Found this nice view of the 2013 Chevrolet Volt Body Structure. The Volt has been covered in many different posts over the last couple of years. Below is a quick review list:
Extrication Knowledge at Home Depot? Yup! It’s free too! Take a look at the GMC truck below, it’s a propane model that looks to have many miles on it. I was writing a quick note after I snapped these pictures to leave under the wiper and the guy jumped in and drove off. But here’s a great look at propane tanks mounted in the frame.
Make sure you like the BoronExtrication Facebook page!
The last thing I was expecting to see in the parking lot only a row over was a Opel Vauxhall Ampera electric vehicle which is the brother to the Chevy Volt in Europe. Notice it’s a right hand drive? Check out a previous post on the Opel Vauxhal Ampera.
General Motors announced today it will make enhancements to the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle as a response to concerns over battery stability following severe crashes.
The announcement comes after National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing and laboratory evaluation that resulted in delayed thermal incidents, all related to Volt’s battery pack and coolant used for the pack’s thermal stability.
While Volt was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, GM decided to go ahead with the modifications “to ensure customers’ peace of mind in the days and weeks following a severe crash.”
“These enhancements and modifications will address the concerns raised by the severe crash tests,” said Mary Barra, GM senior vice president of Global Product Development. “There are no changes to the Volt battery pack or cell chemistry as a result of these actions. We have tested the Volt’s battery system for more than 285,000 hours, or 25 years, of operation. We’re as confident as ever that the cell design is among the safest on the market.”
The modifications include:
• Strengthening an existing portion of the Volt’s vehicle safety structure to further protect the battery pack in a severe side collision;
• Adding a sensor in the reservoir of the battery coolant system to monitor coolant levels, and;
• Adding a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.
GM said it conducted four successful crash tests between Dec. 9 and 21 of Volts with the structural enhancement. The enhancement performed as intended. There was no intrusion into the battery pack and no coolant leakage in any of the tests.
Volt customers will be individually notified when the modifications are available for their vehicles and the enhancements are currently being incorporated into the Volt manufacturing process.
Many automakers have invested time and money in training rescuers how to handle a MVA with an electric or hybrid vehicle. The problem I see is this highly publicized Chevy Volt battery fire resulted from a damaged and leaking battery. There is a GM safety protocol to discharge the HV battery which requires a special tool to drain the Volt’s batteries. That tool is not available to dealers until sometime next year. In the mean time, if the battery is leaking or damaged on a Volt a GM team is sent out to drain the battery. The team has only been sent out to crashes a few times with over 5000 Volts on the road.
Let’s focus on the recent Volt fire after a government crash test. Here’s a quote from an article in the Detroit Free Press:
That Volt caught fire because NHTSA did not know to drain the Volt’s battery. The battery case had been punctured, spilling coolant, which caused a short that in turn triggered a fire, GM spokesman Rob Peterson said Monday.
Ok so if the battery is leaking it could catch on fire. Got it! Please tell me that it doesn’t take a masters in engineering to figure out a HV battery leaking coolant (or anything for that matter) is not good. Should it really be a surprise that after three weeks of coolant leaking out of a “charged” battery caught fire? I hope that automakers address leaking batteries in detail in all future Emergency Response Guides!! Or as Jason Emery was quoted in the Detroit Free Press “automakers lack one consistent fire-prevention procedure for electric vehicle batteries”. Jason is a lead electric-vehicle safety instructor for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
If you respond to an MVA with an electric or hybrid vehicle and the battery is leaking stretch a handline and get the patients out. Make sure you follow the proper procedures outlined in the Emergency Response Guides. I would have greater concerns if the Volt caught on fire within an hour of the crash. What are your thoughts?
The headline that started making the rounds thru the news networks was “Chevrolet Volt catches fire after crash”. Just look at the web search below! What you have to read into the story is the Chevrolet Volt caught fire in storage more than three weeks after a government crash test. That’s right three weeks after the test. The first news report I heard completely left out that it happened three weeks after the test. So what is your first thought, the Volt was crashed and burst into flames. However that was clearly not the case. The fire prompted federal safety regulators to look at safety procedures for electric vehicles after a crash. Not to look at an electric car that burst into flames after a crash test. General Motors has responded to this incident by stating the NHTSA did not follow GM’s recommended safety protocol for a post-crash Volt.
A complete inspection of the high voltage(HV) system and components must be performed if the vehicle has been involved in a collision. The HVCID sensor and/or SIR Deployed vehicle-disable condition will remain active until cleared by the HPCM output control function of the scan tool.
Is there a missing safety procedure out there? General Motors has done a great job getting information about the Volt out to firefighters and other rescue workers. But did I miss a training for the towing and collision industries?
If you have not taken the Electric Vehicle Safety Training for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt training launched by the NFPA, Chevrolet, and OnStar I would do so now. The training features an inside look at the vehicle’s technology and safety systems. Here are some More training resources for the Chevrolet Volt. I have two reason you need to learn more about this vehicle, a motor vehicle crash in your response area could involve a Chevrolet Volt and that same Volt could be towed to a tow yard, collision center, or dealer lot in your response area! Think about it!
With just over 4000 Chevrolet Volts sold in the United States the Michigan made electric cars are started to be exported to other markets. The European market will have the choice of the Volt or the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera. The Opel Ampera is the European version of the Volt. The main differences between the Volt and the Ampera are in the styling. The Ampera will have one additional drive mode than the Volt, City Mode. The “City Mode” adapts battery management to the needs of commuter travelers which engages the range-extender engine (or “gas generator”) immediately. The Amperas will be branded as a Vauxhall in the UK.Australia, Brazil, and Japan will have limited numbers of Amperas/Volts imported.
For our knowledge the hazards in the Volt and Amperas are the same in all the models. The basic vehicle platform is the same regardless of the country. However, just remember, the Volt is just a car. If you know how to disable the HV battery than it’s just a car with a huge battery in it! The information below was taken from the Chevrolet Rescue Data Sheet for the European Union markets.
NFPA, Chevrolet, and OnStar have launched Electric Vehicle Safety Training for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric vehicle that hit the roads last fall. The training features an inside look at the vehicle’s technology and safety systems. More training resources for the Chevrolet Volt.
First off, my hat off the fine folks at GM, OnStar, and The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for setting up and implementing a nationwide training program of First Responders on the new technologies in the Chevrolet Volt. This week is the final stop on a nationwide tour where more than 1,600 fire and emergency service leaders have been trained. Fitting the last stop is where it all started, Detroit! The training was held in the OnStar garage at General Motors headquarters in downtown Detroit. Chevrolet and OnStar, in a joint effort with the NFPA expect 400 Detroit-area first responders to be trained in learning how to deal with emergency situations involving electric vehicles in Detroit, Michigan this week.
The NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training project is a nationwide program to help firefighters and other first responders prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road in the United States. The NFPA project, funded by a $4.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, provides first responders with information they need to most effectively deal with potential emergency situations involving electric vehicles.
The NFPA is behind the Electric Vehicle Safety Training project Blog and check out the post about GM passes the torch to NFPA on EV Training.
General Motors (GM) has set a new bench mark for US automakers and all foreign automaker. General Motors has been very proactive with training First Responders on the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. There is an awareness training program that is visiting major US cities. For those of us who don’t or can’t make it to one of the programs GM has put together a 26 page Emergency Response Guide (ERG). The really cool part of the ERG is pages 16-18. These pages display labels that are located throughout the vehicle just for us! Check it out!
Download the 2011 Chevrolet Volt Emergency Response Guide (ERG)
A good friend that I met in EMT class, Eric Leung, who is a Firefighter/EMT in the neighboring city of Novi sent me this picture of the First Responder label on a Volt. General Motors has been offering up drives of Volts at Detroit area suppliers who played key roles in the vehicle development. The label below is mounted on a plastic shield called the sight shield. The sight shield mounts to the GOR which is the Grill Opening Reinforcement. I moonlighted for a company designing and packaging sight shields over 10 years ago. A part of the car that never gets any respect!
During the past several months, Chevrolet has collaborated with first-responder representatives from national safety organizations to develop educational materials for firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical technicians and emergency dispatchers nationwide. This will help ensure the training meets the needs and answers the questions their colleagues are likely to have about electric vehicles.
Their feedback is being incorporated into training materials that will be available on the tour and posted on a targeted Web site for departments unable to attend the training sessions.
The training will include animation and illustrations of the Chevrolet Volt, highlighting locations of high-strength steel, cut points for extrication, first-responder labeling, automatic and manual electrical shut-off and more.
Notice the last sentence in the quotes? There are going to be cut points for extrication and first-responder labeling! A true step in the right direction to help us get our patients out quickless.