Eight GM Volts Hit Interstate Highways in Longest Test So Far


Even as Detroit is felled by horrific 28% unemployment levels unseen in this nation since the Dust Bowl era, eight Government Motors’ Volts headed out for their first long distance real world test drive this month.

They drove on real world Government Interstates from Milford in Michigan to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to see if they are going to able to make the transition from being just another concept vehicle – to actual reality, now that they’re government funded.

Apparently, yes they can.

The route was 300 miles and they drove it in 9 hours in one stretch. That is the longest test so far of the Volt, and the engineers considered it showed up the virtues of the range-extender over a straight EV.

The engineers fussed over the interior saying “Seat comfort evaluations are also being conducted. We have our top 3 comfort configurations from previous activities. So far, the top choice seems to be clear, but there is still some work to do.” They also made some discoveries about minor improvements to be tweaked, but apparently there were no serious problems (depends on your definition of serious: seat comfort becomes extremely important when you’re stuck in a car for 9 hour stretch!)

“Development drives are key milestones for every vehicle program,” said GM spokesperson Rob Peterson. “The extended seat time allows the engineers to experience every aspect of the vehicle—from ride, handling and performance to the comfort of seats. The drives also help uncover engineering issues that need to be resolved before the vehicles are put into the hands of customers.”

GM is going to put $200 million into fixing up old factories in Flint, Michigan to build the Volt’s range extenders. I hope that’s enough.

Image: GM-VoltBlog

Source: GM-VoltBlog


Susan Kraemer

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.