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2007-12-14 08:39
General Motors has announced the opening of a new studio dedicated to the manufacturer's electrically-driven vehicles. The Chevrolet Volt will be the studio's first project.

Known as the E-Flex Systems design studio, it will develop a range of vehicles using the E-Flex system using a combination of electric motors, rechargeable batteries and engines running on either petrol, diesel or ethanol.

The Chevrolet Volt, shown in concept form at this year's Detroit show, will be the studio's first production vehicle.

The Volt is a plug-in electric vehicle that will run up to 63 km without needing petrol, which it is estimated, would be enough to handle approximately two-thirds of daily commutes for American drivers.

GM has hailed the studio, which is dedicated to designing a range of electric plug-in vehicles, as the only one of its kind.

"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 programme, we needed the right mix of designers and engineers from the original show car team and people with experience from the production side."

Bob Boniface, design director for the E-flex Systems Design Studio and the Chevrolet Volt, will lead the team of approximately 45 creative designers, sculptors, design engineers, scientists and administrative staff.

He was the lead for the exterior design of the Chevrolet Volt concept.


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