GM's product development chief Bob Lutz is one of only a handful of people to have driven the first Chevy Volt development mules with the full lithium ion battery pack in place. The mules have now been dubbed Mali-Volts alluding to the Malibu body shells that contain the E-Flex. A post went up yesterday on the GM Fastlane blog about the drive, and shortly afterward I got to have a longer one-on-one chat with the Vice-Chairman. Lutz was in a particularly good mood and he described himself as "thrilled" when he finished his first 20 mile drive at the Milford Proving Ground.
It took 14 months to go from a non-functional concept to a driveable vehicle with an all-new powertrain. Right now, one of the two battery suppliers is in the lead and all the running vehicles are equipped with packs from that company. Packs from both companies are still being bench tested however. Both Lutz's drive and the 40 mile electric drive that happened around the same time occurred on the proving ground roads, although Lutz acknowledged that since everyone knows what the cars look like they can head out on public roads too. Check out the full story at GFF and the video after the jump.
[Source: Green Fuels Forecast]