The Chevy Volt Zooms into Michigan Energy Conference

Chevy VoltThe 2011 Chevrolet Volt is set to zoom into Ferris State University’s fourth annual Michigan Energy Conference for display April 13 and 14.

This year’s conference will be held in the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Big Rapids from 8 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each night.

Kristin B. Zimmerman, of General Motors Research and Development and the Volt Infrastructure Team, will present the Volt at noon on April 13 in the exhibit hall of the Holiday Inn. Zimmerman will explain the vehicle’s significance and its energy-saving highlights.

“We wanted the Volt here because it’s a symbol of energy technology in Michigan. We thought it would be of great interest to people coming to the conference, since there are a wide range of topics about design regulations of code to facilities and transportation,” said MEC co-chair Brian Craig, director of Ferris’ School of the Built Environment.

The Volt is an electric car that is capable of going 40 miles without a single drop of gas. If the electric battery runs low, however, the car will transfer to gasoline use. Zimmerman will explain in greater detail the Volt’s technological advances.

Craig hopes the Volt, as an attraction, will create curiosity in the Big Rapids community. As a result, he hopes more community members will “stop by and see what’s up.”

“Ferris has a long history of innovation and it’s important to bring the Volt to campus,” he said. “For most people it will be the first time they will see it. Very few have been sold in West Michigan and it is still pretty rare.”

Additional keynote conference speakers include: Vern Ehlers, speaking about Public Policy and the Energy Future for Michigan; George Erickeck, discussing the Energy Economy of Michigan; Rich VanderVeen, explaining Private Wind; and Peter Varga, who will be focusing on Energy and Transportation.

There are a total of 27 energy topics that will be on display throughout the conference. Among the topics will be: Code and Regulatory Updates, Facilities and Energy Optimization Case Studies, Energy Sustainability, Energy Model and Applications, Energy Education and Science of Energy and Residential. To learn more about the conference, visit

The two-day registration fee is $250, a Wednesday-only fee is $150, a Thursday-only fee is $150, a two-day educator fee is $140, the per-day educator fee is $75 and there is no student registration fee. 

For more information contact Sandy Kerridge at (231) 591-2755. The conference is sponsored by Ferris’ College of Engineering Technology.

17 March, 2011