GM's Bob Lutz, Ed Welburn, GM's design chief and Ed Peper, General Manager of GM's Chevy division are strutting around like the proud Papas of their electrifying newborn baby, the Chevy Volt.
Yes, the much anticipated and controversial Chevy Volt production model was unveiled Tuesday, September 16, 2008, at the GM 100-year birthday celebration in Detroit and the auto industry is electrified with buzz over it. "The Volt is scheduled to be for sale at Chevy dealerships by 2011," said Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman of Global Product Development. About 100 will be produced by the engineering team in 2009/2010 to be available to the automotive press to test drive..... Oh please pick me!!
The Volt can drive for 40 miles on a single full electric charge of its battery pack. The battery pack will be allowed to drain down from 80% to 30% before the gas-generator kicks in. Since the battery pack holds 16 KWH of energy, that means 8 KWH will get you 40 miles.
There appear to be three leading reasons people are interested in buying a Chevy Volt :
1. To achieve freedom from oil use
2. To achieve cost savings
3. To protect the environment
Some of Volt's interior technological features include:
* Driver-configurable, liquid crystal instrument display
* Standard seven-inch touch screen vehicle information display
* Touch screen-style climate and infotainment controls
* Optional navigation system with onboard hard drive for maps and music storage
* Standard Bluetooth for cellular phone and USB/Bluetooth for music streaming
For more on the Chevy Volt go here.
I also had a rare opportunity to meet with a team of Volt women (yes women!) engineers for a press box lunch after the announcement. They have been working under a veil of secrecy for 18 months on the Volt design of the production model; Alex Cattelan, Assistant Chief Engineer, E-Rev; Britta Gross, Manager Hydrogen and Electrical Infrastructure Commercialization; Nina Torosa, Aerodynamic Development Engineer; Molly Peck, Divisional Advertising Manager Chevrolet; Theresa Priebe, Creative Designer, North America Product Development; Denise Gray, Director, Global Engineering, Hybrids, Electric Vehicles & Batteries; and members of the press. Questions on safety, battery production, design, and production schedules were fielded by this all-woman team of GM brainiac women. Joining us were women press members: Michelle Krebs of Edmunds, Kami Buchhol of Automotive Engineering, Jil McIntosh from Canadian Driver, abd Ileana De Dios Muniz, Publisher of www.fama.us, to name a few.
What great contributions these women are making to the auto industry in their roles and to their employers. This luncheon was defiantly a highlight event for me as it was such an incredible pleasure to meet this group of women over lunch.