From the Volt to the Bolt to the Lucid Air: Tony Posawatz, CEO, Fermata Energy

Driving with Dunne

Sep 7 2023 • 37 mins

For most of his career, Tony Posawatz was a highly successful engineer working in GM's lucrative truck division. That meant big rigs powered by gasoline and diesel engines. Then one day in 2006 GM's top leadership appointed him to lead a breakthrough initiative. "Build us an electric car that will make people forget all about the Toyota Prius," they said. GM had taken a shot at an all-electric vehicle in the 1990s called the EV1. Tony and his team of top notch GM engineers knew that the way to beat the Prius was to go electric. But range anxiety was an issue. So, they got inventive and designed a propulsion system that featured both an electric battery and a gasoline engine. This set-up, in time, would become known as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or a PHEV. That product, which debuted 11 years ago, served as a bridge to a barrage of pure electrics like the Tesla Model 3, the Hyundai IONIQ, the Mustang Mach E, the Rivians and the Lucids now hitting the market today. How far along have we advanced on the path to electrics. And how much work still remains to be done before we reach electric nirvana?