Purdue, GM and GE and the Purdue EV Club Make Sweet Music

GE has picked Purdue as a location to install ten of their new EV charging stations, with a Chevy Volt in attendance to demonstrate.  …and once again, our own Tony (Danger) Coiro gets some more face time on the media- and why not?  The camera loves him.  Have a look, the video appears on the WLFI News site.

More information can be found at the Purdue News Service story here, along with some interesting information on GE and the work they’re doing with the Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium:

GE Energy-Industrial Solutions has worked with the Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium (I-AEVTEC) to bring the charging stations to campus. GE and Purdue have a longstanding relationship, and GE is a key employer of Purdue graduates.
Funded by a $6.1 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, I-AEVTEC includes Purdue, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue University Calumet and Indiana University Northwest.

It is developing curricula for vehicle technicians, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for electric design and manufacturing engineers, and a certificate program in electric vehicle safety for emergency responders. It also is establishing an outreach program to secondary schools and a resource-driven public website about electric vehicles.

I-AEVTEC sponsors the EVGrandPrix for electric-powered karts. The first one was held last April at Purdue. This year, a preliminary event will be at Purdue in late April and an expanded EVGrandPrix, open to colleges and universities throughout the country, will be May 7 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“The GE Energy-Industrial Solutions charging stations are a key tool as we train students who soon will lead the way in developing alternative power for vehicles,” said James Caruthers, a professor of chemical engineering and I-AEVTEC director.”

Some of the students who will benefit from the GE (and GM) involvement are the newly formed Purdue EV Club.  With an electric Porsche, a motorcycle with linear actuated solar panels for topping up when you’re parked, and a few other projects in the works, you can bet these guys got some attention from some major players…  including some well deserved toys and funds.

Coincidentally, last week we saw the delivery of the first of the Chevy Volt competitors, the Nissan Leaf, featured in this story on PlugInCars.   …and according to the first actual Nissan Leaf owner, the Chevy Volt was never a consideration, citing, among other things, that “the Volt is not a ‘pure’ electric model.” (word!)

Truly exciting stuff.  You’ve got a huge company building infrastructure, and recognizing a bunch of insanely talented students who are totally committed to the technology.  You have two major companies falling over themselves to get electric cars out into the market, with every major manufacturer following along at various paces…  some exciting new battery and battery manufacturing technology coming along, not the least of which is the use of a virus – a tobacco virus, no less, helping to manufacture lithium cells with more surface area.

…it’s enough to give even a cranky old bastard like me hope!

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