Volt Birth Watch 54: "We Are Making History Today"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
volt birth watch 54 we are making history today

Writing in his FastLane blog, GM Car Czar Bob Lutz revealed that he's taken Chevy's prototype electric – gas plug-in hybrid for a spin. "I drove an official 'engineering development vehicle' with the 16-kwh lithium-ion battery pack we’ve been testing for our E-Flex System and I have to say – pun half-intended – it was electrifying." Half-intended? Which half? But seriously Bob, how was it? "While the car is still most definitely a work in progress, the thrill of driving electrically — that instant, silent torque — is certainly present and accounted for! Of course, as you can imagine, I miss the throaty roar of an engine. Once we get this whole battery thing perfected, our friends at XM Satellite Radio may have to start an Internal Combustion Channel." No seriously, Bob, where are we with this Volt thing? "Don’t run to the Chevy dealer and order your Volt yet." C'mon Bob, really. "Eventually, if and when we settle on the right battery, our E-Flex System engineers will have a lot of integrating, tuning and tweaking to do before the Volt is ready for prime time." If? Oh, by the way, while MB decided to literally sign-off on the Malibu Volt mule (how great does that sound?), it should be pointed out (as the cheerleaders at gm-volt.com do) that Maximum Bob drove the prototype all of eight miles. Woo-hoo! [thanks to KixStart for the links]

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jun 06, 2008

    GM may have the technology first but if you are talking about the Volt - it's not in anybody's hands yet. If you are talking about the EV1 I have to wonder why they don't dust of the damn prints and start building them again - RIGHT NOW! In fact, bring in one of the Beat twins and electrify one of those with EV1 technology. Then we'd have some good looks with a great EV package. Might loose a little range to the wind resistance. Heck put out an Opel Speedster with the EV1 driveline in it and "beat" Tesla to the market at a lower price. I still feel like GM does not WANT to sell an EV to anyone. Maybe I'm wrong, hope I am - and maybe they think they know their customers better than me - prob do. Maybe their stereotypical customer is like my Dad - always trying to stay close to the technological levels of his S-10 pickup, always on alert for "gimmicks" (technology too advanced for him like iPods or the internet), and resistant to change. Love the guy but he's showing his age (generation). What bothers me is the continuing FUD that GM issues anytime they are put on the spot with EV1 questions. Didn't work (but it did), nobody bought 'em (never sold, only leased), battery tech wasn't ready (but they owned the patents for the batteries in the Toyota RAV-4-EVs which are still running around California), and then they go and threaten a lawsuit when a university tries to resurrect an EV1 for demo-use (all of the handful of EV1s were "disabled" before donation to universities and museums). At the same time I hope Toyota and Honda gets their collective heads out of their nether regions and gets an effective EV (like the Rav4-EV) back to market soon. I've got 160K miles on my CR-V, 152K miles on the VW Cabrio and I want to replace one of them with an EV in two years. Realistically I'll prob just build one out of the Cabrio once my budget catches it's breath.

  • Jeff Puthuff Jeff Puthuff on Jun 06, 2008

    gawdodirt: We're supposed to be impressed or assuaged because the company who mass-produced an electric car and sold it in the 90's has put an electric drivetrain in a Malibu mule? The issue is not whether it drove or who drove it. That argument is a red herring.

  • Oldyak Oldyak on Jun 06, 2008

    go G.M!!! I would love for them to make this car work! and so should all Americans! oops..I forgot this is the U.S. car manufacturers bashing site... sorry!

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jun 07, 2008

    I just looked at GM-Volt...funny, they had an ad for lemon law legal representation...