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GM Wins Golden Spike Award for Chevrolet Volt

As the railroads like to advertise, the most fuel-efficient vehicles are probably trains – especially when you factor in the amount of goods they carry. That’s why it is fitting the Chevrolet Volt was honored with the Golden Spike award.

General Motors received a Golden Spike Award from the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATB) for its effort to bring one of the first modern, mainstream electric vehicles to market with the launch of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. As correspondent Frank explained so eloquently elsewhere on this site, the Volt – in spite of media misperceptions – is an electric vehicle because it uses electrical power to turn the wheels (and not the internal combustion gas engine that is a range extender.)

And now for a historical interlude, the golden spike award is patterned after the golden railroad spikes that were presented to the Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad when the tracks from east and west met at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory on May 10, 1869. That event marked the start of the modern railroad age with the completion of the first transcontinental rail line.

And now for a technical interlude, according to the announcement of the award, “GM engineers and scientists have worked closely with LG Chem to develop the lithium-ion battery that made the Chevrolet Volt a reality. A sophisticated battery management system helps to maximize the electric driving range of the Volt and ensure the reliability and durability of the battery.”