Archive for the ‘Volt Nation’ Category


Mar 04

Exclusive Chevy Volt Test Drive Contest


[ad#post_ad]General Motors has graciously offered members of the community the opportunity for an exclusive test drive of a pre-production Chevrolet Volt.

Space is being limited to only 10 participants and the event will take place at the end of March in New York City either on the 29th or 30th. The final date, time, and location will be announced shortly.

In addition to the opportunity to drive the car around a half mile track, and experience both EV and generator mode, executives from the Volt team will be on hand for discussion.

I wish I could invite everyone who reads this site to be there, but at this time it is unfortunately just not possible. The most equitable solution I concluded was to hold a contest.

Starting today, if you are interested, submit either an essay up to 400 words, or a YouTube-hosted video up to 2 minutes, entitled “Why I Want a Chevy Volt.”

You must send your entry or its url to for it to be considered.  Writing it in the comments section of this post will not allow it to be considered.

The top ten entries will be chosen from all essay submissions and videos submitted by March 12th. The overall best submission will also have their travel expenses up to $500 paid thanks to site sponsor  Entries will be judged on their creativity, passion, quality and entertainment value.  Other factors such as site participation may be considered.

The winners will be announced and posted here as soon as they are determined.

Good Luck!

Volt Nation 2008



Feb 11 v3.0


[ad#post_ad]As should be exceedingly obvious by now, has undergone a significant design transformation.

Just like model years of cars, and nearly everything else we interact with on a regular basis, so this site too has to evolve.

I realize that this change might upset some who are used to “calling this place home,” but the redesign is really a way of showing hope for the future.

We have come a long way since I first set this blog up on a small hosting plan using a free out-of-the-box theme in January of 2007. In January 2008 the previous custom design was implemented, and the site runs on its own dedicated servers.

This newest design actually has taken months of planning and required hiring a team of designers and programmers who took my vision and translated it into reality.

The plan was to create a simple, clean, fresh design to rapidly convey the best and latest news with a strong sense of optimism.  This is the year of the Volt, and as cars actually begin hitting the roads new people may come here in droves to find out more about it.

The dark days of bankruptcy, uncertainty, and doubt are behind us and the future looks bright.

Please look out for any bugs or flaws you find in the new site, and feel free to email me at should you find any.  I would be glad to hear any and all feedback you may have for new features you would like to see here.

Please bear with us as there may be bits of tweaking going on the next few days, and if you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 you may have more trouble.  Also check out the forum redesigned too.

Thanks for your continued support. Enjoy v 3.0!


Jan 27

GM CEO Ed Whitacre is a Strong Fan of the Volt


[ad#post_ad]As you may know, I had the special opportunity recently to receive a phone call from GM’s newly permanent Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre.

We discussed his other role on the board of ExxonMobil, and he gave the clearest picture yet of the Volt’s price and profitability.

Though various bloggers quoting GM spokespeople have attempted to refute Mr. Whitacre’s comment to me about  the Volt selling in the low 30s, I still stand by his statement.  None of the naysayers were present for the call nor spent time in GM’s boardroom.  The $7500 tax credit was not mentioned or inferred.  Of course, we’ll have to wait until summer to see for sure.

In addition to those issues, we also discussed Mr. Whitacre’s opinion about the Volt.

“I have driven the Volt,” he said.  “I think the Volt has a tremendous future. I think its the way to go, its quick and powerful and large.”

Whitacre also alluded to GM’s plans for other yet unrevealed Voltec vehicles.

“I think you’ll see that (propulsion system) in coming vehicles too,” he said.

“I’m all for it, I’m a strong fan of the Volt,” said Whitacre. “Its really a good looking vehicle…it’s a leap forward.”

And if you were uncertain about whether he is also a fan of reducing petroleum dependence, have no fear.

“I think we have to get off of oil for the future,” he said. “We’re not going to do it quickly because of infrastructure, but we’re going to make it.”

(Image from Detroit Free Press)


Jan 01

2010: Happy Volt Year!


[ad#post_ad]Seems like reaching the last leg of a marathon, but we finally made it to 2010, the year of the Volt.

The Volt concept was first devised as the “iCar” in a GM meeting hall in the middle of 2006.  It was the brainchild of Bob Lutz as a car to leapfrog the Toyota Prius.

It was introduced to the world at the Detroit Auto Show on January 7th 2007.  Neurologist Lyle Dennis, no particular car guy, happened to see the news on the Internet.  So moved and inspired, he obtained the domain name and launched this site on January 12th 2007.

Three years and 1300 articles later we are finally here.

GM first announced the November 2010 Chevy Volt target launch date in November 2007 at the LA Auto Show, a few weeks after receiving the first working prototype lithium ion battery pack from LG Chem.  We have been waiting ever since (and incidentally that pack still runs on a cycler in GM’s battery lab).

There is no doubt 2010 will prove to be a truly pivotal year in the history of human transportation.  When man began his move from gas to electricity as a primary transportation fuel source.  A transition point that the Volt and hopefully in some way this site and all of us played a significant role in.

This year ahead will be rich with news and exciting developments.

Next week we should hear about the first mass-produced Chevy Volt battery pack being assembled in GM’s brand new dedicated Michigan battery assembly plant.

In March, the first pre-production Chevy Volts should roll off the line at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant,  a facility capable of producing from 60,000 to 200,000 per year.

Early test fleets will be emerging through the Spring and Summer.

And on that chosen day in November the first consumer will get his or her own Volt keyfob, and drive off into the future of our society.

And one less barrel of oil will be bought by this country.

I’m sure a million other unexpected and amazing things will happen too this year with respect to GM, the auto industry, and in the world.  We’ll be here watching, discussing, learning, and contributing.

Have a Happy Volt Year!


Dec 31

Top 10 Posts of 2009


[ad#post_ad]Here on this last day of 2009, it seems like it would be a good time to reflect on this past year of Volt developments.

It has been a truly memorable year for sure, but mostly in a negative way with respect to the financial crisis and GM’s bankruptcy proceedings.  That did place them on good footing and with the Volt program unswayed and still going strong, next year, the year of the Volt, should prove to be most important of all.

Interestingly the financial mayhem didn’t make it into the top ten posts of the year.

So what were the top 10 posts of 2009?  In order of number of page views here they are:

1. Dave Letterman Bashes the Chevy Volt on National Television w/Video
This was when Late Show comedian Dave Letterman “got it wrong” about the Volt on national television, thinking the car could only be driven for 40 miles and missing the point about the range extender, calling it “ridiculous.”.

2. Chevy Volt Mule Test Drive w/ Video
This was that special day in April when I got behind the wheel of a Cruze-based Volt mule and took it for about 10 miles around GM’s Milford Proving grounds.  Smooth.

3. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz Brings Chevy Volt on Late Night with David Letterman and it’s Awesome
Sweet vindication.  GM vice chairman and consummate car guy Bob Lutz got on Letterman’s show and set the record straight about the Volt. Complete with Letterman’ on-air apology.

4. Exclusive: Visit to the Chevy Volt Integration Vehicle Assembly Plant
I got to be the first journalist to visit GMs pre-production operations facility and observe the first of 80 pre-production Chevy Volt prototypes being assembled.  These have been completed and under intensive testing since September.

5. GM Aims to ‘Wow’ Customers With Seamless and Intuitive Chevy Volt Driving Experience
GM vice president Jon Lauckner discusses GM’s high-reaching goal of perfection for the Chevy Volt

6. Q&A with Ian Clifford CEO of Zenn Motors: EEStor to Publicly Prove its Technology Imminently
No matter how you cut it, EEStor news is always very popular.  I guess imminent should have been defined as greater than 6 months because it still hasn’t happened. Needless to say, our silent and stealthy friends in Texas have missed yet another “gaurenteed” milestone to reveal the elusive breakthrough EESU by the end of 2009. The same thing happened in 2007 and 2008.  There’s always 2010!  Not sure if 10% owner Zenn Motors will make it that far though, they will stop production of their Zenn low speed vehicle in April to focus their entire company on producing EEStor-powered drivetrains to sell to OEMs.

7. Test Ride: Chevy Volt Pre-production Prototype w/ Video!
In this case I got to take a brief ride in a near production Volt with former Volt executive Frank Weber at the wheel.  My first time ever in the final version of the car.

8. GM: Chevy Volt Price Depends on Cost of Gas and Will be Set in May 2010
Another always hot and popular topic is what the Volt’s price will be.  In this story Jon Lauckner explains GM won’t officially set the Volts price until 6 months before production, and will base it in part on gas prices at the time.  This means we’ll finally know the price in about 5 months.  Later information suggests GM may have a surprise for us in this regard.

9. Cadillac Converj Extended-Range Electric Vehicle
This was the world premier unveiling of the beautiful Cadillac Converj Voltec-powered concept.  GM has reportedly greenlighted it production for 2012.  Expect a very high-tech and high-performance Voltec car with maximum bells and whistles.  Cost per Bob Lutz will be about “two Volts.”

10. Chevy Volt Generation Two
A short Q&A I did with Nick Zielinksi who is a GM advanced technology engineer.  He explains the rationale behind the next generation Volt: lower and lighter with smaller battery and same range.  Planning and development are well underway.  We wish them luck.

And thanks to you all for reading  You are my inspiration for keeping on keeping on.  Please keep spreading the word about the Volt, and follow GM-Volt on Twitter and Facebook.


Dec 25

Happy Holidays 2009 From


Today is the third Christmas day to pass since I started in January 2007. What makes this one the most exciting is that it is the last holiday season before the Volt will finally hits dealer showrooms and the driveways of America.

And that is hard to believe.

We have been there through it all and 2009 was the most tumultuous year. We’ve seen Volt go from a sketchboard concept to early mule to this year finally seeing the first nearly production ready prototypes. This year brought the LG Chem Volt battery announcement. I have even had the chance to drive one in both EV and charge sustaining mode.

We have seen President Obama fire former GM CEO Rick Wagoner, and watched the country and world spiral into severe recession. We witnessed GM enter and emerge from bankruptcy, and most recently we have even seen the second CEO Fritz Henderson lose his job.

In fact, many positions have been lost and changed hands at GM and many brands have been shed, sold, or almost sold. We have seen the disappearance of Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, and Saab.

And through it all the Volt program has remarkably remained on track and undaunted, and so too has

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, all the readers and commentators who have stood by throughout all this drama, for now our dream is nearly a reality.  The first step toward getting this country off of oil is upon us.

Happy holidays to everyone around the world, and may those damaged by the recession and GM’s losses come to find a better 2010.

GM-Volt will continue the same commitment that I wrote on its very first blog post, to follow the Volt every step of the way through production launch and beyond.

Since then this site has received 5.3 million visits from 2.6 million visitors. 13.7 million pages have been read. 309,000 collective hours of attention was paid to this site.

The most popular post of all time was this one:
BREAKING: New Full Production VOLT Studio Pictures Leaked!

…which was read 44,906 times.

Here are our holiday greeting from 2007 and 2008.