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So I just took my first spin in a Chevy Volt. I was one of a few dozen people who got that chance Thursday afternoon, when Penn State’s Center for Sustainability unveiled its very own Volt, donated to the center by General Motors. Penn State is one of just two schools in the country (the other is Michigan Tech) to receive the vehicle, which will be used by students and researchers working on measuring and improving energy efficiency in cars.
It’s no accident that Penn State got its own Volt. Gregory Slusher ’85, Chevy’s Engineering Group Manager of Body Structures, was on hand to present the car to Center for Sustainability executive director David Riley ’91, ’94g and College of Engineering dean David Wormley. And as we pointed out on our blog a couple of years ago, one of the people who has helped make this environmentally friendlier vehicle come to fruition is Mel Fox ’05, a GM battery engineer.
The folks from GM brought three Volts to State College for a ceremony at Foundry Park, right behind our offices in the Hintz Family Alumni Center. One was the actual donated vehicle; the other two were made available for test drives, which, after showing my license and taking my very first breathalyzer, I lined up for. I took a five-minute ride around campus and up College Avenue, finding out that driving a Volt feels (refreshingly) like driving pretty much any other car. The big difference? Man, is that thing quiet. I’m hoping to get behind the wheel of one of these again soon. I’ll keep you posted.
Ryan Jones, senior editor