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Pedal Power: GM Shares Bikes with 19,000 Tech Center Employees

August 26, 2014 in Environment, EV News, GM

WARREN, Mich. – General Motors’ Warren Technical Center is implementing a bike share program – the first of its kind from any U.S. automaker – that will enable its 19,000 employees to commute more easily both on and off campus.

GM is working with Zagster, a private bike sharing company that has developed similar programs for other businesses. Employees can use Zagster bikes stationed throughout the Tech Center to travel between its 61 buildings covering the 330-acre campus.

“GM is investing not only in the long-term health and productivity of its workforce, but sending a strong message to other employers around the country that bike sharing is a mainstream transportation option for employees,” said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster.

Posting on GM’s internal website OverDrive, engineers and designers expressed enthusiasm for riding bikes at a car company, where walking, driving and timed shuttle buses are the typical ways employees get from one part of campus to another.

“This is an awesome idea,” said John Waechter, designing engineer at the Tech Center. “I can’t wait to quickly get to meetings without walking to a car and finding parking. This is good for exercise, good for on-campus mobility and a nice way to actually learn more about non-auto transportation.”

Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors Courtesy of GM

Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors
Courtesy of GM

To participate, an employee registers online, then reserves a bike through text message or a smart phone app that provides an access code to unlock the lock box mounted on the bike. Zagster’s geofencing technology installed at each bike station, is powered by solar energy panels – an energy feature comparable to the large public bike share systems, and unique to the GM/Zagster partnership. It is also the first private bikeshare system to employ this technology.

Each bike comes equipped with a basket to safely transport a laptop, notebook and other small belongings. Riders must wear helmets and use bells to alert pedestrians when they are approaching.

“GM is transforming transportation with our products, plants, people, and partnerships,” said GM Director of Sustainability David Tulauskas. “This bike sharing program is a great example of engaging our employees through this first-of-its kind partnership and also helps them look at transportation in a different way than we traditionally have.”

GM’s program expands Zagster’s existing service in Detroit – which has been used by more than 2,750 users in the last year.

“Private enterprises in Detroit, like General Motors, have stepped up to provide bike services to their employees,” said Ericson. “By funding and implementing these resources in a way that the local government can’t, these companies are making Detroit a better place to live, work and play.”

GM began a pilot program of the bike share for 50 Tech Center employees at the end of July. After the successful trial and mounting enthusiasm from employees, everyone on campus can now participate.

This article is a repost, credit: GM. Video courtesy of GM.

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Next Generation Volt to debut at 2015 NAIAS

August 8, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, Volt

Will continue to be manufactured at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant

Chevrolet announced today that the next generation Volt will make its debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Image courtesy of GM

Chevrolet announced today (8-7-14) that the next generation Volt will make its debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Image courtesy of GM

ACME, Mich. – The next generation Chevrolet Volt will debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Global Chevrolet Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney said today.

The 2016 Volt will build on the award-winning original’s strong foundation of technology innovation. Volt sales were up 13 percent in July and more than 65,000 have been sold since it was introduced – making it the best-selling plug-in passenger car in the U.S. market.

Global Chevrolet Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney announces the next generation Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle will debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Mahoney made the announcement Thursday, August 7, 2014, during the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Wilssens for General Motors)  Courtesy of GM

Global Chevrolet Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney announces the next generation Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle will debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Mahoney made the announcement Thursday, August 7, 2014, during the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Wilssens for General Motors)
Courtesy of GM

“Volt is the perfect example of the ingenuity that drives everything we do at Chevrolet,” Mahoney said at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefings. “Volt fully delivers on the promises of Find New Roads and will continue to provide consumers with the transportation solutions they need and deserve in the future.”

Volt owners are driving more than 63 percent of their overall miles in electric vehicle mode, collectively logging more than 500 million gas-free miles since the Volt’s retail debut in 2010. That has saved more than 25 million gallons of gasoline.

While the driving range in EV mode can be affected by temperature, driving technique and terrain, the ease with which Volt drivers are avoiding gasoline use demonstrates the Volt’s suitability for almost any lifestyle.

Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive more than 970 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station less than once a month.

The Volt has received multiple customer satisfaction awards from leading third-parties. According to a recent leading independent satisfaction survey, the Volt is the highest-rated compact car under $55,000. Owners are showing their satisfaction as well. For the past three years, a leading customer publication has reported survey results showing more than 90 percent of Volt owners said they would definitely buy a Volt again.

The Volt continues to draw buyers from non-General Motors’ products.  In the 2013 calendar year, nearly seven of 10 new Volt buyers traded in a non-GM vehicle, the majority of which were Toyota Priuses.

Among its accolades, the 2014 Volt has been recognized for its safety, most recently receiving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2014 Top Safety Pick+ designation for vehicles equipped with an available Forward Collision Alert system.

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 a repost (8-7-14), credit: GM.

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GM Teams Up with EV Industry for a Better Grid

July 29, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, GM, Greentech, Volt

Eight automakers and 15 electric utilities work to develop smart grid program

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Photo courtesy of GM

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV
Photo courtesy of GM

SAN DIEGO – General Motors is bringing its OnStar-enabled Smart Grid solutions, to one of the largest electric vehicle collaborations to take place within the industry. Eight global automakers, including GM, and 15 electric utilities are working with the Electric Power Research Institute to develop and implement a standardized Smart Grid integration platform.

“One thing that’s missing from most Smart Grid programs is a sense of collaboration,” said Tim Nixon, chief technology officer, Global Connected Consumer, GM. “Companies will showcase a meaningful solution, but without widespread acceptance in the industry, its usability is limited. That’s what makes this partnership unique.”

GM currently offers extended range electric vehicles – the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR – as well as the all-electric Chevrolet Spark EV. The plug-in electric vehicle market in the U.S. has grown to more than 225,000 vehicles – including more than 63,000 Chevrolet Volts, the best-selling plug-in vehicle in the U.S. since launch in 2010.

“As electric vehicles become more prevalent in the marketplace, it will present some unique challenges and opportunities for utilities who manage the flow of the electric grid,” said Dan Bowermaster, EPRI manager of Electric Transportation. “The focus of this collaboration is to create a standard program that will allow utilities to work with different types of plug-in vehicles to more efficiently manage their demand on the grid.”

For the first phase of the program, EPRI and the participating companies will work to develop a standardized Demand Response solution. Demand Response is the signal a utility sends to an energy management company communicating the supply and demand needs to the electric grid. That company then communicates with designated plug-in vehicles in the area to manage their energy consumption in accordance with the grid’s needs.

“If such a service were ever to be implemented for consumers that opt-in to it, they could receive a financial benefit or other incentive for allowing their vehicle charging to be managed,” said Nixon. “This would also allow utilities to help reduce stress on the grid and costs to all utility customers.”

The goal of this program is to develop a cloud-based, central server that would receive grid requests from a utility – like Demand Response – and then translate and standardize that request so it could be relayed to all appropriate plug-in vehicles in the designated area. Automakers would be expected to develop and deploy technologies compatible with these smart grid communications.

GM has been working with companies like TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. to research, test and develop potential real-world solutions like Demand Response.

The global automakers participating in this program are: American Honda Motor Co., Honda R&D Americas, Inc., BMW Group, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co., GM, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc., Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. The utilities involved are DTE Energy, Duke Energy, PJM Interconnection LLC, CenterPoint Energy, Inc., Southern Company, Northeast Utilities, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Commonwealth Edison, TVA, Manitoba Hydro, Austin Energy, ConEd and CPS Energy.

About OnStar LLC OnStar, LLC (OnStar) is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM Holdings LLC (“GM”). Along with its affiliate Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd (a joint venture involving OnStar, Shanghai General Motors Co., Ltd (SGM) and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC)), OnStar serves more than seven million subscribers in North America and China. OnStar is a provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology. OnStar’s key services include automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance, remote door unlock, turn-by-turn navigation, vehicle diagnostics and hands-free calling.

Eight MBA teams from Babson, Columbia, Harvard, University of Michigan, University of California-Berkeley and Stanford visit the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant - home of the Chevrolet Volt - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Sponsored by Chevrolet, the MBAs Across America teams will help more than 35 businesses nationwide, traveling in a fleet of 4G LTE Chevrolet Volts. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) Courtesy of GM

Eight MBA teams from Babson, Columbia, Harvard, University of Michigan, University of California-Berkeley and Stanford visit the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant – home of the Chevrolet Volt – Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Sponsored by Chevrolet, the MBAs Across America teams will help more than 35 businesses nationwide, traveling in a fleet of 4G LTE Chevrolet Volts. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet)
Courtesy of GM

This article is a repost, credit: GM.

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Chevrolet Volt Owners Surpass Half a Billion Electric Miles

June 17, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, GM, Volt

After 30 months of use, a sampling of Volts shows consistent all-electric range

Infographic courtesy of GM

Infographic courtesy of GM

DETROIT Since its launch in late 2010, Chevrolet Volt owners have accumulated more than half a billion all-electric miles.

Additionally, based on a General Motors’ study of more than 300 Volts in service in California for more than 30 months, many owners are exceeding the EPA-rated label of 35 miles of EV range per full charge, with about 15 percent surpassing 40 miles of range.

“The fact that most of the folks who purchased the Volt at launch are still enjoying EV range performance on target with when they took delivery is testament to the attention to detail our team paid to delivering on our promise of most people driving all electrically most of the time,” said Pam Fletcher, Chevrolet Volt executive chief engineer.

Volt owners are doing more than 63 percent of their overall driving in EV mode. While the driving range in EV mode can be greatly impacted by temperature, driving technique and terrain, the ease with which Volt drivers are avoiding gasoline use further shows the Volt’s suitability for almost any lifestyle.

Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive more than 970 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station less than once a month. The 2014 Volt provides owners with fuel economy of EPA estimated 98 MPGe (electric) and 35 city/40 highway on gasoline power, saving $1,450 in annual fuel costs with no change in daily driving habits.

In an independent study conducted between July and December 2013, Volt drivers who participated in the Department of Energy’s EV Project managed by Idaho National Labs totaled 1,198,114 vehicle trips of which 974,692, or 81.4 percent, were completed without the gasoline-powered generator being used.

Since the Volt was launched in 2010, owners have helped to reduce gasoline consumption by more than 25 million gallons, the equivalent of no gasoline being used in Washington D.C. for 2½ months.

The Volt continues to attract new buyers to Chevrolet with 69 percent of Volt buyers new to GM. The Toyota Prius is the most frequently traded-in vehicle for a Volt.

About Chevrolet

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.

About General Motors

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com

This article is a repost, credit: GM.