When General Motors decided to auction off the first available production Chevrolet Volt to benefit the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, it probably envisioned someone with deep pockets and a strong connection to the Bowtie brand coming through with the winning bid. Well, when the dust settled and the auctioned Volt sold for $225,000 to bidder ChargeOn, it became clear that someone willing to dish out nearly a quarter of a million dollars had won Chevy's plug-in. But who is ChargeOn?

The man that bid under the screen name of ChargeOn is none other than Rick Hendrick, a longtime Chevrolet dealer and owner of Hendrick Motorsports, the American racing juggernaut established back in 1984. It turns out that Hendrick, an avid car collector, just had to have a Volt to add to his collection and felt compelled to aid the Detroit Public Schools. After winning the auctioned Volt, Hendrick stated:
This was an opportunity to own a piece of history while giving back to the community. I have been a Chevrolet dealer for more than 30 years, and the Volt is one of the most exciting and important new cars since we opened our first dealership in 1976.
Our congrats go out to Mr. Hendrick for winning the auction and, more importantly, for supporting a good cause. Click past the jump to learn more in the official press release. Thanks to all for the tips!

[Source: General Motors]


PRESS RELEASE

Rick Hendrick Buys First Volt Offered for Public Sale

$225,000 Bid in Auction Benefits Detroit Public Schools Foundation


DETROIT – Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, has purchased the first Chevrolet Volt offered for sale. Proceeds will benefit science, math, engineering, and technology education initiatives through the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.

The vehicle, bearing the vehicle identification number BU10002, was sold for $225,000 through an online auction that closed Tuesday, Dec. 14.

"This was an opportunity to own a piece of history while giving back to the community," said Hendrick, an avid car collector. "I have been a Chevrolet dealer for more than 30 years, and the Volt is one of the most exciting and important new cars since we opened our first dealership in 1976.

"Hendrick Motorsports has been racing Chevys since 1984, and any success we've had is due to the quality of our people," continued Hendrick, who has won a record 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner championships. "The Detroit Public Schools will prepare the next generation of talented engineers and technicians who will help Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports compete at a high level on the racetrack every weekend."

Detroit Public Schools Foundation President and CEO, Chacona W. Johnson, believes the donation will make a meaningful difference for many Detroit students:

"With Mr. Hendrick's contribution, we have the opportunity to inspire thousands of children to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math," said Johnson. "That inspiration will help make Detroit Public Schools students more successful in higher education, and better prepared for careers in the 21st century workforce."

Here are a few examples of what the foundation could provide to Detroit students with $225,000:

Send 4,500 students to compete in a science fair

It costs $50 per student to compete in the annual Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit, including entry fees and bussing expenses. The fair is open to students in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties, from grades six through 12. Each year up to eight students from the Detroit competition may be selected to participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Provide 800 kits for robotics competitions

The $280 kit for the FIRST Lego League robotics competition includes everything a team needs to build an autonomous robot. The competition, for students in grades four through eight, is based on students' scientific research, as well as their robotic construction and programming.

Send 140 students to NASA space camp

It costs $16,000 to send 10 students and chaperones to NASA space camp in Huntsville, Ala., including tuition and travel expenses. During the five-day camp, students apply classroom math and science skills to shuttle training missions, such as moon walking practice and orbiter-egress training.

"Every aspect of the Volt – from its aerodynamic shape to its battery chemistry – is a testament to the importance of math and sciences," said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. "Now, the first Volt will help cultivate the next generation of engineers who will build upon the Volt's innovative technologies."

The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle that can operate under a range of weather climates and driving conditions with little concern of being stranded by a depleted battery. The Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.

Chevrolet began shipping Volts from Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly this week. Hendrick will take delivery of his Volt later this month.

About Chevrolet

Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of more than 4 million vehicles in 130 countries. In the U.S., the Chevrolet portfolio includes: iconic performance cars, such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long lasting pickups and SUVs, such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers, such as Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly" solutions, such as Chevrolet Cruze Eco with an EPA-estimated 42 miles per gallon highway, and the Chevrolet Volt offering 35 miles of electric driving and an additional 344 miles of extended gasoline range, according to EPA estimates. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security, and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response, and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

About the Detroit Public Schools Foundation The Detroit Public Schools Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting Detroit students. Our mission is to raise, manage and steward funds and other resources to support value-added programs and activities for the benefit of the Detroit Public Schools and its students. For more information, visit www.detroitpsfoundation.org.