17 January 2012
TROY, Mich.–We're back at it on day two of our three-day teardown of the Chevy Volt.
8:00 a.m. EST: Coffee, bagels and camera angles. Each of the still cameras set up to record the teardown clicks a shot every four seconds. Visitors have to stay behind lights and Munro & Associates workers, wearing their trademark blue shirts, need to come back into the camera viewing field exactly where they went out.
We'll post this incredible time-lapse program in the next two weeks, so stay tuned!
8:15 a.m.: Al Steier, Munro's teardown man extraordinaire, is pulling off the wheels and hood first thing this morning so we can get at wheel sensors and get, literally, under the hood.
9:45 a.m.: John Scott-Thomas is an analyst with TechInsights, a key part of the team that will analyze for us the electronics throughout the Volt. His expertise is power management, so he's keenly interested in prying the lids off the various electronics modules we're extracting from the Volt and understanding the electronics inside and how engineers managed power, weight, size and other tradeoffs in the design phase. He's antsy. He's been here for 24 hours and hasn't gotten his fingernails dirty yet!
11:30 a.m.: The first serious under-the-hood dive-in comes just before lunch as Steier dives into the engine compartment to extract the power electronics control module. In the middle of his examination he comes across an unexpected safety feature.
2:10 p.m.: Steier and crew lift the Volt up on the hoist and get ready to take off the shielding around the battery pack. Once that's done, the next step will be unbolting (carefully) the battery pack itself!
3:50 p.m.: Steier and colleague Mark Fazi pull the battery out from under the Volt and wheel it into position for additional analysis. He lays out his game plan for what's next:
4:15 p.m.: The service disconnect plug was the first thing Steier pulled out as the teardown began Monday. But the Volt's 380V lithium-ion battery pack, divided into three sections, still carries energy in each section, potentially lethal energy. Steier grabs a volt meter to takes measurements: