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Blake Noble

Spied: First Chevy Volt mules caught testing

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Spy Shots: First Chevy Volt mules caught testing
GM flexes its muscles for E-Flex.
2007-chevrolet-volt-concept.jpg

Link to original Article @ AutoBlog Green (Suspension Mule)

GM has been rather open when it comes to discussing the ongoing development of the Chevy Volt. Check here for our latest round of updates and you'll see that the Volt is moving along quite nicely. Still, there's a long way to go before the vehicle is ready for the road. The test track though, as you can see in the photo above, is another story entirely. According to Brenda Priddy's spy photographers, the Volt's E-Flex underpinnings are currently being tested cloaked under last-generation Malibu bodywork. We knew they'd be coming and are glad to see some visual proof. The production Volt will be based on GM's Delta platform, not the Malibu's architecture. The mules you see in these shots should contain an electric motor, an engine/generator set and some of the first battery packs from CPI and Continental. We're anxiously awaiting our chance to get a ride in one of these Malibu-bodied E-Flex mules.

Apparently the the spy-shots of a Chevy Volt mule that turned up on-line late last night were not necessarily what they appeared to be. According to GM the photo's in question actually showed a ride and drive mule that is just testing suspension hardware. The gray car we saw earlier doesn't have any of the E-flex powertrain hardware installed. The giveaway would be the absence of a mis-shapen hood on that particular car. The red Malibu you see pictured here is actually one of the powertrain mules that has been circulating the roadways of the Milford proving ground for the last five months. Under that big lump on the drivers side of the hood lies the power electronics module. This vehicle actually has the electric drive motor, the engine/generator combination, power electronic module and a small nickel metal hydride battery pack. The pack is basically being used as a buffer between the engine/generator and motor so that those components can be tested. Powertrain and software engineers are using this car and other to test hardware components and start developing the control software that will make all of this work. Because the battery pack is so small, the engine/generator pretty much runs all the time in the charge sustaining mode that will happen when the lithium ion pack is depleted. The plan is still to start installing the lithium ion packs into mules like this one within the next few weeks.
Edited by YellowJacket894
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Cool.

In related news I had to put a semi-polite verbal smackdown on a client today.

Smalltalk got to GM & how {his words} the American car industry is stagnant,

their financial woes are due to being stuborn and refusing to be innovative like

imports...

About 15 minutes later when I dropped him off as Logan Airport we had

discussed the Volt, EV1 & Corvair. He walked away a smarter, better informed

individual. Gave me a good tip too!

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Cool.

In related news I had to put a semi-polite verbal smackdown on a client today.

Smalltalk got to GM & how {his words} the American car industry is stagnant,

their financial woes are due to being stuborn and refusing to be innovative like

imports...

About 15 minutes later when I dropped him off as Logan Airport we had

discussed the Volt, EV1 & Corvair. He walked away a smarter, better informed

individual. Gave me a good tip too!

You forgot about the fuel cell 'noxes? Shame. ;)

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