Holden Volt: Engineered and Built To Be Strong and Safe







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: December 9, 2011
Categories: Holden, Holden Volt

  • Body structure designed to reduce mass despite extensive use of advanced, high-strength steels for crashworthiness and stiffness
  • Designed to protect occupants before, during and after a crash with a full complement of safety technologies
  • Finely tuned acoustic treatments make the Volt cabin whisper-quiet

There is much more to the Holden Volt than its revolutionary propulsion system, Volt also boasts advanced levels of strength, safety and quietness.

The Volt’s body-frame-integral structure mixes advanced steels to ensure outstanding crashworthiness and stiffness.  In fact, about 80 percent of the Volt’s body-in-white structure is constructed of high-strength, advanced high-strength or ultra high-strength steel designed to provide superior protection in a crash.

The five-door Volt’s body structure rivals the best entries in the segment.  The solid structure enables fine-tuning of chassis components to ensure a dynamic nimbleness unexpected of an electric vehicle.

The stiff structure also enables acoustic tuning to isolate the cabin from engine, road and wind noise.

Strong, efficient structure

Volt mixes some of the strongest materials in the industry – including Boron, Martensite, Dual Phase and high-strength, low-alloy steels – to blend efficiency, strength and crashworthiness.

  • Ultra high-strength Boron steel is applied from the base of the front pillar to the base of the rear pillar, enabling exceptional roof crush performance; as well as in the centre pillar for side-impact performance and rollover support.
  • A shear plate constructed of high-strength steel is MIG-welded within the upper centre pillar, which helps ensure exceptional rollover performance and upper body structure stiffness.
  • The inner and outer portions of the rocker panel are constructed of ultra high-strength Martensite steel from wheel to wheel for side-impact protection.
  • Mass-optimised front rails are made of ultra high-strength Dual Phase steel for superior front-impact performance.  The longitudinal rails incorporate a laser-welded mix of Dual Phase steels for impact performance and weight considerations.
  • To protect Volt’s battery, located in the centre tunnel in the vehicle, ultra high-strength Martensite support rails run in tandem down the centre floor line.  It also defines the upper portion of the tunnel as well as the forward plate of the tunnel at the dash panel.  At the rear of the tunnel, a high-strength, low-alloy steel plate is applied.

Volt provides safety before, during, and after a crash

On top of its strong structure, Volt includes a comprehensive list of standard crash-avoidance, occupant protection, including eight standard air bags, and post-crash technologies.

Chassis control technologies such as anti-lock brakes, traction control and StabiliTrak vehicle stability enhancement help drivers avoid crashes in certain emergency manoeuvre situations.

More than 50 crash tests at various speeds and angles were conducted in the development of Volt, including front, side and rear impacts as well as rollovers.  Volt provides these standard safety technologies:

  • Eight standard air bags including dual-stage driver and passenger air bags; front driver and passenger knee air bags to help mitigate lower leg injuries; roof rail side-curtain air bags extend over both seating rows for side-impact and rollover protection; and seat-mounted thorax and pelvic side air bags
  • Rollover sensing and protection system
  • Tip-up sensors proactively predict tip-up on a flat surface and apply brake force to the outside front and rear wheels to reduce lateral force in the vehicle.
  • Interior head-impact protection in the pillars, headliner and roof rails
  • Adjustable head restraints for whiplash protection in rear impacts
  • Collapsible pedal assembly to protect against lower leg injuries
  • Three-point seatbelts in all four seating positions
  • Seatbelt shoulder belt retractor and lap belt pre-tensioners in the driver and front passenger positions
  • Anti-lock brakes, traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control

Due to Volt’s quietness when in all-electric mode, it takes pedestrian safety into account, with a driver-activated feature that makes a chirping sound to warn nearby pedestrians.