GM’s New Design Studio Focuses on Green

Dec. 13, 2007: Source – Wired

Chevy Volt

General Motors announced the launch of a design studio dedicated solely to the creation of electric vehicles and hybrids. The new center, which is a part of GM’s Advanced Design Studio, will employ 45 designers, sculptors, and engineers whose first and most concentrated focus will be to get the much-anticipated Chevrolet Volt to market. The program, known as the E-Flex Design Studio, is one more indication that GM is committed to the development and production of hybrids and other such eco-friendly vehicles.

"As soon as the project kicked off, I knew we needed a dedicated team focused on the development of the E-Flex-based vehicles and that team needed its own creative space," said Ed Welburn, vice president of global design. "To accelerate the program, we needed the right mix of designers and engineers from the original car-show team and people with experience from the production side."

The look of the Chevrolet Volt—the future flagship for GM’s green campaign—will certainly change from the current prototype shown at car shows and in advertising campaigns. That design, while sleek and futuristic, does not have good aerodynamics. Improving the Volt’s aerodynamics—an essential strategy for maximizing fuel efficiency—could be a top priority for the new design team. The E-Flex Design Studio’s work on the Volt will ideally be utilized across other GM products, as the company expands its pursuit of greener motoring.


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  • A&M

    They know they messed up with the malibu hybrid. This release is just to quiet the crowd. I’ll believe in GM when I actually see the Volt for sale.

  • FLPD

    Eight years after the Prius shocked the auto industry with a 50 mpg car, GM comes out with a hybrid that get HALF of that. There Flagship Volt needs to not look near as foolish.

  • PW

    You can’t believe GM. All they keep making are gas guzzling cars & trucks. I would have to see the real world reports and not the GM hype. If and when the volt is ever released GM will come up with some excuse why the volt doesn’t get the 40 miles on a charge. GM just can’t get it right when it comes to hybrid vehicles.

  • Old Man Crowder

    Woohoo!! That’s just what this world needs! More designs, plans and dreams.

    How about some action, results and legitimate progress for cryin’ out loud!

  • Jim

    As much as you guys like to bag on GM the Malibu and Vue Hybrid are economically just as good as a Camry Hybrid.
    Camry Hybrid 33/34 25200
    Malibu Hybrid 25/32 22790
    Cost Differential $2410
    If gas is 3.50 Gallon 12000 miles a year mixed driving
    so 33.5mpg for Cam and 28.5mpg for Malibu
    Time to make up cost differential = 10.95 Years to break even.

  • VJ

    If you haven’t seen it, there is a remarkably detailed site totally devoted to this car:

  • Greg Woulf

    The Volt is the car of the future. It’s got every convenience of an ICE, and could in fact run as a normal car and be succesful at it’s projected price.

    The Tesla opened up the hype on EV’s, the Volt will make it commonplace.

    GM has done more for EV’s than any other company. GM had a business reason to stop the EV-1.

    Do environmentalists have a reason to boycott the Volt?

    Only a hypocrite would stop the perfect car, the best car for the environment to punish a company that was just doing their job.

  • Max Reid

    GM has another Plugin hybrid concept

    It has 55 km (35 mile) battery range.

    Its design is better than Chevy-Volt with a hatch that offers more space.

  • Ted


    One of the main reasons that no other car company has developed a hybrid model that compares with Toyota… is due to the fact that Toyota patented the heck out of their technology.

    The reason that the Ford Escape and the Nissan Altima hybrids are using Toyota drive trains is that it it was economically impossible to design their own systems and fight Toyota in court over the patent infringements.

    Honda’s hybrid offerings are mechanically more complicated and prone to failure. They just don’t compare to the simplicity and elegance of the Toyota Synergy system. (No I do not work for Toyota.)

    As long as Toyota can enforce their hybrid patents it will be very difficult for any other car company to build anything that can compare. (Unless they pay licensing fees to Toyota… Or buy the entire systems from Toyota.)

    Toyota has a very strong LOCK on hybrid technology.

  • Melvin Scott

    Oh I just love the car. It has a nice body color and body kits. A new rims will look much better on this ride. I saw some perfect rims at Autopartswarehouse.

  • tapra1

    which is a part of GM’s Advanced Design Studio, will employ 45 designers, sculptors, and engineers whose first and most concentrated focus will be to get the much-anticipated Chevrolet Volt to market.Tech Info