One of the questions I get most often, especially from people I meet who don't follow the green car industry all that closely but have some idea of what's out there, is, "Is GM serious about actually producing the Volt?" I respond with some variation on the idea that we won't have too long to wait to find out, but that every sign I've seen points to yes.

One more example to show that the Volt isn't just a piece of vaporware is yesterday's announcement by Buehler Motor, Inc. that it will provide auxiliary water pumps to GM to use in the Volt and some GM hybrids. The only details that Buehler is giving out (as you can see for yourself after the jump) is that the company will sell GM "custom 12W and 50W auxiliary water pumps for the Volt and GM hybrid vehicles. ... The two companies have been working together in a technology partnership since mid-2007 to customize the water pump technology necessary to circulate coolant through the Volt's subsystems." We recently saw how difficult it can be to keep those big batteries cool. So, next question?

[Source: Buehler Motor, Inc.]


PRESS RELEASE:

Buehler Motor, Inc. to Provide Auxiliary Water Pumps for Chevrolet Volt and Some GM Hybrid Vehicles

Technology Partnership and Contract Signal Automotive Industry's Continued Confidence in Buehler Motor's Customized Drive and Pump Solutions

DETROIT, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Convergence 2008 - Booth #119 -- Buehler Motor, Inc., a leading international provider of mechatronic drive and pump solutions with a specialty in the automotive industry, has announced it has finalized contracts with General Motors to provide customized auxiliary water pumps for the Chevrolet Volt Extended-Range Electric Vehicle and some GM hybrid vehicles.

The Chevrolet Volt being developed by General Motors delivers up to 40 miles of gasoline- and emissions-free electric driving, with the extended-range capability of hundreds of additional miles. Drawing upon GM's experience inaugurating the modern electric vehicle market with the launch of the EV1 in 1996, the Volt uses a gas engine generator to create additional electricity to extend its range hundreds of miles until the vehicle can be plugged in and battery-charged.

The much-anticipated production version of the Volt was unveiled last month, with production expected to begin in late 2010.

Under terms of the contracts, Buehler Motor will provide custom 12W and 50W auxiliary water pumps for the Volt and GM hybrid vehicles. Other details were not released. The two companies have been working together in a technology partnership since mid-2007 to customize the water pump technology necessary to circulate coolant through the Volt's subsystems.

"We're honored that GM engineers involved Buehler Motor in the process more than a year ago to create customized water pump solutions for the Volt," explained Bob Riedford, Buehler Motor, Inc., president and general manager. "This collaboration is a testimony to GM's long-term vision and to the auto industry's continued confidence in Buehler Motor to provide solutions to extreme engineering challenges."

"The Volt is symbolic of GM's strong commitment to the future ... just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today's and tomorrow's energy and environmental challenges," explained Andrew Farah, Volt Vehicle Chief Engineer. "Buehler Motor possesses this same technological resourcefulness -- and the ability to creatively solve the engineering challenges inherent in development of the next generation of cleaner, more energy-efficient vehicles."

Buehler Motor, Inc., and its parent, Buehler Motor GmbH, have been providing automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers with customized mechatronic drive technology since 1969. A partial past and present client list includes Audi, BMW, Continental, GM, Hella, Johnson Controls, Lear, Magna, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens and Volkswagen.

About Buehler Motor, Inc.

Buehler Motor is an independent, globally active company focused on the development, production and marketing of technically challenging mechatronic drive solutions for the world's leading manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, business automation, medical device and other industries. Driven by innovation, Buehler Motor offers comprehensive in-house research and development with more than 140 engineers and 1,600 qualified employees delivering more than 22 million units worldwide. Buehler Motor's Product Implementation Process (PIP) ensures superior manufacturing processes and the highest quality product for all standard line and customized drive solutions.

As part of the worldwide Buehler Motor family, Buehler Motor, Inc. (BMI), based in Morrisville, N.C., offers its North American customers a combination of German engineering, research and development, manufacturing, and local sales and customer support -- plus the competitive pricing advantages and on-time delivery that come from a global production footprint spanning three continents.

For more information about Buehler Motor and products, please call (919) 380-3329 or visit http://www.buehlermotor.com/. At Convergence 2008, visit BMI at Booth #119.

About GM

General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) , the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries.

In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.