Lyle Dennis with the Chevy Volt Test MuleEnlarge Photo
Our editor-in-chief, Lyle Dennis, has an obsession. He lives and breathes electric cars - the upcoming Chevy Volt in particular. Over the past two years, Mr. Dennis has gone from a relatively anonymous neurologist to one of the blogosphere's leading electric car advocates. His gm-volt.com site attracts thousands of visitors and his fledgling site (that being the one you're currently visiting) gives car freaks like me the opportunity to share our passions with anyone who cares to read.
What's in it for him? Fame? No. Glory? Not really. Money? Laughable. He just gets to drive the latest and greatest electric cars. Recently, one happy physician finally got to drive the object of his affection: the Chevy Volt (in test-mule form, of course).
The test of the nation's first extended range electric vehicle (EREV) appropriately took place at the nation's first dedicated auto testing facility: GM's Milford Proving Grounds. It was there that Lyle met Chevy Volt program director, Greg Ceisel.
Greg accompanied Lyle on a tour of the Grounds which ended in a building that could have been called "Irony's Garage." There sat six beaming examples of Chevy's promising Volt in various conditions. Next to those rested several plug-in Saturn Vues. Whereas the Volt continues to serve as GM's hope for the future, the entire Saturn lineup will be cancelled at the end of the 2009 production year.
The Volt test car was a Chevy Cruze with Volt powertrain in tow. Keys aren't required to start GM's electric wunderkind. A simple press of the start button will do. Other than the deafening silence under acceleration, the Volt/Cruze combo platter felt like any other car to Lyle.