Posts tagged ‘Chevy Volt’
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
Just a few days after General Motors used its new blog to introduce battery engineer Mel Fox ’95 EMS to readers, it made headlines for the project Fox is working on: the Chevy Volt. It announced Tuesday that the electric car will get an estimated 230 miles per gallon.
Yes, that’s a number to get your attention. There’s some debate over what that number really means; it’s based on a formula that The New York Times called “abstract.”
Clearly, however, Fox is playing an important role. You can read our earlier post about her job here.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Mel Fox ’95 MS EMS says that her favorite car is her boyfriend’s 1969 Camaro. That’s undeniably a cool car, but it certainly falls into the “gas guzzler” category. (Excuse me. Muscle car.) In her professional life, though, Fox is working on a car that’s at the opposite end of the spectrum — the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid in development.
Fox was featured this week on a new General Motors blog that is focusing on the people behind its technology. She’s a battery engineer, and her job is “ensuring the Volt batteries will last as long as possible — think of me as an advocate for the Volt battery!”
Fox’s path is no surprise. We mentioned her in a 2006 article about students working on a hybrid SUV for the ChallengeX competition, which was sponsored by GM and the U.S. Department of energy. You can click here to download a PDF of our article.
Lori Shontz, senior editor