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Chevrolet Spark EV Plugs into Maryland

January 22, 2015 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM

Customer demand drives addition of East Coast; features locally sourced drive unit

Image courtesy of GM Chevrolet Spark EV Plugs into Maryland

Image courtesy of GM
Chevrolet Spark EV Plugs into Maryland

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chevrolet will start selling the Spark EV in Maryland this spring, expanding the pure electric mini-car’s “range” to the East Coast.

The Spark EV is the most efficient U.S. retail electric vehicle on the market, delivering an EPA-estimated combined city/highway 119 MPGe fuel economy equivalent and 82 miles of EPA-estimated combined city/highway range.

It is priced as low as $17,845, after federal and Maryland tax credits – and it features a locally sourced electric motor and drive unit, manufactured at General Motors’ Baltimore Operations facility in White Marsh, Md.

“The Spark EV has been one of the most well-received electric vehicles in the industry and customer demand helped make the decision to expand its availability to Maryland,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of car marketing. “Following the introduction of the next-generation Volt and Bolt EV concept, this further reinforces Chevrolet’s commitment to electrification and delivering more choices where our customers want them.”

Chevrolet introduced the 2016 Volt and Bolt EV concept earlier this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The second-generation Volt increases its all-electric driving range to 50 miles, with a total range estimated at more than 400 miles, thanks to its range-extending generator motor.

The Bolt EV concept is a vision for an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range starting around $30,000 after tax incentives.

“Maryland has a strong commuter market and a good charging infrastructure, which influenced the decision to make it the Spark EV’s first East Coast market,” said Majoros. “We also have a strong dealership network in the Old Line State that’s eager to offer it.”

Chevrolet requires service training certification before a dealer is authorized to sell the Spark EV because of its unique propulsion system.

The Spark EV is also sold in California and Oregon, where sales totaled 1,145 in 2014 – an 86.5-percent increase over the previous year.

Spark EV at a glance

Chevrolet Spark EV is designed to meet the transportation needs of urban dwellers, with an all-electric driving experience. Its GM-built motor and drive unit deliver 327 lb-ft (444 Nm) of instant torque, enabling a 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds.

It is also one of the most maneuverable EVs, with a 12.2-foot overall length and a tight 33.8-foot turning radius – making it ideal for the tight confines of city streets and parking spaces.

Three available levels of recharging capability include the industry’s first use of the recently approved SAE combo charger for DC fast charging, which charges 80 percent of the battery in just 20 minutes. Aero refinements, unique wheels and tires and active shutter system on the grille opening help extend the Spark EV’s range. Storing that energy from the charging process and the vehicle’s regenerative braking capability is a 19-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The four-passenger, five-door Spark EV is available in 1LT and 2LT trim levels. Additional highlights:

  1. Standard Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment system provides a seven-inch-diagonal color touch-screen that shows critical vehicle EV functions and connects with the owner’s smartphone for infotainment that includes apps for Pandora, Stitcher, TuneIn global internet radio and BringGo full-function navigation (requires smartphone app purchase). For those with compatible iPhones, the system brings the Siri Personal Assistant into the car.
  2. Standard OnStar 4G LTE with available Wi-Fi hotspot (includes three-month/3GB trial period)
  3. Standard remote start/cabin pre-conditioning, heated driver and front passenger seats, push-button start
  4. The front brakes include an electro-hydraulic regenerative brake system that captures braking energy – wasted in a conventional vehicle – and transfers it to the battery system.

GM engineers have driven more than 1 million miles and completed 4 million hours of validation on the battery packs. Comprehensive warranty coverage includes:

  1. Three-year/36,000-mile warranty
  2. Eight-year/100,000-mile drive battery warranty
  3. Five-year/100,000-mile transferrable powertrain warranty that includes emergency roadside assistance and courtesy transportation
  4. Six-year/100,000-mile rust-through warranty.

First place

In 2014, the Chevrolet Spark EV was ranked first in a Car and Driver comparison of the Nissan Leaf, Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500E, Ford Focus Electric and Smart Fortwo ED Cabriolet.

Car and Driver’s editors noted the Spark EV was a “studied application of brainpower and enthusiasm” and that “everything about the Spark was all in.”

The Spark EV raced ahead of the competitors in the 0-60 mph test, recording the only sub-8-second time, which beat the nearest competitor by more than half a second. The Spark EV was also the least-expensive car in the test.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: GM.

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Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Signals Brand’s EV Strategy

January 12, 2015 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM

Affordable, long-range concept builds on brand’s electrification leadership

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle. Front ¾ in city scape. Bolt EV Concept builds upon Chevy’s experience gained from both the Volt and Spark EV to make an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle to market. The Bolt EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of Chevrolet customers around the globe with more than 200 miles of range and a price tag around $30,000. Image courtesy of GM

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle. Front ¾ in city scape. Bolt EV Concept builds upon Chevy’s experience gained from both the Volt and Spark EV to make an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle to market. The Bolt EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of Chevrolet customers around the globe with more than 200 miles of range and a price tag around $30,000.
Image courtesy of GM

DETROIT – Chevrolet today made a significant statement on its commitment to electrification with the introduction of the Bolt EV concept – a vision for an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range starting around $30,000.

“The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. “Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.”

Leveraging the electrification prowess established by Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept is designed to offer long-range performance in all 50 states and many global markets.

Drivers will be able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles such as daily commuting and spirited weekend cruising, for uncompromising electric driving. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging.

“We have made tremendous strides in technologies that make it easier and more affordable for Chevrolet customers to integrate an all-electric vehicle in their daily lives,” said Barra. “The Bolt EV concept demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to electrification and the capabilities of our advanced EV technology.”

The Bolt EV concept also pushes the envelope for crossover aesthetics. Its unique proportion, with practically no front or rear overhang, makes the most of interior space and was designed to create a roomy environment for four that feels expansive. Lightweight materials, including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and even woven mesh, complement the design, while driving down the curb weight to help maximize range. Aero-optimizing features such as vented rear fenders also help contribute to range.

“Form and function have never meshed so well together,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet.”

The Bolt EV concept’s airy interior ambience is enhanced with bold use of glass all around – as well as a full-length, frosted glass roof with unique, faceted design elements. A high beltline sweeps upward with the D-pillar, culminating in an integrated roof spoiler, for a lean, athletic stance.  An advanced nano-composite rear hatch and wraparound rear window give the Bolt EV concept a distinctive appearance and flood the interior with more natural light.

High-intensity, efficient light-emitting diode (LED) headlamp and taillamp elements are housed behind jewel-like faceted lenses in which translucent elements illuminate evenly to create the signature lighting effect.

Airy, intuitive interior

Inside, the Bolt EV concept has a large feel reinforced by generous headroom and legroom dimensions. A flat, flow-through floor adds to the roominess, while a contemporary, light color scheme adds to the feeling of an open, airy cabin and conveys warmth.

The cabin’s airy, high-tech environment is reinforced with lightweight, slim-architecture seats mounted on exposed aluminum pedestals that create a floating effect. The minimalist center console “floats,” too, suspended from the front seats.

“The Bolt EV concept’s interior is intended as a sanctuary, with materials and technologies that reinforce the airy ambience and help contribute to the vehicle’s overall efficiency,” said Welburn. “It also incorporates technology in a subtler and simpler manner, for a more soothing driving experience – particularly in busy, urban environments.”

Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior layout incorporates easy-to-use technology designed to make the driving experience easier and more enjoyable. It wraps into the door panels and features a frosted and translucent appearance – and a subtle glow at night.

The concept’s technological intuitiveness can be accessed via a smartphone with the concept Bolt EV Connect app, which is designed to:

  1. Allow a smartphone to perform as the key fob
  2. Allow ride-sharing management, including reservations, vehicle location, digital key and even payment processing via the smartphone
  3. Incorporate the concept automatic park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself – and when errands are completed, the Bolt EV concept can be summoned to return to the owner’s location.

A large, color 10-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch screen, with interface features, complements the concept Bolt EV Connect app. It even allows the projection of all the application and other smartphone data onto the screen.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: GM.

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Chevrolet Introduces All-New 2016 Volt

January 12, 2015 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, Volt

New model features expressive, sleek design and delivers 50 miles of EV range

2016 Volt The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers 50 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. Image courtesy of GM

2016 Volt
The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers 50 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration.
Image courtesy of GM

DETROIT – Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2016 Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers 50 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration.

The Volt’s new, efficient propulsion system will offer a General Motors’-estimated total driving range of more than 400 miles and with regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups.

“The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.”

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s technology and range advancements are complemented by a design that blends sculpted, muscular proportions with aerodynamic efficiency, and an all-new interior with seating for five and improved functionality.

Everything from charging the battery and checking the charge status, to the intuitiveness of instrument panel controls were designed for easier use.

“According to independent surveyors, Volt owners are the most satisfied in the industry and they were our compass for developing the next-generation model,” said Batey.

2016 Volt highlights:

  1. New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation drive unit
  2. Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph acceleration
  3. Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds
  4. Regen on Demand™ feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a convenient paddle on the back of the steering wheel
  5. New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg (EPA estimate pending)
  6. Stronger body structure and quieter ride
  7. New braking system with improved capability and blended Regen feel
  8. New, five-passenger seating with available rear heated seats
  9. Location-based charging capability
  10. 120V portable cord set has a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location
  11. Available illuminated charge port

The 2016 Volt goes on sale in the second half of 2015.

Sleeker, sportier design
The 2016 Volt has an all-new, muscular design that incorporates Chevrolet performance vehicle DNA inspired cues refined in the wind tunnel.

New features, including active grille shutters, help balance design with efficiency.

Volt’s flowing, dynamic shape is inspired by the toned physiques of athletes and even the natural shapes of wind-swept sands, with carved body sides and fenders that blend into the hood. The front-end appearance retains the iconic Volt identity, with bright upper and lower grille pads.

Greater attention to detail in the design cues, materials and colors also lends a more premium, contemporary aura to its appearance. It also retains the distinctive Volt signature on the upper front doors, carrying over one of the first-generation model’s identifiers.

Inside, the new Volt includes seating for five. Fresh colors exude an inviting upscale aura – complemented by blue ambient lighting – while the controls are more intuitively placed and simpler to operate.

The Volt retains its signature dual digital color displays with an eight-inch-diagonal reconfigurable screen in the instrument cluster to relay driver information. An additional eight-inch-diagonal touch screen in the center of the instrument panel controls the Chevrolet MyLink system.

Fewer icons on the center dash make it easier to operate. Separate climate control knobs and buttons below the center display offer clear, convenient operation.

New Voltec propulsion system
An all-new, second-generation Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system is the power behind the 2016 Volt’s increased all-electric driving range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. It was engineered based on the driving behaviors of first-gen Volt owners.

“Volt owners complete more than 80 percent of their trips without using a drop of gasoline and they tell us they love the electric driving experience. Putting that experience at the center of the new Voltec system’s development helped us improve range, while also making the new Volt more fun to drive,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. “We established a precedent when the original Voltec propulsion system debuted and this newest iteration sets the EV technology bar even higher.”

The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics.

GM’s industry-leading battery technology has been reengineered for the next-generation Volt. The 2016 Volt will use an 18.4 kWh battery system featuring revised cell chemistry developed in conjunction with LG Chem. While overall system storage capacity has increased, the number of cells have decreased from 288 to 192 as the result of a revised chemistry. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack is 21 pounds (9.8 kg) lighter.

Like the battery system, the next-generation Volt’s two-motor drive unit delivers increased efficiency and performance along with reduced noise and vibration. The drive unit operates up to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system.

Both motors operate together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver a 19 percent improvement in electric acceleration from zero to 30 mph (2.6 seconds) and a 7 percent improvement from zero to 60 mph (8.4 seconds). GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets.

More convenient location-based charging
Using real-world experiences of today’s Volt owners, Chevrolet made the charging system in the next-generation Volt more convenient for customers to recharge the battery – and to check the charge status.

The new and enhanced features include:

GPS location-based charging
“Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for “home” charging and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at “home” based on GPS data,” said Farah, the chief engineer. “The new Volt will give owners greater flexibility for charging on their terms and make public charging easier.”

This will allow owners to pre-set their 120V charging level (eight amps or 12 amps) and whether they wish to charge immediately, set a departure time for each day of the week, or set a departure time and a utility rate schedule to charge only at off-peak rates. These setting will only have to be programmed once and the Volt will default to them when the vehicle return to its home location.

New, more intuitive charge status indicators
The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. The new status system features a specially designed tone that indicates when charging has begun, with additional tones for delayed charging. It will even indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging but before entering the vehicle.

With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. An available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark.

Portable cord set enhancements
A new 120V portable cord set has a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location. The storage bin for the cord is now located on the left side of the Volt’s rear cargo area, above the load floor, for improved accessibility.

Safety features
The new Chevrolet Volt offers new standard and available safety features that work with an all-new body structure to provide crash-avoidance and passenger protection capability. Highlights include:

  1. Standard rear-vision camera
  2. Ten standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger knee air bags
  3. Available active safety features offering lane keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert with lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert with following distance indicator, front automatic braking, and advanced park assist with front and rear park assist (semi-automatic parallel parking)
  4. Expanded use of high-strength steel throughout the body structure improves strength and reduces weight
  5. More effective structural load paths in the frame, along with reinforced rocker panel structures and side structure reinforcements

The new, active safety technologies and structural enhancements build on the Volt’s legacy of top safety performance, which include a 5-Star overall New Car Assessment Program rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the current model.

Manufacturing
GM is investing $435 million in the production of three products, including the next-generation Chevrolet Volt, at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and future battery technologies at the Brownstown, (Mich.) Battery Assembly Plant, where the Volt’s lithium-ion battery pack is produced.

The new drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Mich., and the 1.5L engine will be manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of production, then shift to the Flint, Mich. engine plant.

Since its introduction in late 2010, the Volt has established southeast Michigan as the hub of vehicle electrification development and manufacturing. The next-generation Volt will feature approximately 70 percent U.S. and Canadian components within its first year of production, a nearly 20-percent increase from the first generation.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: GM.

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Next-Gen Chevy Volt Offers More User-Friendly Charging

November 20, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, GM, Volt

The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. In addition, an available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark as well as indicate approximate charge level through a series of flashes. Image courtesy of GM Next-Gen Chevy Volt Offers More User-Friendly Charging

The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. In addition, an available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark as well as indicate approximate charge level through a series of flashes.
Image courtesy of GM
Next-Gen Chevy Volt Offers More User-Friendly Charging

DETROIT – If there’s one thing Chevrolet Volt owners love about their cars, it’s being able to recharge the battery easily. Evidence of that is a U.S. Department of Energy study that shows more than 80 percent of all trips by Volt owners did not use the range extender.

Chevrolet has made the charging system in the next-generation Volt even easier for customers to recharge the battery – and to check the charge status. The next-generation Volt debuts in January at the North American International Auto Show.

“Chevrolet used the real-world experiences of today’s Volt owners to make the charging process simpler and more convenient in the next-generation Volt,” said Andrew Farah, chief engineer for the Volt. “The new Volt will give owners greater flexibility for charging it on their terms.”

The new and enhanced features include:

GPS location-based charging
Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for their “home” charging location and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at that location. The car will recognize when it arrives “home” based on GPS data.

This will allow owners to pre-set their charging level (8 amps or 12 amps on 120V only) and whether they wish to charge immediately, set a departure time for each day of the week, or set a departure time and a utility rate schedule to charge only at off-peak rates. Owners can input their local utility’s rate schedule into their Volt to assure they’re charging using the cheapest electricity rates. They will only have to program the system once and the Volt will return to these settings every time it is at its home location.

New, more intuitive charge status indicators
The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. The new status system features a specially designed tone that indicates when charging has begun, with additional tones for delayed charging. It will even indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging but before entering the vehicle.

With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. In addition, an available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark as well as indicate approximate charge level through a series of flashes.

Portable cord set enhancements
A new 120V portable cord set includes a cord nearly 25 feet long, longer than the current 120V portable cord. It can be locked using a small padlock to deter unauthorized removal during charging. Based directly on customer feedback, a new storage bin for the cord is now located on the left side of the Volt’s rear cargo area, above the load floor, for improved accessibility.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: GM.

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Camouflaging New Chevrolet Volt is Balancing Act

September 29, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, Volt

Chevrolet Volt Chief Engineer Andrew Farah (pictured) and his team have been driving camouflaged 2016 Volts to validate ride, handling and powertrain performance. “If not for the work done by the camouflage engineers, we couldn’t test these pre-production vehicles in their natural environments,” he said. “It’s critical for us to make sure we’re listening to customer wants for the next generation Volt, and the only way to do that is to be out in the wild, while keeping the design under wraps.”  Photo credit Chris Guddeck for GM

Chevrolet Volt Chief Engineer Andrew Farah (pictured) and his team have been driving camouflaged 2016 Volts to validate ride, handling and powertrain performance. “If not for the work done by the camouflage engineers, we couldn’t test these pre-production vehicles in their natural environments,” he said. “It’s critical for us to make sure we’re listening to customer wants for the next generation Volt, and the only way to do that is to be out in the wild, while keeping the design under wraps.”
Photo credit Chris Guddeck for GM

DETROIT – The styling of the next-generation Chevrolet Volt is one of the automotive world’s best-kept secrets.

Keeping customers and media eager to see the successor to the groundbreaking original at bay until the new Volt debuts at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January is tricky business.

First, it is engineers, not designers, who are charged with creating camouflage that balances styling secrecy with the need to validate the Volt and its systems in public.

“If it were up to me it would be a shoebox driving down the road,” said Lionel Perkins, GM camouflage engineer. “The design team wants us to cover more of the vehicle and the engineering team needs to have enough of the vehicle’s weight and aero exposed so that the tests in the development process are consistent with the product that will come to market.”

The engineers responsible for the “cool” designs covering the car might deserve style points but their efforts are intended strictly to hide the metal beneath.

Some of the tricks of the trade:

  1. Black and white patterns The color scheme creates a shadow that hides vehicle design elements.
  2. 3D – Layered camouflage throws off onlookers, but has to be applied without interrupting airflow around the car.
  3. Swirls – In the old days of car camouflage, the design relied mainly on a grid pattern, but over the years engineers discovered that grids are difficult to realign if a piece is removed to make a change to the car. Swirl patterns better hide such developments.
  4. Bubble wrap – Camouflage can be made from many different materials including plastics, vinyl and foam. Good, old bubble wrap is a lightweight, easily attachable three-dimensional material used to confuse prying eyes.

The camouflage package on the next-generation Volt was started six months in advance of early development. Every vehicle is different and tricks are constantly updated to keep spy photographers and the curious guessing.

“Each car is unique. We are like a dress maker, and the car is our model,” said Perkins. “No two models are the same. We need to make the right dress that fits the body we are dealing with.”

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: GM.