Chevrolet Volt: A Green Success Story

January 31, 2011

We want to point out the latest business Greenification success story.  The Chevrolet Volt is sparking interest even though it's barely entered the American marketplace.   

You remember Chevrolet, right?  They are one of those American automakers that have been so troubled for years.  When Asian carmakers offered better made, smaller, more economically-minded (and greener) cars, they rolled out minivans.  When European automakers offered luxury, American automakers gave us SUV''s.  And when the recession gave us all headaches, they sent us the bill.  We wondered if they would ever recover.  They seemed unable to hear the call to Greenify.

But the Volt is evidence that they can.  Volt is evidence of what our President said in his 2011 State of the Union speech: We Do Big Things.  It's a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery vehicle with a 1.4-liter 16 valve, 4-cylinder, in-line gasoline engine that sips gas from a 9.3 gallon tank.  Worried about pick-up?  It has front-wheel drive and does a peppy 8.8 second zero-to-60.   

And it's putting all that "go" into car shows right now, too.  This past weekend's Portland International Auto Show was packed with car and driving enthusiasts, flocking to the electric cars, hybrids and other green vehicles.  

One of the most popular booths was the Portland General Electric booth, where customer representatives report a lot of questions about one point: how much will it cost to charge an electric car.   

Reports suggest the cost will be about $1.50 per charge.   That charge on a Volt will get you 40 miles, added miles at about half the cost of a gallon of gas.   

Also intriguing?  This isn't a car for nerds.  And instead of being a drain on the company, it may revive Chevrolet's brand all over the world.  Wall Street Journal reviewer Dan Neil had this to say: 

"A bunch of Midwestern engineers in bad haircuts and cheap wristwatches just out-engineered every other car company on the planet."   

Those are karate chop words for some other car makers.   

Unfortunately, there are only about 4 car dealerships offering the car currently.  Just getting on a wait list may take awhile.  But what a turn-around this was for Chevrolet and American business in general.  It proved that it can be done and this is a great success story for pursuit of the Green Dream.


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