Not only must the engineers make all the functions operate in sync, they must ensure that the cars' systems and functions use the limited energy supply during battery-only operations extremely efficiently. So how do you reduce the energy loads of all these different systems to optimize usage?
Weber says that only becomes clear once you understand first how each system operates individually and then together. This knowledge allows the engineers to take advantage of synergies such as using the waste heat of one system to heat another. He likens this engineering process to the development of the cell phone: "First it fit in a briefcase, then it was a handheld 'brick,' now, it's palm-sized." He expects his team to make similar progress toward greater integration and efficiency.
But this all takes time and the Volt team has only two years left. The key will be to use the remaining time before introduction to implement all the necessary integrations while keeping ‘the diva’ as content as possible. Only that will make the Volt the revolutionary vehicle that GM hopes it will be.