volt is ready to take on the hot weather test. To take advantage of the summer heat, Chevrolet Volt engineering team takes the Chevrolet Volt to the General Motors Desert Proving Grounds in Arizona.
One extreme test the Volt is undergoing in the desert is the Hot Soak Evaluation, where temperatures inside the cabin can exceed 175 degrees F. Ouch, that is hot! GM engineers bake the Volt in the sun for several hours, then open everything in the car, cycle all of the electric accessories and then take the car down the ride handling track to check for squeaks and rattles. Additionally, they check to make sure the door seals continue to close off the cabin to the hot air as they cool the Volt down using its high-efficiency air conditioning system.
“The car performed well,” said senior durability test engineer Steve Pratt. “The air conditioner cooled things off from our interior temperature of 138 degrees down to a nice comfortable temperature for driving.”
In addition, the Volt undergoes routine City Cycle testing two to three times each day. In this test, the battery receives added heat from the electrical energy generated by the steering, air conditioning, accessories and components under repetitive, cumulative use. The engineers are making sure there are no heat-related issues.
So far the rigorous tests have paid off, the Volt passes with flying colors. To reduce recall cost and public criticism, GM is making sure that its first electric vehicle starts out right when it is time for mass production.