Lutz Charged Up by Volt Drive

June 7, 2008

If Maximum Bob looks all charged up, he's got good reason to be. Robert A. Lutz, the vice chairman of General Motors, not only conceived the idea for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, but has made it his mission to push it into production.

He's shown here out at the GM Proving Grounds, in Milford, Michigan, after taking a fully running Volt prototype for a few laps. It's just a couple days since the automaker formally gave the program approval to go to market.

There are still plenty of skeptics who doubt the Chevy hybrid will be ready for production, as promised, sometime in 2010. The big question mark hangs over Volt's lithium-ion battery pack, which will not only have to deliver at least 40 miles per charge, but also prove to be robust and reliable enough to survive in the challenging automotive environment.

We'll see if Lutz still has that big smile on his face as the deadline draws near.

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