Feb 10

Lighting the Way and Passing the Torch

 

Next month, I celebrate my 5-year anniversary working on the VOLT. What a journey it has been. As many of you know, I was selected as employee #1 (by Messrs. Lutz, Lauckner and Burns) to lead the top-secret project, code named “iCar” and I have watched it blossom into something extraordinary. The team and I have had a truly enriching experience bringing the VOLT to life. Though filled with many sacrifices and some hardships, we continued to persevere with incredible teamwork and a healthy disregard for the impossible. Trying to create a start-up company mentality within a large company like GM was one of the first of many challenges that were faced by the VOLT team. All of the other original founding members have moved on now, and I truly hope that GM will apply the lessons of the VOLT and continue to be bold and to lead in innovation. For me, personally, it has been one of my most cherished life experiences, to begin and ultimately complete the journey, enduring it all and seeing it through, from start to finish.

As we set off on our epic journey to create the VOLT, we knew that “one does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” As such, our journey was fraught with risk and uncertainty, never knowing for sure whether we would reach the new land. No one had successfully attempted to find this new land, one where a plug-in electric car could be sold to the masses and actually be better than a conventional car. At times, the seas were rough, as storms and inclement weather continually tested the mettle of the VOLT team. And yes, there were pirate ships prowling the seas firing shots across our bow with a few shots even coming from ships flying our own flag. At times, the winds would blow us off course and we almost lost our way. The team, to its credit, would always seem to find a way together to plug a hole, mend a broken sail, rescue a fallen comrade or fend off an attacker through the most trying of circumstances.

Every adventure on the high seas requires the guidance of maps, markers, beacons and lighthouses. The VOLT Nation @ gm-volt.com has always been there to light our way. Some four years ago, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, a fire was lit that still burns even stronger today. Whenever we had doubts and the seas tossed us about, you provided us with inspiration that reminded us that the freedoms of the new land were something worth striving for. You represented an enthusiastic base of future customers that longed for a solution (a better way to drive) and made our cause feel noble. We came to fully appreciate that passion and the robust dialogue on a wide-array of subjects related to the VOLT and electrified transportation. It is my sense that the site became a beacon for others, thirsting for knowledge. Many journalists confided in me that they viewed the gm-volt.com site on a regular basis and considered it as a rich source of information. As Benjamin Franklin so famously said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.” You have helped many see the shore, when it was still miles and miles away.

I’d like to extend my personal thanks to Dr. Lyle Dennis, our friendly neighborhood neurologist and founder of gm-volt.com. For many of us, as we think back to January 7, 2007 when the VOLT concept car was unveiled, we could have never even imagined how dramatically our lives have been changed. I still remember our first meeting in early 2007 when we gave the good Doctor a “sneak peek” of the concept car before a show. There was a genuine amazement and curiosity that was most heartwarming. Lyle’s boundless energy and tireless work to enlighten his Nation, but also constructively hold us accountable to our promises, will never be forgotten. He is one of the torch bearers of the new era of electrified transportation.

The ship has landed and people are enthused by the promise of the VOLT and having a real electrified automotive solution. There are still new frontiers to conquer. Torchbearers are still needed to light the way.

Tony Posawatz
Vehicle Line Director, Chevrolet VOLT
Employee #1

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 at 7:19 am and is filed under Volt Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 77


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:34 am)

    It’s GREAT to have you “guest author” a topic here at gm-volt.com, Tony! WELCOME, and my sincere congratulations on your 5th anniversary next month as well as for leading the history-making Volt development program that some say has resulted (so far) in more awards by automotive writers and experts than any other new car —at least in recent memory!


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    WVhybrid

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:35 am)

    Here! Here! Hooray for Lyle and GM! Thank you all.

    WVhybrid
    status = 3400


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    ziv

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:37 am)

    Tony, you brought it home! The Volt is a wonder to drive and is a game changing car! America may never be independent of foreign oil, but the Volt and cars like it will lessen that strength sapping addiction.


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    Jim I

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:38 am)

    I like the analogy!!

    So what torch is being passed? Is Tony leaving??

    Note to all past and current Volt Team members:

    You Did Good!!!!


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    Dave K.

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:38 am)

    Two days ago I drove the 3 mile round trip to the local market place. Parked my Volt in the middle of the lot away from door ding alley. Bought a few items and headed back out to my Volt. As I walked to the center of the lot I saw a 2009 BMW, A new Morano, A 2006 Corvette, and several other nice cars. But there were none I more wanted to own and drive than the 2011 Volt.

    Very good job Volt team. This car is a winner produced by winners.

    =D-Volt


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    joe

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:45 am)

    Lyle, congratulation for making history as a front runner publisher and promoter of the Chevy Volt. Thanks for your hard work!


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    RB

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:48 am)

    Mr Posawatz’s post says
    As many of you know, I was selected as employee #1 (by Messrs. Lutz, Lauckner and Burns)…

    Yes, we did know, and yes, we are most admiring of your commitment to the concept of the Volt and to the car itself, enduring though tough times as well as the upbeat moments. Thank you for your leadership in making the car a reality, and in particular thank you for creating a real car, rather than a one-off show car, and making it an exciting real car.


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    gmtx2652

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:10 am)

    Thanks Tony and Lyle.

    Noticed the Camaro V6 improving from 29 to 30 mpg to match Mustang (and enhance marketability among fuel-conscious consumers). Will be curious to see what “tweaks” you have in store for the Volt in the future. Personally like to see 40+ mpg in CS mode. Understand GM’s significant investment in plant infrastructure (Flint engine, etc.) and the challenges to ramping up production.

    Glad to see GM’s efforts to increase fuel economy (e-assist, Volt, etc.).

    2-door version would be cool too :>}


  9. 9
    John W (Tampa)

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:18 am)

    Chevy Volt = Revolution


  10. 10
    George S. Bower

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:20 am)

    Tony said:

    “At times, the winds would blow us off course and we almost lost our way. The team, to its credit, would always seem to find a way together to plug a hole, mend a broken sail, rescue a fallen comrade or fend off an attacker through the most trying of circumstances.”

    As a retired aerospace employee I can relate to this statement. One of my fellow employees likened it to “scratching and clawing your way out of a deep well…. but after tons of hard work, confusion and head bashing you finally get to the top and see the light of day”.

    Soooo Tony and Lyle,, It would be a great article to write. Pick the 3 toughest problems you encountered during development. Describe what the problems were, the dead end roads you went down to solve them, and the eventual solution. I bet one was the transmission and whether to make this car series or to sneak in a little parallel…..and ultimately the transmission you finally chose.

    You really did have almost all of us fooled you know. Even your own employee here at GM-Volt (WOT) swore until the end the car was pure series.

    How did it all unfold??

    Please tell us the story.


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    o.jeff

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:21 am)

    The Volt is an amazing accomplishment. It is making automotive history. It has the potential to change mobility for a generation. It can reduce emissions of all kinds, including greenhouse gasses. It can make our world and our country safer. It can lessen the economic impact of peak oil. The team who made the Volt is superbly talented and extremely dedicated–we’ve all witnessed this! Congratulations to you all.


  12. 12
    Dave G

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:21 am)

    I’d like to join Tony in congratulating Lyle on a job extremely well done.

    The interesting question here is whether something like this will ever happen again. Will development group use open forums for detailed feedback in the future, or is this one-of-a-kind? In other words, will there ever be another guy like Lyle that can pull this off?

    And of course, kudos to Tony for building the first extended range EV, and making it a great car to boot. I believe this is the start of something really big. In 10 years, EREVs will be mainstream.
    .


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    Kup

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:28 am)

    Thanks Tony! I soooooo look forward to driving one of your babies off the lot in a few months. And thanks for being so accessible throughout the process. To be able to meet you and talk to you at Criswell last July was a special treat.

    We look forward to hearing about your next endeavor


  14. 14
    Tom C

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:35 am)

    To Tony and all that had a part in building the Volt. I had a chance this week to go to Novi for the Volt Immersion class. After we got through driving the Volt, the most repeated comment was “What an Automobile!!!”

    Thanks guy for a great (not car) but Great Automobile.

    Tom C


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    James

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:38 am)

    Dear Tony,

    I hope I haven’t been a fly in GM’s ointment with some of my posts. In the beginning, I was a pretty skeptical monkey – reminding everyone of GM’s sordid past moves and it’s ties ( and board members; CEO’s ) ties to the big oil companies. Then I saw something different happening — Kind of a can-do, we-can-beat-Prius-at-it’s-own-game type of mentality. I think that’s what America and American spirit is and has always been in tough times.

    Tony you’ve made us all proud as Volt torch bearer! You’ve worked incredibly hard to explain, educate and cheerlead Volt all along the way. With all GM’s advertising behind Volt ( which we never saw with EV-1 ) and it’s recent announcements to step up 50 state distribution and increase production, we are truly becoming believers that this is the “new GM” and not the old two-faced, brand engineered, poor quality, sell the sizzle GM of days gone by.

    Here I sit, waiting patiently for Volt to be sold in Seattle, saving my dimes and pennies and watching the Egyptian situation ( Suez Canal ) show us how fragile the oil supply situation is.

    We need Voltecs – and we need guys like you to champion what is right. I hope you stay on as a champion of Volt and many new exciting projects to come!

    Thanks Tony!

    ( I feel like I know you from all the videos, interviews and quotes I’ve read and watched you carry out over the last 4 years ).

    THEY’RE PUMPING OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James

    * can’t wait to blog my experiences, tips, tricks and mods from owning and driving one great American machine. It will be my first American new car purchase – and first American car in 30 years!


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    BillR

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:41 am)

    Great Job, Tony!!

    Glad to hear that Lyle and the rest of us helped provide some inspiration.

    So tell us about these “new frontiers”…..(Could it be, “where we’re going, we don’t need, roads).


  17. 17
    Tom Moloughney

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:42 am)

    Nice post Tony, and congratulations on a fantastic job on the volt. I’ve been one of the people following the volt’s progression since it was first announced, and I know about a lot (certainly not all) of the challenges you and the team faced. People want these cars. They want to reduce their personal dependence on oil. They want to do what they hope is good for the environment. They want to keep their energy dollars local, instead of their hard earned money going to radical regimes half way across the globe. They want to support an American car company, and they want to do all that without much compromise. The volt delivers all that to them in a good looking, great driving package. Thank you for your persistence and refusal to compromise, well done!


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    LeoK

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (9:17 am)

    Tony – thank you for acknowledging Lyle’s contribution to the VOLT’s remarkable development success. Its great to read your comments and perspective on the journey! It means a great deal to have Lyle’s work, along with the thousands of thoughtful contributors on this site, acknowledged as having had an influence on GM’s development work. I certainly hope the leadership at GM now realizes how important it is to unleash an entrepreneurial spirit in the development of new products….. IMHO, one of the greatest goals should be to keep this spirit alive on the VOLT team as the product is consistently improved upon in coming years. I for one certainly hope your sentiment that the “ship has landed” only means that the first retail production VOLTs are now in the hands of consumers.

    The new GM cannot ever rest on all of the great accolades the VOLT has won in the press and in the market….. the new GM must seize this opportunity to keep the momentum going by showing the world that the VOLT concept can be continually improved upon.


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    PatsVolt

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (9:29 am)

    I would like to thank Tony and his team at GM for producing a most amazing car. I have been following this story now for more than 4 years, with thanks to DR Dennis for his dedication to the GM-Volt site on the web. I thank both Tony and Lyle for makeing the process as open and transparent as it is. Lyle as a CAB member provided me with a test drive that I will never forget and whicn is actually on U-tube! As I write this little comment, my order for a Volt has gone to 3000 and my wife (a Detroit girl) now refers to our future new Volt as “Baby V” .

    Tony, Good luck in all your future endevors.


  20. 20
    Eco

     

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (9:44 am)

    I don’t know that I would ever buy another GM, but that does not mean that I am any less a fan of the drivetrain, and GM for accomplishing it. Mostly you on the inside, and we on the outside, managed to BEGIN a change the automotive industry. You and Lyle deserve credit.

    I won’t buy any car that costs that high of a percentage of my income, for transportation. But no product would ever get to my price point, without the Volt, Leaf, and the others getting built, sold, and improved on.

    My challenge to you is, don’t let this become another Saturn. Saturn stopped being Saturn for me, when they were no longer built in Spring Hill. But more importantly, Saturn was killed (from this outsider’s point of view) because of the entrenched mentality of the rest of GM.

    I owned a Saturn, and then I owned a Pontiac (because Saturn didn’t have a minivan). That Pontiac is the reason I may never buy a Voltec drivetrain vehicle. But maybe, just maybe, the Volt is the sign that GM has really come out of a near-death experience with a clear vision of what it should be. Time and innovation will tell.

    Congratulations, and good luck.


  21. 21
    Kevin R

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (9:48 am)

    I’m going to be the proud owner of a 2011 Volt I hope by mid-April. I am proud that GM saw the future and grabbed it. It excites me to know that it doesn’t stop here, that GM is moving more and more into the electric propulsion arena. Thank you Tony and the entire Volt team for doing what you did when at times it didn’t look like you could.


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    ClarksonCote

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (9:49 am)

    Great job Tony and all of the Volt team! I’m loving my Volt #186!

    join thE REVolution


  23. 23
    crew

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (9:57 am)

    The “iCar”.

    How did you come up with that name?
    That little bit goes back to the inception of the car we have today. You guys knew what you had, didn’t you.

    Just how was the ground work laid out back then? I’m guessing that Bob was the car guy, Jon and Larry were the old salts (but not older than Bob) that might have said “we can do it but they (GM brass) won’t. And you probably said something like, “Yes we can, follow me!” and took the reigns of the project with the right blend of a positive attitude and engineering prowess.

    If you’re saying that you are passing the torch of your position within GM I can only say one thing:

    Don’t go.

    The Volt is just the beginning of a new way of getting around this country of ours. We can hop in a Volt today and only go 40 miles or so until the tailpipe gets warm but that’s a great start. We now, because of your team, have the opportunity to actually buy a car that has stopped as only a concept with other companies.
    Not only can do we buy the concept but put some people to work in Michigan. I’m tired of driving past the property in Linden, NJ that used to build Blazers and the empty lot in Edison that used to have footprints of people putting together Fords. I sold Chevy’s to people that used to build seats in Trenton, drive GM parts all around the country and used to manage people in Delaware.

    I’m tired of watching billions of tax credits go to assembly plants of cars that have foreign parts.

    The Volt is a car that can show us how to stop bailing water out of our pants and into our boats, and begin a process of repairing the holes in an old ship. The symbolism withing this car is tremendous. The impact of the Volt will get stronger as the cars get on the road. This car is just the beginning.

    Hold on to that torch, a lot of people still need you to light the way.


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    KUD

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (10:13 am)

    Five Years, WOW. Thanks for all your and your teams hard work. Lyle thanks for this site. Hard to believe that I started my mornings reading this suite for 5 yrs all ready. Now to finish paying off my 6.6KW Solar System lovingly known as my VOLT Gas Station. So I can get my Volt and enjoy non stinky transportation.

    Go GM, Go Lyle and Go Volt Nation


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    ziv

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (10:22 am)

    Improvements for Gen II.
    1) Use a smaller 15 kWh battery and use 11.5 kWh initially to boost AER by 3+ miles.
    2) Use the GM Smartech 1.2L engine or equivalent to reduce cost/weight and improve CS mpg to 40+ mpg.
    3) Reduce weight by at least 80 pounds.
    4) Reduce price price by $2,000 per model year until Volt’s MSRP is $33,000.
    Did I miss anything? ;-)


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    Open-Mind

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (10:33 am)

    Most fortune 100 companies are top heavy with lawyers, bean counters, and bureaucrats who’s job it is to tell the engineers why they can’t and shouldn’t and won’t accomplish great things. I know because I work for such a fortune-100. As a future electric-car owner … I’m glad the engineers won this time. They jump-started an entire industry.


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    DonC

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (10:50 am)

    Kudos to Lyle are certainly deserved, but let me just say that without the work of the best ambassador GM had, the Volt would not have been successful. I have been astounded at how many GM haters there are and how much resistance to the Volt there has been inside GM, and your outreach has made a difference both internally and externally. Put differently, the #1 leader of the #1 Volt fan site could only be as useful as the #1 employee allowed.

    You’re quite the inspiration and role model.

    PS: You look better without the mustache. :-)


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    TechMan

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (11:02 am)

    Mr. Posawatz’s comments bring back a lot of memories. I distinctly remember attending the Electric Drive Transportation Association meeting in Washington, DC in 2007 where the concept of the Volt was first announced (without of course the “Volt” name). At the beginning of the meeting there were test sessions where we could actually dirve prototype cars. I was able to drive a Toyota fuel cell Highlander and a small EV. The Highlander was great except for the fact that we were told that it cost $1 million to build and could only be refueled at a couple of places on the East Coast.

    Then at one of the plenary sessions we had been listening to explanation of new battery technology and the like when the attendees were informed that GM would be producing a “plug-in hybrid) and the room spontaneously erupted in a massive round of applause. It was an amazing experience.

    Congratulations on a job well done!


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    stuart22

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (11:14 am)

    Congrats and many thanks Tony for steering that boat through choppy waters and darkness into the limelight. You’ve finally reached solid ground with the Volt, opening up an exciting new life free of the limitations of the old ways of living.

    Somebody (Lyle?) give me an address to send a congratulatory bottle of California wine to Tony with a special engraving I’ll carve into its surface. I make a living doing this here in California and would be honored to do it. A few pix of my work attached.
    TheGambler-attch.jpg
    MasterycloseF.jpg
    ARIANASANGEL1.jpg
    45YGB-1.jpg


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    Schmeltz

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (11:20 am)

    Thank you Tony for persevering. You and your team are well deserving of the many awards being piled on the hood of this car. YOU’VE DONE GOOD!


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    Noel Park

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (11:25 am)

    Eco: I owned a Saturn, and then I owned a Pontiac (because Saturn didn’t have a minivan). That Pontiac is the reason I may never buy a Voltec drivetrain vehicle.

    #20

    Was the Pontiac a Vibe? And wasn’t that a badge engineered Toyota Matrix built by NUMMI? Just wondering.


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    pjkPA

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:13 pm)

    Very nice article Toni… Thanks!

    I don’t think GM employees get enough credit for this car… I’ve talked to many people with gross misconceptions because of the negative media.

    Now that more than a thousand people are driving the VOLT every day and reports of fantastic gas mileage are coming in …. the perception will change .

    I will continue to speak out for Leveling the playing field for our companies so that this success is not defeated by unfair trade.

    Lyle has done a very good job with this site … called GM-VOLT.


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    Loboc

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:14 pm)

    Y’all done good!

    Ft. Worth, TX.


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    Noel Park

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:27 pm)

    Thanks Tony.

    What a great and positive thread. +1 to every single comment so far.


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    Streetlight

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:41 pm)

    Tony and your team: VOLT sets a very high bar. As reflected in VOLT’s widespread acclaim and sweeping awards. Of all the test drives – Motor Trend just somehow seemed especially more perceptively impressive. Where its test driver displayed his astonishment at VOLT’s net mileage all the while finding VOLT’s driving performance exceptional.

    Its just now the auto-world’s realizing VOLT is even more defining. Hardly anyone, and we’re talking now many hundreds of deliveries, are reporting net mileage under 60 mpg. But routinely reports of just below or over 100 mpg. Put another way, no one … EPA, Argonne, CARB, whatever, … applied net mileage as THE defining benchmark. The focus being either about its EV range or its extended ICE mpg. However NET mileage being glossed over.

    For example, by reports today CARB’s approved 2012 VOLT to be re-classed such that buyers get California sponsored EV rebates. (GM will open its battery warranty to 10 years)

    How this plays out is hard to say. But here we have right now – thanks to Tony and his wonderful team – a large group of buyers experiencing NET mileage of high two-digit MPG without even trying. Isn’t 100 mpg on Argonne’s (and therefore EPA) dream list…


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    Texas

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:44 pm)

    Great read and well done getting the Volt’s wheels on the road.


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    kdawg

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:46 pm)

    Dave G: The interesting question here is whether something like this will ever happen again. Will development group use open forums for detailed feedback in the future, or is this one-of-a-kind?

    I would like to keep the forum going for Volt Gen 2 (and other upcoming Voltec cars). I think there’s lots of input that can be offered to help make it/them a success.


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    kdawg

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:50 pm)

    Noel Park: Eco: I owned a Saturn, and then I owned a Pontiac (because Saturn didn’t have a minivan). That Pontiac is the reason I may never buy a Voltec drivetrain vehicle. #20
    Was the Pontiac a Vibe? And wasn’t that a badge engineered Toyota Matrix built by NUMMI? Just wondering.

    It was probably the Pontiac Montana/Trans Sport


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    Red HHR

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    When does the book movie come out?


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    Chaim

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    Hi Tony,

    Thank you for contributing to this website. I have enjoyed following the saga for a couple of years – the ups and the downs. Rest assured, I will be placing my order for a silver Volt soon. Once I go electric, I will not look back…

    Chaim


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:54 pm)

    ziv: Improvements for Gen II.
    1) Use a smaller 15 kWh battery and use 11.5 kWh initially to boost AER by 3+ miles.
    2) Use the GM Smartech 1.2L engine or equivalent to reduce cost/weight and improve CS mpg to 40+ mpg.
    3) Reduce weight by at least 80 pounds.
    4) Reduce price price by $2,000 per model year until Volt’s MSRP is $33,000.
    Did I miss anything?

    Re-arrange battery so people don’t complain about the lack of a 5th seat.


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    alain

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (12:55 pm)

    I’m sure it could be the subject of a fantastic book like ‘Eagle the soul of a new machine’ ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soul_of_a_New_Machine ) a best-seller in the 80′s.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (1:05 pm)

    Future voltec variations could/should be. A cheap version w/no bells for people w/less income that want to drive electric. A sports version 2-door coupe, maybe a slightly more powerful drive-train. The Converj would be the luxury edition.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (1:06 pm)

    alain,

    Have you read this book yet?
    41%2BEkXCcMiL.jpg


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    Paul C from Austin

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (1:25 pm)

    Thanks for the article, Tony- and thanks to you and your team at GM for bringing this car to market. While the Tesla may have prompted Bob Lutz to start the Volt program, it has been GM’s commitment to the Volt that has started the avalanche of EVs from the other major car makers- well done!


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    George K

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (1:27 pm)

    “our journey was fraught with risk and uncertainty, never knowing for sure whether we would reach the new land. “

    And thanks to this site, and the open attitude of the team, I felt like I was right there with you guys, as the Volt was transitioning from prototype to “the most advanced car on the planet!”

    I have been a fan since the beginning, and I am so proud of this team, and GM, for making this happen.

    Congrats, and I hope you will be involved in spreading the technology throughout GM.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8vSU5vf0qI


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    LauraM

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (1:33 pm)

    Great read. And thank you.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (1:47 pm)

    Thanks for posting Tony! What an amazing journey you and the Volt team have created!


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (1:51 pm)

    Many thanks to all at GM who have furthered the Volt’s cause, Tony especially. I hope this post wasn’t his ‘swan song’ on the Voltec project, or at GM (“passing the torch?”).

    We as a community have come to trust Tony; and in part through his honesty and hard work, the Volt itself.
    .


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (2:28 pm)

    I don’t know the name of the song, but they used it for the theme opener to Star Trek: Enterprise… Today’s post brings that tune to mind.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (2:53 pm)

    OT and closed-circuit for nasaman:

    Could you please read and weigh in on this forum thread about privately-funded manned spacecraft?

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?6411-Virgin-Galactic-s-spaceship-aces-another-glide-test&p=59319#post59319

    On topic:

    Great comment at #1!

    .


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: I don’t know the name of the song, but they used it for the theme opener to Star Trek: Enterprise… Today’s post brings that tune to mind.    

    It’s been a long road

    Get’n from there to here
    It’s been a long time
    But my time is finally near

    I will see my dreams come alive at last
    I will touch the sky
    And they’re not gonna hold me down no more
    No they’re not gonna change my mind

    (Chorus)
    ‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
    I’m going where my heart will take me
    I’ve got faith to believe
    I can do anything
    I’ve got strength of the soul
    No one’s going to bend nor break me
    I can reach any star
    I’ve got faith
    I’ve got faith
    Faith of the heart”

    I don’t believe that the song had any name other than “opening theme from Star Trek Enterprise.”

    .


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    MichaelH

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    Feb 10th, 2011 (4:39 pm)

    Great article. Thanks for contributing here besides all you did to make the Volt happen. My Volt is on order and due to be built the week after next. :)

    Red HHR: When does the book movie come out?    

    alain: I’m sure it could be the subject of a fantastic book like ‘Eagle the soul of a new machine’

    kdawg: Have you read this book yet?

    Speaking of books, there already is one. It’s called “Chevrolet Volt, Charging Into the Future.” It tells Tony Posawatz’s, Bob Lutz’s and Jon Lauckner’s story among others. It is very readable, similar to Tony’s article above. (I bought George Bower’s used copy, but I doubt that I sell it when I’m done.)


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    Aalin,

    I too think there is a bestseller just like “Soul of a New Machine” dwelling in the story of the Volt and EREV. Too bad Mr. Halberstam or Mr. Chriton is no longer availble to do such a definitive book.

    I remember when Hollywood would do movies about such as Dr. Pasteur, Alexander Graham Bell or Madame Curie. Now all they do is make movies about self-narcisistic, psychotic, dope head, losers who momentarily achieve notoriety and after their “15 minutes of fame”, are promptly forgotten, with nothing to show they ever existed.

    There are just as many genuine revolutionary leaders who now silently make the changes that really alter the way our people live. Lutz, Lauckner, Posawatz and many more like Professor Andy Frank deserve and need to have their efforts recorded. The youth need to have heroes to look up to, like these fine gentlemen.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (6:33 pm)

    Mr. Posawatz, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
    It is very difficult for me to overestimate the importance of this vehicle.
    Sure, EVs were around 100 years ago, but they also died out around that time too.
    The Volt is new and will live on for decades. The difference between then and now is the battery technology and the amount of work going on to make them better.
    For me, this is what American ingenuity is all about. For too long, we have let Japan beat us.
    No more. GM is ahead now, and I sincerely hope it never looks back.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (6:46 pm)

    kdawg: Re-arrange battery so people don’t complain about the lack of a 5th seat.

    I normally avoid duplicating my posts, but this one (posted on yesterday’s thread by Lyle) also belongs here because our host today, Tony Posawatz, was also a party to that discussion….

    “I remember well a conversation with GM’s Tony Posawatz and Tim Greig (Volt Interior Designer), after closely examining the Camaro-like Volt concept car at VoltNation in NYC three years ago. Like the production car, the Volt concept had 4 separate bucket seats —all 4 with an armrest for BOTH arms. I said to Tony & Tim how much I LIKED the fact the two rear-seat passengers could enjoy seats/armrests as comfortable as the front seat passengers by contrast to the usual bench seat in the rear, which is less comfortable even to the two door-side passengers than bucket seats …and decidedly LESS COOL! I told them I LOVED it and hoped it might start a trend now that families are becoming smaller year-after-year, i.e., like front buckets replaced front benches decades ago, reducing the average car from 6 to 5 passengers.

    And from an interior styling viewpoint, as well as comfort, “buckets in the back” are really COOL! In fact, I honestly think rear bucket seats improve both comfort and styling enough to more than offset the loss of a 5th seat in terms of lost sales —which is exactly why I think front bench seats began disappearing long ago.”

    IOW, I would like the Volt interior a LOT LESS if it had a conventional bench seat in back!

    .


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (6:52 pm)

    Thanks for a fantastic car. Everyone loves riding and driving in the Volt.

    May the next 120 volt charger be improved to be as reliable as the car!


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:13 pm)

    “Eagle the soul of a new machine” was purely about the engineers, very little talk of money or politics except that they were to save the company, and the reward would be that they would get to design another computer. I got a big kick out of it being a new eng graduate, working in a small technical group on a project that the establishment wished would not work. “Why GM matters” sounds too abstract for my taste. Maybe “Chevrolet Volt, Charging Into the Future.” ?


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:23 pm)

    Jackson: OT and closed-circuit for nasaman:

    Could you please read and weigh in on this forum thread about privately-funded manned spacecraft?

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?6411-Virgin-Galactic-s-spaceship-aces-another-glide-test&p=59319#post59319

    OT: Thanks for the request, Jackson. Here’s my reply:

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?6411-Virgin-Galactic-s-spaceship-aces-another-glide-test&p=59362#post59362


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:29 pm)

    ziv: Improvements for Gen II.1) Use a smaller 15 kWh battery and use 11.5 kWh initially to boost AER by 3+ miles.2) Use the GM Smartech 1.2L engine or equivalent to reduce cost/weight and improve CS mpg to 40+ mpg.3) Reduce weight by at least 80 pounds.4) Reduce price price by $2,000 per model year until Volt’s MSRP is $33,000.Did I miss anything?   (Quote)  (Reply)

    2) Reduce weight by 80lbs per model year until 400lbs total is removed.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:34 pm)

    kdawg: Future voltec variations could/should be. A cheap version w/no bells for people w/less income that want to drive electric. A sports version 2-door coupe, maybe a slightly more powerful drive-train. The Converj would be the luxury edition.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    MPV or minivan people/stuff mover?


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (7:49 pm)

    May thanks and congratulations Tony,

    I’m sure Lyle greatly appreciates your thoughts as the rest of us do as well. Yes, it has been a long and winding road (passage) and we are only bystanders. I can only imagine the trials and tribulations for those of you living it. It really means a lot to me and I’m sure many others when the GM folks stop by here, especially those so instrumental in the Volt’s development as yourself. Besides the commaraderee as well as sharing of ideas and knowledge, I come here to do my little part to help ease the transition to “better” transportation along. Your and your co-workers personal attention at this site is a nice reward for the time spent.

    Hopefully, GM sees value not only in the end results of the Volts development and the i-age media marketing but also in the process. I realize not everything can be shared, i.e. EVT, until the time is right, but I believe the much more open development process of the Volt had a myriad of benefits. Perhaps, that could be made a hallmark for all Voltec development. It’s good to know what your “invested” consumers think in real time and on their terms rather than isolated focus groups. Plus we may have an idea or two that proves useful.

    (raises Stuart22′s wonderfully etched glass) Cheers to the Volt and the many more Voltecs to follow!


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:12 pm)

    Well, from someone who would never purchase a GM car, I can say the Volt has made a difference, Tony. I would buy one now if available in my area. I am on a waiting list and will hopefully own my first GM at the end of this year. 8 months ago I told my dentist I was going to get a Volt and explained what it was and educated them a bit (all info gleaned from gm-volt, Lyle). When I went in this month, 8 months later, the first thing my dentists asked was whether I had my Volt yet. He wanted a test drive! I told him we would on my next visit. The hygienist asked if she could come to. My neighbors also want a drive, as do friends and family. I think this is what it was like when the first color TV’s appeared. :-)


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:13 pm)

    thank you tony for all you’ve done to get the volt on the road and congrats for a masterpiece.

    and thank you lyle for staying up late so many nights to give us all the latest good news articles.

    we will get our volts later this up here in snow country (canada)

    l’ll just have to suffer CVES for another six months or so….hopefully !

    one last congrat to all you dedicated guys who made this site a beautiful world


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:23 pm)

    I have this to say to full gassers relative to their 2000 sales:

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=70

    Bu-bye. :)

    eAssist – Bring It – to everything that doesn’t get even more torque!


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (8:49 pm)

    Tony,

    Which is better? Kissing the Motor Trend car of the year trophy, or standing next to a Red Volt?
    Ah, never mind. You did both. Anyway Cheers to everyone on the Volt team, and all the folks on GM-Volt and another Cheer to Lyle for telling the story!


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (10:46 pm)

    nasaman: IOW, I would like the Volt interior a LOT LESS if it had a conventional bench seat in back!

    Personally, I don’t care. I’m typically the only person in my car. I just get tired of hearing people complain about only having 4 seats.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (10:47 pm)

    koz: MPV or minivan people/stuff mover?

    Yeah, I forgot that version. Probably should throw a pickup truck in there too. LOL. At this point everything should be Voltec.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (10:59 pm)

    ziv: Improvements for Gen II.
    1) Use a smaller 15 kWh battery and use 11.5 kWh initially to boost AER by 3+ miles.
    2) Use the GM Smartech 1.2L engine or equivalent to reduce cost/weight and improve CS mpg to 40+ mpg.
    3) Reduce weight by at least 80 pounds.
    4) Reduce price price by $2,000 per model year until Volt’s MSRP is $33,000.
    Did I miss anything?     

    Ziv, Tony and GM have many choices when it comes to new batteries. It’s more likely that a 20+kWh battery in a smaller lighter form factor is on the way. And yes some smaller than 1.4L engine would be smart provided the economics for mass production work. Your suggestions are good ones though we do not have the insight the Volt Team has.


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (11:27 pm)

    The year was 2007. I just finished watching “Who killed the Electric Car” Here is the letter I sent on April 24, 2007 that followed:

    Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and Chief Executive
    Thomas Dickerson, President General Motors Acceptance Corporation of Canada

    Re: Decision not to purchase a Chevrolet Montana and implications of General Motors’ past decision to discontinue its electric vehicle program.

    Dear Sirs,

    I am writing to express my disappointment with General Motors and to tell you I have reversed my decision to purchase a Chevrolet Montana.

    Approximately 12 months ago, I decided the next vehicle I would purchase would be a Montana as it met the needs of my family and in my opinion was good value for money. I currently lease a foreign made sub-compact and own my other vehicle (a Ford minivan) outright. I had decided that when the lease on my subcompact expired I would purchase a new Montana. My family consists of two adults (both 34 years of age) and our 3 children who are under nine years of age. My wife and I work for the xxxxxx and we have an annual household income in excess of $xxx,xxx per year.

    Despite the fact that I liked the Montana, I was not happy about its fuel economy but given no other hybrid vehicle at the time seemed to meet my needs, I resigned myself to make a non-hybrid purchase. Now however, things have changed there are many alternatives offered by Toyota, Honda and Ford which are far better for the environment and would meet the needs of my family.

    In actuality, I would have liked to purchase an electric vehicle as my wife and I live in the city and rarely drive each of our vehicles more than 50 km per day. However, I was always under the impression EV’s weren’t practical, that electric cars polluted as much as regular vehicle (transferring pollutants to site of electricity production rather than the tailpipe), and that the technical hurdles were far to significant to overcome. I have now researched and analyzed the issue of electric vehicles and discovered my assumptions to be significantly inaccurate. Imagine my surprise when I learned that GM had produced an electric vehicle and then discontinued it.

    The health of my children is far too important not to take action. The consequences of my new awareness of the potential of the electric vehicle, my awareness of other innovative companies like Tesla Motors who are striving to eventually bring electric cars to the mass consumer market, and the knowledge I have of GM discontinuing the EV program and stifling innovation, will be that I will never purchase a GM vehicle in my lifetime. I will be promoting this message my children (who are future consumers) and to any of my friends who will listen. Let me assure you I am not an environmentalist but simply someone who is aware of my environment and who cares about my children’s health. I have only written one other letter of concern to a corporation in my life (a letter to my bank on a completely unrelated issue) but I now feel so strongly about this issue I felt compelled to write you and also to reverse my decision to purchase a GM product.

    Sincerely,
    xxxxxx

    cc.: Martin Eberhard, CEO, Tesla Motors
    James E. Press, President & COO, Toyota Motor North America
    Kenji Tomikawa, President and CEO, Toyota Canada
    Akio Hamada, President and CEO, Honda of America
    Hiroshi Kobayashi, President and CEO, Honda Canada
    Alan R. Mulally, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company
    William Osborne, President and CEO, Ford of Canada

    I started to read Lyle’s site and in the meantime all the automotive companies on the cc list called me (except Tesla). A GM executive called me. Offered me a discount on a saturn vue hybrid and then reneged. I bought a Ford Escape hybrid. After reading Lyle’s site religiousy every day for almost 4 years here is my latest letter sent last December 7, 2010:

    Daniel F. Akerson , Chief Executive Officer, GM
    Kevin Williams, President and Managing Director, GM of Canada Ltd.

    Re: Request to be first customer in Ottawa Canada to take delivery of Volt

    Dear Sirs,

    I am writing in follow-up to my original letter in 2007 (attached) which expressed my disappointment with General Motors for its cancellation of its EV1 electric vehicle program.

    After the letter I was in contact with xxxx, former executive for GM Canada. At one point I was going to buy a Saturn Vue Hybrid but xxx was unable to follow-though on the commitment for employee pricing so I decided to purchase a Ford Escape Hybrid instead.

    I am extremely pleased with GM’s progress on the new Chevrolet Volt and have been following its every development over the past few years. I would like become a first-time GM customer and be the first person to take delivery of a Chevrolet Volt in Ottawa, Canada. I understand the Volt will be available in Canada in the middle of 2011.

    I am a xxxxx at xxxxx and would love the opportunity to show this vehicle to friends, family and colleagues.

    Sincerely,

    xxxxxxx

    Thank you Lyle and thank you Tony and all the other’s at GM who made the dream a reality!!


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (11:28 pm)

    Jackson: I don’t believe that the song had any name other than “opening theme from Star Trek Enterprise.”

    “Faith of the Heart” sung by Russell Watson:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8OpsPok6iQ


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    Feb 10th, 2011 (11:54 pm)

    Tony, you deserve Congratulations , gratitude and thanks from all those who want to use an automobile, above all that was a challenging mission that you accomplished which put GM in a higher pedestal.
    Admittedly more remain to be done to make Volt a modern Model-T .
    Wish you more and more success


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    Feb 11th, 2011 (6:21 am)

    Stas Peterson: Aalin,I too think there is a bestseller just like “Soul of a New Machine” dwelling in the story of the Volt and EREV. Too bad Mr. Halberstam or Mr. Chriton is no longer availble to do such a definitive book. I remember when Hollywood would do movies about such as Dr. Pasteur, Alexander Graham Bell or Madame Curie. Now all they do is make movies about self-narcisistic, psychotic, dope head, losers who momentarily achieve notoriety and after their “15 minutes of fame”, are promptly forgotten, with nothing to show they ever existed. There are just as many genuine revolutionary leaders who now silently make the changes that really alter the way our people live. Lutz, Lauckner, Posawatz and many more like Professor Andy Frank deserve and need to have their efforts recorded. The youth need to have heroes to look up to, like these fine gentlemen.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I suggest doing a story of Victor Wouk, the engineer who created the first modern hybrid vehicle in the U.S. , using a Buick car, a Mazda Wankel engine, and an electric motor. Based on his publications, Toyota designed their Prius. Victor was able to buy one himself.

    Raymond


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    Feb 11th, 2011 (6:57 am)

    KickinCanada,

    what are you going to do when you have a volt and you want to go to a restaurant or whatever ?

    you take the kids in the volt and you’re wife meets you there in her car…….

    nasaman just said :

    And from an interior styling viewpoint, as well as comfort, “buckets in the back” are really COOL! In fact, I honestly think rear bucket seats improve both comfort and styling enough to more than offset the loss of a 5th seat in terms of lost sales —which is exactly why I think front bench seats began disappearing long ago.”

    IOW, I would like the Volt interior a LOT LESS if it had a conventional bench seat in back!

    l guess he doesn’t have 3 kids……

    it would be interesting to take a poll to find out what buyers of the volt would choose if there was an option….4 or 5 seats ….theoretically it could be done by reconfiguring the battery layout or even encroaching the trunk area………..

    one last thing to nasaman… back in the 50′s 60′s we did have a choice….5 or 6 seats (buckets or bench in front)

    thinking back to that time l miss having my girlfriend cuddled next to me on the long drive home…..sigh

    l imagine a lot of couples can’t buy a volt unless they sell one of their kids…..lol

    harold near ottawa


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    Feb 11th, 2011 (7:05 am)

    l guess couples could always sell one of their three kids to get a volt lol


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    Feb 11th, 2011 (11:21 am)

    History will look back to this moment that change the way we drive and fuel our cars !!!!!!! A true game changer , As a ASE master Tech. with dyslexia I almost never post on any site , The Volt inspired me to add my thoughts to this site . Everybody is screaming what can Americans make anymore that people can Buy !!!!
    GM VOLT is proof that we are tho most inventive people on earth and when are backs are to the wall we come out swinging !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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    Feb 12th, 2011 (6:27 pm)

    haroldc says “what are you going to do when you have a volt and you want to go to a restaurant or whatever ? you take the kids in the volt and you’re wife meets you there in her car…….”

    Harold, I guess we will take the Escape Hybrid for these occasions. Really its not too often all of us are in the same car at the same time. We are a two car family as many family of 5′s are.