GM launches Volt, ramps up green hiring

General Motors Tuesday launched its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt and a major hiring program to ramp up production of green vehicles.

GM said it would add 1,000 engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years, beginning Tuesday, in a drive to develop next-generation electric vehicles beyond the Volt.

"GM is going to lead the industry in the adoption of various vehicle electrification technologies, whether its electric vehicles with extended-range capability, like the Chevrolet Volt, or the recently introduced eAssist technology that will debut on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse," GM chief executive Dan Akerson said.

"We want to give our customers energy choices other than petroleum and to make the automobile part of the solution when it comes to the environment," he added, speaking at an event at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, where the Volt is put together.

Akerson also said GM is studying whether to expand production beyond the 45,000 units the company plans to build in 2011.

"My sense is there is going to be a lot of demand for this vehicle," he said.

Announced in 2007, the Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with an extended driving range of up to 375 miles (603 kilometers), based on US Environmental Protection Agency estimates.

For the first 35 miles (56 kilometers), the Volt can drive gasoline- and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, the company says.

When the battery runs low, a gasoline-powered engine/generator kicks in to extend the driving range another 340 miles (547 kilometers) on a full tank.

The first Volt made in regular production will go to the company's museum, said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America.

The first Volt available for retail sale was put on the auction block at a starting bid of 50,000 dollars, including a charging station and a home installation.

Reuss said the proceeds would benefit math and sciences education in the hard-hit public schools of Detroit, struggling to recover from a recession that threatened to wipe out the US auto industry. The winner is to be announced December 16.

Reuss said the first Volts were ready for distribution to customers in Michigan, California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas and the US capital of Washington.

GM, the largest US automaker, recently launched a massive share offering that highlights its new traction after a government-backed bankruptcy restructuring.

Akerson said the initial public offering (IPO) of GM stock was a great success as it raised more than 23.7 billion dollars for principal shareholders.

The principal shareholders will determine whether additional GM shares are put up for sale, he said.

GM's return to public trading on November 18 marked a dramatic turnaround for the embattled company.

Amid skyrocketing debt and plummeting sales, GM had been forced into bankruptcy protection in June 2009, as it got a 50-billion-dollar government bailout.

The IPO lowered the government stake in the company below 50 percent and recouped 11.7 billion dollars for US taxpayers.

Coinciding with the return to Wall Street, Green Car Journal on November 18 named the Chevrolet Volt the Green Car of the Year, the first electric vehicle to win the award.

The Volt also was named by AUTOMOBILE Magazine as the 2011 Automobile of the Year.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Support Analyst - London - £22,000

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...

    Learning Support Assistants-Nantwich area

    £8 - £9 per hour: Randstad Education Chester: We are currently recruiting for ...

    Primary Teachers-Northwich area

    £85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Teachers- Northwich Ar...

    Primary Teachers-Northwich area

    £85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Teachers- Northwich Ar...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London