New Green Chamber Member Chevrolet Volt Talks About What’s Really Driving The Volt Evolution
The Green Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome a new member and sponsor to our growing and diverse sustainable business community, the Chevrolet Volt!
Green Chamber had the opportunity to connect with Group Manager of Policy and Product for General Motors’ Western Region, Dave Barthmuss for an insiders perspective on what makes the Volt tick. Read on for for the details.
As group manager of policy and product for General Motors’ Western Region communicators, I get to talk about cars and the auto business for a living. More specifically, I advocate for vehicles at a company that focuses on sustainability as much as it focuses on business success. That’s because at GM, we know the two are inextricably linked.
For a little more than a year now, the Chevrolet Volt has served as a reminder of just how far we’ve come as a nation in adopting vehicles that run on fuels other than pure gasoline.
GM has been confident in electric cars since the late 90s with the commercial production of the EV1. And a vision that many thought died with that model, quite literally via the film “Who Killed the Electric Car?,” is not only alive but thriving in the garages of tens of thousands of American homes today (don’t worry, I got my rebuttal in “Revenge of the Electric Car”).
The impetus behind developing the Volt was basic consumer need fulfillment: what is a practical, environmentally friendly way to reduce trips to the gas pump? Can we deliver a new kind of EV that alleviates range anxiety, or the fear of running out of charge in the middle of a long trip? And, can we do all this and deliver a great looking car that’s fun to drive?
The Volt answers these questions beautifully. Its extended range gas tank sits dormant until the vehicle runs low on charge, at which point it burns fuel to make more electricity for the rest of the trip. It’s kind of like having your own personal electric plant built into your car. A fully charged battery takes the 2013 Volt 38 miles, but of course most of us Volt drivers know how to get more than that. Yes, 38 miles is more than a day’s driving for most, but Volt’s extended range capabilities—which can take it another 344 miles on a full tank—make it perfect for long trips too. It’s your all-purpose, go-anywhere car that owners love. This isn’t a hybrid, it’s a whole new approach to electric transportation.
To this day, combatting the perception that an EV isn’t suited to be your one and only car is one of the biggest barriers we face. Rest assured: Volt’s range extension technology really does allow it to serve as one’s sole car.
In the near future, the Volt will be in good company. Starting next year, Chevy will begin selling the Spark EV—a low-cost, emission-free transportation solution for urban dwellers. And for luxury electric options, there’s the forthcoming Cadillac ELR coupe with its own take on the same extended range technology that drives its predecessor.
So, to conclude, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to celebrate GM’s greenness in this way, and I am both honored and delighted to be joining the Green Chamber of Commerce as a member and sponsor for the coming year.