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Cadillac and ChargePoint Bring EV Customer Luxury Driving Experience

April 16, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, GM

World’s largest, most open electric vehicle charging network available to ELR drivers

2014 Cadillac ELR; Palm Springs and Santa Monica, California (Richard Prince/Cadillac Photo). Courtesy of GM

2014 Cadillac ELR (Richard Prince/Cadillac Photo).
Courtesy of GM

NEW YORK – Cadillac today announced a partnership with ChargePoint, the largest and most open electric vehicle-charging network in the world. The collaboration brings Cadillac ELR drivers immediate access to more than 16,500 charging locations on the ChargePoint network.

The ELR electrified luxury coupe went on sale at the end of 2013. It embodies Cadillac’s Art & Science design philosophy, combining provocative design with progressive technology. All 2014 and 2015 ELRs include a ChargePoint Driver Kit in the owner’s manual, providing access to its 16,500 EV charging stations. Many are located where EV drivers work, eat, shop and play.

“ChargePoint is thrilled that Cadillac, a marquee brand in the luxury car industry, has developed an electric vehicle for its customers,” said Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint CEO. “With the ELR, Cadillac is helping drive the rapid growth of EVs by offering an innovative and premium vehicle. We are confident that as more EV options come out, more people will make the switch to electric.”

By choosing ChargePoint as a partner for the ELR, Cadillac ensures that car buyers know there is a robust charging network to support the growth of electric vehicles. The ELR has a total range of 340 miles and an all-electric range of 37 miles – which more than covers the average daily commute.

By providing a ChargePoint card with every ELR, drivers can immediately sign up for free and get access to ChargePoint’s network.

“We strive to provide Cadillac buyers with the highest level of customer care and ease of use for their vehicles, which is why we chose to partner with ChargePoint for the ELR,” said Uwe Ellinghaus, Global Cadillac chief marketing officer.

“ChargePoint’s large network with advanced technology ensures the smoothest charging and greatest driving experience for ELR drivers,” he said.

ChargePoint users have helped combat global warming by saving over 3.8 million gallons of gas and over 25 million pounds of CO2 emissions.

About ChargePoint

ChargePoint is the largest and most open electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the world, with more than 16,500 charging locations and a 70%+ market share. Ranked #1 by leading independent research firm, Navigant Research, ChargePoint makes advanced hardware and best-in-class cloud based software. ChargePoint’s open network is utilized by many leading EV hardware makers and encourages all EV charging manufacturers to join.

ChargePoint’s real-time network information including the availability of charging locations throughout the nation is available through the ChargePoint mobile app, online and via the navigation systems in top-selling EVs. Every 10 seconds, a driver connects to a ChargePoint station and by initiating over 4.4 million charging sessions, ChargePoint drivers have saved over 3.5million gallons of gasoline and driven 89 million gas free miles. For more information about ChargePoint, visit www.chargepoint.com

About Cadillac

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com.

This article is a repost, credit: GM.

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GM Invests $449 Million for Next Generation Electrification

April 10, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, Volt

General Motors announced that it will invest $449 to upgrade manufacturing processes at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Brownstown Battery Assembly plants in preparation for the next generation of electric vehicles and advanced battery technologies. The announcement was made Tuesday, April 8, 2014 by Gerald Johnson, GM North America Manufacturing vice-president. Infographic courtesy of GM

General Motors announced that it will invest $449 to upgrade manufacturing processes at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Brownstown Battery Assembly plants in preparation for the next generation of electric vehicles and advanced battery technologies. The announcement was made Tuesday, April 8, 2014 by Gerald Johnson, GM North America Manufacturing vice-president.
Infographic courtesy of GM

DETROIT – In preparation for the next generation of electric vehicles and advanced battery technologies, General Motors will invest $449 million to upgrade manufacturing processes at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Brownstown Battery Assembly plants.

“General Motors is committed to building award-winning products and developing technologies in America, which helps to grow our economy from a resurgent auto industry,” said Gerald Johnson, GM North America Manufacturing vice president. “These investments will help the next-generation Chevrolet Volt build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion.”

The investment, announced at the Automotive Press Association, is the largest to date at both facilities and includes $384 million at Detroit-Hamtramck for new Body Shop tooling, equipment, and additional plant upgrades to build the next generation Chevrolet Volt and two future products. This brings GM’s total investment at Detroit-Hamtramck to more than $1 billion over the last five years.

GM’s $65 million investment at its Brownstown Battery Assembly will support the next generation of lithium-ion battery production and future battery systems.

“Michigan is poised for even greater global leadership in automotive innovation,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This significant investment by GM will harness the power of our state’s unparalleled assets, such as its talent, world-class universities, and research and development capabilities.

“While challenges remain throughout the auto industry, this announcement shows that it is looking to the future, and the resulting technological advancements will strengthen our economy and benefit our environment,” Snyder said. “This is great news for Detroit, the region and all of Michigan.”

Since 2009, GM has announced more than $5.4 billion in U.S. facility investment for vehicle technologies that benefit customers. This includes more than $2.8 billion invested in Michigan-based facilities alone.

The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant is the world’s only automotive plant that mass-produces extended-range electric vehicles – including the Volt, Cadillac ELR and Opel Ampera – for markets in 33 countries. Detroit-Hamtramck also builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Impala sedans and is home to a 264,000-square-foot photovoltaic solar array that can generate up to 516 kilowatts of electricity, or enough to charge 150 electric vehicles per day.

“This is a significant investment by General Motors and it helps to further position Detroit as a leader in the innovative technologies of tomorrow,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “We anticipate that the upgrading of the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and the production of GM’s next-generation electric vehicles will create well-paying jobs for Detroiters. As we continue to bring real change to our city, we need partners like GM who are committed to investing in our future.”

Brownstown Battery Assembly’s 479,000-square-foot, landfill-free facility south of Detroit produces the lithium-ion battery packs for GM’s extended-range electric vehicles. It started mass production in October 2010 and is the first high-volume manufacturing site in the U.S. operated by a major automaker for automotive lithium-ion battery production. The site was made possible with the help of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the U.S. Department of Energy.

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. Video courtesy of GM.

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Spark EV Driving 101

September 18, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM

How to get the most out of Chevrolet’s all-new, all-electric mini-car

2014 Chevy Spark EV Image courtesy of GM

2014 Chevy Spark EV
Image courtesy of GM

DETROIT – Car reviewers describe the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV as “fun,” “spunky” and a “hoot to drive.” With 130hp and 400 lb-ft of instant torque, the all-electric mini-car can go from 0 to 60 in less than 7.6 seconds.

“Spark EV is the new benchmark for electric cars aimed at urban driving and a kick in the pants to pilot around town,” said Lindsay Brooke, senior editor, SAE International magazines. “Spark EV owners who are new to all-electric driving will soon find out how difficult it is to hide their silly grin when they realize how far that car will take them for pennies on the dollar.”

For many Spark EV owners, getting plugged-in to an all-electric, no-gas-required lifestyle will be a new experience.

Here are a few tips to ease the transition:

  • Recharge daily – And do it quicker with the soon-to-be-available SAE combo charger for DC fast charging. It can recharge the 21-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to 80-percent capacity in 20 minutes.
  • Extend range – Maximize the mini-car’s EPA-estimated 82 miles (130 km) of driving range by recharging in public charging stations, or use Spark EV’s standard 120V cord in any outlet.
  • Don’t be a juice hog – Public charging stations are in high demand. After charging, move on so that other EV owners can recharge. Or if parking conditions allow, place a note on your dashboard saying it’s okay to unplug your car if the Green Light indicating a full charge is flashing.
  • Know the distance – The available BringGo smartphone app can help Spark EV owners know how far they can go without recharging by providing full-function, in-dash navigation via Chevrolet MyLink as well as live traffic updates, for less than $60.
  • Go with the flow – Many EV owners like to maximize range by driving at or below the speed limit. No problem, just steer clear of the fast lane so other Spark EV drivers can enjoy their instant torque.
  • Be loud – The Pedestrian Friendly Alert Function projects a light chirp and calls attention to Spark EV’s presence. Pulling the turn signal lever back while in Drive will give a friendly honk. The alert can be set to activate automatically in Drive and Reverse at speeds below 18 mph (28 km/h).
  • Enjoy the savings – Spark EV can save its owners approximately $9,000 in fuel over five years compared to the average new vehicle – that’s $150 per month that can be spent on something else.
  • Be an EV advocate – Expect to get lots of questions about Spark EV. Take these opportunities to spread the advantages of going gas free.

Expanding the Spark lineup, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is designed to make the trip as electrifying as the destination. It is priced under $19,995 with tax incentives and is now available to residents in California and Oregon, with sales expanding to Canada, South Korea and Europe later.

Infographic courtesy of GM

Infographic courtesy of GM

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 4.5 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, credit: General Motors.

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General Motors Increases Battery Development Expertise

September 16, 2013 in Battery Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, Volt

Nearly triples size of Global Battery Systems Lab since opening in 2009

General Motors announces Monday, September 16, 2013, it has expanded its Global Battery Systems Laboratory in Warren, Michigan, where it tests and validates both battery cells and packs for all of GM's vehicle electrification systems, including the battery systems for the Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Spark EV and GM's eAssist light electrification system. The expanded lab features dedicated equipment for future vehicle battery system development, building of prototype battery packs for vehicle development programs, and a hub for validation and testing of all future battery systems designed for use in GM vehicles. The facility is the largest battery lab in North America owned and operated by a major auto manufacturer.  (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors) Courtesy of GM

General Motors announces Monday, September 16, 2013, it has expanded its Global Battery Systems Laboratory in Warren, Michigan, where it tests and validates both battery cells and packs for all of GM’s vehicle electrification systems, including the battery systems for the Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Spark EV and GM’s eAssist light electrification system. The expanded lab features dedicated equipment for future vehicle battery system development, building of prototype battery packs for vehicle development programs, and a hub for validation and testing of all future battery systems designed for use in GM vehicles. The facility is the largest battery lab in North America owned and operated by a major auto manufacturer. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
Courtesy of GM

WARREN, Mich. – General Motors has nearly tripled the size of its Global Battery Systems Laboratory, cementing the lab’s stature as the largest battery lab in North America owned and operated by a major auto manufacturer.

The latest addition of 50,000 square feet brings to 85,000 the total square footage of the lab. The expansion made possible the increase in the number of pack-level test channels from 64 to 112 and cell-level test channels from 96 to120.

“In the past four years, the competitive landscape in the electrification space has grown exponentially. This has required us to raise our game and draw a new line in the sand,” said Doug Parks, GM vice president, global product programs. “To maintain our battery leadership, this additional real estate is filled with new capability that will help us improve speed to market for our next generation of battery systems and help us improve the value equation to our customers around the world.”

GM’s Global Battery Systems Lab has been responsible for testing and validating both battery cells and packs for all of GM’s vehicle electrification systems, including the battery systems for the Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Spark EV and GM’s eAssist light electrification system.

The additional capabilities of the lab expansion include:

  • dedicated equipment for future vehicle battery system development such as charger development and testing, cord set testing and competitive benchmarking;
  • building prototype battery packs for vehicle development programs; and,
  • the ability to act as the hub for validation and testing of all battery systems designed for use in future GM vehicles around the world.

The lab will also play a critical role in assuring GM’s current generation of electric vehicles maintain their battery leadership position. Teams will validate and test updates to existing chemistries and system designs to make the most of performance and reduce cost. For example, updates were made to the battery system in 2013 Chevrolet Volt that added three miles of EV range.

GM Battery Lab Photo courtesy of GM

GM Battery Lab
Photo courtesy of GM

“GM is committed to vehicle electrification and our products in this area must continue to excite customers. A critical part of this plan is to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy storage systems,” said Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director of global electrification engineering. “The new capabilities of this lab will enhance our engineers’ ability to design, develop, process and validate class-leading products to meet the needs of our growing customer base.”
In addition to the lab in Michigan, GM also operates battery labs in Shanghai, China, and Mainz-Kastel, Germany, which are tasked with testing and validation of battery cells, packs, and advanced battery system development. Teams at the China, Germany and Michigan labs work collectively to test battery systems around the clock to reduce validation time.

Facts: Global Battery Systems Battery Lab

Alternative Energy Center, GM Technical Center, Warren, Mich.

History:

  • Lab completed: May 2009
  • Expansion completed: July 2013

Size:

Expansion total floor space: 50,000 sq.-ft.

Lab total floor space: 85,000 sq.-ft.

  • 16,500 sq. ft. – Pack testing, Support
  • 18,500 sq. ft. – Cell / Module testing, Vibration #1, Safety and Abuse #1, Support
  • 30,000 sq. ft. – Safety and Abuse #2, Manufacturing Support, Pack Build, Test, Storage
  • 20,000 sq. ft. – Software / Dev. Test, Vibration #2, Modal test, Software / Dev. Support

Benefits:

  • Increased pack testing
  • New cell and module testing
  • Additional capabilities
    • New Vibration testing area with added Modal testing capability
    • Charger testing
    • Immersion testing (pack seals)
    • Hardware in the Loop / Software in the Loop testing and development
    • Manufacturing Engineering area for support of assembly plants (equipment partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

Enhanced capability

  • Welding of battery systems: Development of new ultrasonic and laser weld capabilities.
  • Battery system mock-up capabilities: Tooling to hand-build modules, sections and validate parts.
  • Prototype pack build area

About General Motors Co.

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, Isuzu, 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: General Motors, http://www.gm.com.

Volt and LEAF Sales Records, Tesla Leads EV Sustainability Revolution

September 4, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, LEAF, Model S, Nissan, Tesla, Volt

Now in its third model year, the highly innovative, industry leading Nissan LEAF pure electric vehicle features an extensive list of important enhancements for 2013. Importantly, LEAF is now assembled in the United States at Nissan's Smyrna, Tenn. assembly plant, with battery production taking place right next door in the country's largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant. Photo courtesy of Nissan

Now in its third model year, the highly innovative, industry leading Nissan LEAF pure electric vehicle features an extensive list of important enhancements for 2013. Importantly, LEAF is now assembled in the United States at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn. assembly plant, with battery production taking place right next door in the country’s largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant.
Photo courtesy of Nissan

Volt (3,351) and LEAF (2,420) sales records for August.

The EV industry and enthusiasts have good reason to cheer heading into National Plug In Day, September 28-29.  America is tipping into electric cars and enjoying the ongoing fuel savings.  Around the country solar, wind, geothermal and ocean / tidal projects are replacing fossil fuel energies at power plants.  Sustainability is the road to success, and as more and more Americans hop on the EV bandwagon, the demand increases for sustainability.

US states that adopt aggressive sustainability plans will win.  States that have relied on fossil fuels such as Alaska will face hard times.  In this decade, Mexico could destabilize due to its reliance on oil exports, and India could destabilize due to its reliance on oil imports.  Sustainability planning should be priority number one on the city, state and national level.

"12 Model S are about to be a part of history, being among the first cars to cross the new #BayBridge." - Tesla tweet (Sept. 3 2013). Photo courtesy of Tesla

“12 Model S are about to be a part of history, being among the first cars to cross the new #BayBridge.” Tesla tweet (Sept. 3, 2013)
Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla tweeted today: “We’re driving in the fast lane, CA!  HOV program extended to 2019, so EVs can keep cruising past traffic.”  Tesla tweeted also (today): “Electricity gets cleaner each year as new energy technologies & renewable sources replace old.”

The leader of the EV sustainability show remains Tesla Motors with its Model S cars and Supercharger stations (Tesla stations).  Tesla is 100% focused on the electric vehicle revolution (bringing that revolution to the world).  The mainstream auto industry is mired in the fossil fuel era, and it is unlikely that all these companies will successfully transition to the new electric era.  Nissan and BYD are leading this transition.

Tesla stock (TSLA) closed at $170.62 per share, up 1% on the day.

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Spark EV Makes Saving for Other Stuff Easier

August 7, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM

All-electric mini-car can save an EPA-estimated $9,000 in fuel over five years

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Infographic courtesy of GM

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV
Infographic courtesy of GM

DETROIT – The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, an all-electric mini car, can save its owners approximately $9,000 in fuel over five years compared to the average new vehicle – that’s $150 per month that can be spent on something else.

Spark EV’s EPA-estimated combined city/highway fuel economy equivalent of 119 MPGe and driving range of 82 miles per charge make it the most efficient EV in its class.

“Spark EV is one of the most affordable EVs on the market, with one of the lowest costs of ownership of any new vehicle out there,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet small car and electrified vehicle marketing. “Spark EV is a great city car that rewards frequent use by being fun, efficient and affordable.”

Spark EV makes it possible to afford a number of other big-ticket items, as well as some favorite everyday items, including:

Expanding the Spark lineup, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is designed to make the trip as electrifying as the destination. It is priced under $25,000 with tax incentives and will be available this summer in California, Oregon, and later in Canada, South Korea and Europe.

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 4.5 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, credit: General Motors, http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/gm/news.html.

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2014 Chevrolet Volt Now Offers Even Greater Value

August 6, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, Volt

Pricing for the 2014 model will start at $34,995

2014 Chevrolet Volt  Photo courtesy of GM

2014 Chevrolet Volt
Photo courtesy of GM

DETROIT – The Chevrolet Volt, already recognized for having the most satisfied owners will soon come with another people pleaser: a lower price. The 2014 model will start at $34,995, including an $810 destination fee (excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees).

If consumers include federal tax credits ranging from $0-$7,500 (depending on individual tax liability), pricing could start at $27,495. Individual tax situations differ, so consult a tax professional prior to claiming any credits to confirm eligibility for vehicle tax benefits.

“The lower price and cost savings from driving on electricity provide Volt owners an unmatched balance of technology, capability and cost of ownership,” said Don Johnson, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet sales and service. “The 2014 Volt will offer the same impressive list of features, but for $5,000 less.

“We have made great strides in reducing costs as we gain experience with electric vehicles and their components,” Johnson said. “In fact, the Volt has seen an increase in battery range and the addition of creature comforts, such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and MyLink, since its launch in 2010.”

Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive 900 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station about once a month. The 2014 Volt will continue to provide owners with impressive fuel economy of 98 MPGe (electric) and 35 city/40 highway on gasoline power without any need to change their daily driving habits while saving $900 in annual fuel costs. Today’s Volt owners have logged 364 million miles, including 225 million electric miles.

The Volt’s lower price also changes the comparative set of vehicles on popular auto information sites like kbb.com, Edmunds.com and cars.com, where visitors to these sites can search for a new vehicle by type and/or prices. The Volt’s lower price will broaden its exposure to price-sensitive prospective buyers using these sites to search for a plug-in electric vehicle or a gas-powered alternative sedan.

The Volt continues to be the best selling plug-in vehicle in America and is attracting new buyers to the Chevrolet brand. More than 70 percent of Volt buyers are new to General Motors. Not surprisingly, the Toyota Prius is the most frequently traded-in vehicle for a Volt.

California continues to be Volt’s largest market. The 2014 Volt will continue to offer a low emissions package that earns the Volt a coveted “sticker” for single-occupancy HOV lane access in California and New York.

The Chevrolet Volt allows gas-free driving for an EPA-estimated 38 miles (61 km), depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. The range-extending engine gives the Volt up to 380 total miles (615 km) of total driving range. The 2014 Volt will start to be available in dealer showrooms late this summer.  Chevrolet will introduce two new colors – Ashen Gray Metallic and Brownstowne Metallic for the 2014 model year – and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

This article is a repost, credit: General Motors, http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/gm/news.html.