Bob Lutz Takes Chevy Volt Plug-in Hybrid Test Car for a Drive

Bob Lutz Volt test drive photo

Chevy Volt Plug-in Hybrid Test-Drive
The plug-in series hybrid Chevy Volt was introduced 14 months ago at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. That might seem a long time to some, but it's fairly short in car development world, especially when a company is trying to incorporate new technologies.

So we're happy to learn that a new milestone has been reached for the Volt. A "mule" car - a 2007 Malibu - rolled out with a full E-Flex drivetrain, meaning that it was powered by electric motors and a li-ion battery pack, with a small 1.0-liter gasoline generator that kicks in only when the battery is running low. It's basically the prototype of the insides that the Volt will have.

Bob Lutz Volt test drive photo

General Motors vice-chairman Bob Lutz drove about 20 miles and went up to 75-80 miles per hour (120-130 kilometers per hour) without the gas generator kicking in. He described the ride as "electrifying" and "thrilling", and was particularly impressed at the lack of engine noise and great acceleration (electric motors generate lots of torque from very low RPM).

Bob Lutz Volt test drive photo

Chevy Volt: Next Steps in Development
GM currently has about 3-4 mules with E-Flex drivetrains, but it wants to increase that number and have full prototypes, inside and outside, on the road by the end of the year.

GM Chevy Volt plug in hybrid photo

By the spring and summer of 2009, the integration vehicles incorporating all the production intent systems will be up and running. By that time, GM expects to have several hundred vehicles running at test facilities and on the road. These vehicles will be used for crash testing and so engineers can complete all the software development and calibration, as well as validate battery durability.

Bob Lutz Drives an Electric Scooter
Here's some trivia: Bob Lutz just bought a Vectrix electric scooter.

Chevy Volt Plug-in Hybrid
The Buzz Around the Chevy Volt
Chevy Volt: An All-Electric Gasoline Hybrid?
Chevy Malibu+ Lithium-Ion= Chevy Volt?
Electric Cars
Here's What Happens to a Tesla Electric Car Battery at the End of its Life
First Tesla Electric Car Store Opens in Santa-Monica
Introducing the BYD E6 Electric Car
Plug In Hybrids
BYD F6DM: Will the First Plug-In Hybrid be Chinese?
F3DM: The Second, Smaller, Plug-in Hybrid by China's BYD
How's The Google Plug-In Hybrid Fleet Doing?
More on Bob Lutz's Volt Test-Drive
Bob Lutz discusses driving the Mali-Volt
Bob Lutz Test Drives the First Chevy Volt Early Prototype and Says "it Was Electrifying"

Related Content on