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Retired GM engineer sees bright future for electric cars

Retired GM engineer Dennis Wiese told a group at the Westminster Rotary Club that electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt are quickly becoming the future.

WESTMINSTER — Former General Motors engineer Dennis Wiese pulled into the Westminster Depot parking lot in his new Chevy Volt electric/gasoline vehicle and told members of the local Rotary Club that the gasoline-powered vehicles of today are quickly becoming obsolete.

“Millions of gasoline-powered vehicles and their carbon emissions represent the biggest problem for our environment,” said Wiese, who retired from GM after 30 years and found new challenges with the Carolina Clean Energy Center based in Greenville.

“I worked with the vehicles for years, trying to improve mileage while also trying to diminish the toxic emissions,” he said.

Wiese said his last five years at GM were spent in developing alternative-fuel vehicles, and he came to realize that electric vehicles are a major part of the solution to pollution and better mileage.

“While gasoline-powered vehicles propulsion is 30-40 percent efficient, electric vehicles have an efficiency of 85-95 percent,” he told the Rotarians.

Wiese said that although the price for a new Chevy Volt is about $40,000, federal and state incentives for purchasing the electric vehicle can amount to over $10,000 total.

“That puts it in a competitive price range and it will pay for itself in fuel savings within just a few years,” he said.
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