Meet Jelani Aliyu — The Genius Who Designed GM’s Flagship Electric Vehicle, the Chevy Volt

As a child, Jelani Aliyu always loved cars and it was his dream to design cars when he grew up. Now, he is known around the world as the genius who designed the Chevrolet Volt, which is considered to be the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market today.

Getting started

Born and raised in Soko state, Nigeria, Jelani won a 4-year scholarship and moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1990 to study auto design at the College for Creative Studies. During this time, he won two design awards from both Ford Motor Company and Michelin.

In 1994, he began his career with the design staff of General Motors, the world’s largest automobile maker, and initially worked on the Buick Rendezvous and the Pontiac G6. In 1997, he participated in a 10-month auto engineering competition that he won, and it was here that he developed a hybrid, eco-friendly vehicle that uses a gas engine to produce additional electricity.

That vehicle was the Chevrolet Volt, voted by the U.S. EPA in 2014 as the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market, using electrical power from a battery plus gasoline of just 3.8L/100 km.

Breaking records

Since 2010, more than 150,000 units have been sold in the United States and Canada making the Chevrolet Volt cumulatively the best-selling plug-in electrified vehicle in both countries – outselling other electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S.

It almost didn’t happen

What is interesting about Jelani’s story is that he had originally planned to study architecture, but a scholarship from the Sokoto state government changed his plans. Many people, including General Motors, are glad he did! To them, he is a superstar!

In fact, his knowledge, skills and hard work have been well-recognized by the auto industry.

And thanks to him, the Chevy Volt has won several prestigious auto awards, including the 2009 Green Car Vision Award, 2011 Green Car of the Year, 2011 North American Car of the Year, 2011 World Green Car, 2012 European Car of the Year, and 2016 Green Car of the Year.

Watch his interview below:


About Mastering You

"Mastering You, leads you to Understanding, Developing and Using the Master in You" Mr. Toliver teaches the "Process of Manifestation" as a vehicle that will allow people to master their inner self, through his book series called, "Mastering You". Having worked for more than 30 years as a social worker and as an entrepreneur he combines life experiences of overcoming depression, attempted suicides, managing additions, loss of friends from 9/11, his near death experiences and wraps them all up into talks that leaves every group spellbound. Connecting with his audiences through his animated, motivational and inspirational talks that are guaranteed to reach every group at every level. The process of manifestation focuses on honoring God and changing our thinking to gain success. Mr. Toliver teaches everyone how to overcome life's obstacles which clears a path to getting the things you want.
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