New GM Studio To Design Next Generation Of Electric Vehicles
General Motors (GM) announced the opening of a new studio dedicated to the company’s next generation of electrically-driven vehicles. The newly renovated studio is located within GM’s Advanced Design Center, which was responsible for the Chevrolet Volt concept revealed last January.
GM’s new E-Flex Systems Design Studio will develop a variety of vehicles using the E-flex propulsion system, starting with the production version of the Chevrolet Volt. GM claims that it is the only studio on the planet specifically designated to designing a wide variety of electric plug-in vehicles with a range extender.
"As soon as the project kicked off, I knew we needed a dedicated team focused on the development of E-Flex based vehicles and that team needed its own creative space," said Ed Welburn, Vice President, Global Design. "To accelerate the program, we needed the right mix of designers and engineers from the original show car team and people with experience from the production side."
The Chevrolet Volt, GM’s electric plug-in vehicle, will be the first vehicle designed in the new studio. The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in electric vehicle that will run up to 40 miles without ever using a drop of gasoline – which according to government data, would be enough to handle approximately two-thirds of daily commutes for American drivers. The first vehicle in GM’s "E-Flex" family, the Volt will be powered by an electric motor, which draws its energy from on-board batteries. The batteries, in turn, will be re-charged by a small internal combustion engine that will run on gas, diesel or ethanol. When not in use, the batteries will be re-charged by simply plugging the Volt into an electric outlet.
The studio renovation began last June within the existing GM Advanced Design Center. The new studio is an adaptive reuse of the existing facility with steps taken toward environmental sustainability with such installations as sustainable carpet, energy efficient, compact florescent lighting; repurposed surfaces, energy efficient window shades to control heating and cooling, rugs made of 100% wool, natural materials, Cradle to Cradle certified furniture that’s recyclable or can be safe composted.