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Chevrolet Volt Owners Got Their Say in Next-Gen Model

February 18, 2015 in California, Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, GM, Volt

California resident Sam Miller-Christiansen, highlights his favorite aspects of his 2014 Chevrolet Volt. His feedback was used in the development of the all-new 2016 Chevy Volt. Photo courtesy of GM Chevrolet Volt Owners Got Their Say in Next-Gen Model

California resident Sam Miller-Christiansen, highlights his favorite aspects of his 2014 Chevrolet Volt. His feedback was used in the development of the all-new 2016 Chevy Volt.
Photo courtesy of GM
Chevrolet Volt Owners Got Their Say in Next-Gen Model

DETROIT - To Sam Miller-Christiansen, his 2014 Chevrolet Volt is the best car he has owned. And he was willing to tell anyone, including the team developing the next-generation Volt.

“I said that if they could improve the overall EV range, it would make one of my favorite cars even better,” Miller-Christiansen said. “To my amazement, they’ve done it.”

It is just one example of how the 2016 Volt was engineered with input from the collective voices of loyal owners.

Shortly after launching the first-generation Volt, Chevrolet convened and met once a month with a customer advisory board of 12 owners from across the country to understand how consumers were operating their Volts.

“The Volt represented a completely new classification of electric vehicles, and we were unsure of how people would react or how this vehicle would fit in their daily lives,” said Darin Gesse, Volt product manager. “So we began asking simple questions like how and when the owners plugged in their Volt, which directly impacted the development of the next generation.

“We talk about putting the customer at the center of everything we do, and we’ve literally done that with the 2016 Volt.”

The Volt team also wanted to know what Volt features owners liked and what features might need improvement. The team talked with Volt owners though social media, plug-in events and Internet panels.

The owners’ constructive and candid feedback ultimately helped the engineering team decide what direction to take the next-generation Volt.

In addition to more EV range and improved fuel economy in extended range, customers also expressed a strong desire for a fifth seating position for short trips. The new Volt offers those features as well as increased space and available rear heated seats.

The 2016 Volt offers a GM-estimated 50 miles of EV range, and a total driving range of more than 400 miles between fill-ups. With regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups. This is based on GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 MPG and 102 MPGe, a measure of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed.

Chevrolet also learned customers wanted a more intuitive vehicle interface. So the 2016 Volt center stack is easier to use, with fewer icons, separate climate control knobs, and buttons below the center display designed to provide clear and convenient operation.

Customers also influenced these features:

  1. Quieter engine at lower speeds
  2. Light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps, providing a more visible, higher efficiency light
  3. Reduced air dam scraping when entering or exiting driveways
  4. Heated steering wheel
  5. Regen on DemandTM – giving drivers more control over regenerative braking, which reclaims energy while the car slows
  6. Customization of vehicle information depending on driver’s preference
  7. Location-based charging selection, making vehicle charging at multiple locations easier to manage
  8. More discrete charging notifications
  9. Charge door open reminder
  10. Illuminated charge port
  11. Available spare tire

The current Volt enjoys some of the highest customer loyalty and quality scores in the industry. In just four years, Volt has earned more accolades and more “best buy” awards than any other electric vehicle, including the 2015 Kelley Blue Book’s 2015 Best Buy Award and Top Safety Pick from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & 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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Wind Power to Debut on GM’s Renewable Energy Roster

February 17, 2015 in Environment, EV News, GM, Greentech, Grid, Mexico, Renewables, Wind

Infographic courtesy of GM Wind Power to Debut on GM’s Renewable Energy Roster

Infographic courtesy of GM
Wind Power to Debut on GM’s Renewable Energy Roster

DETROIT – General Motors for the first time is procuring wind to power its manufacturing operations, enabling one of its Mexico facilities’ electricity needs to be run mostly on renewable energy.

This addition of 34 megawatts of wind power allows GM to achieve its corporate goal of renewable energy use four years early.

Construction of the wind farm begins in the second quarter of this year. When complete, more than 12 percent of GM’s North American energy consumption will come from renewable energy sources, up from 9 percent  The company’s current renewable energy use – comprised of solar, landfill gas and waste to energy – totals 104 megawatts against a goal of 125 megawatts by 2020. The use of clean energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions and GM’s impact on climate change.

Seventy-five percent of the energy coming from the wind turbines will power most of GM’s Toluca Complex sitting on 104 acres, making it the company’s largest user of renewable energy. The remaining capacity will help power its Silao, San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe complexes. The use of renewable energy helps these facilities avoid nearly 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

“Our commitment to sustainable manufacturing processes is one way we serve and improve the communities in which we work and live,” said Jim DeLuca, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “Using more renewable energy to power our plants helps us reduce costs, minimize risk and leave a smaller carbon footprint.”

GM signed a power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power, which is developing and constructing a massive wind farm in Palo Alto, Mexico. The company’s use of 34 megawatts of energy is equivalent to the power produced by 17 wind turbines.

“Mexico is an ideal location for our first wind project,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. “Energy is fed to a national grid, making it easier to reduce or add energy capacity at a facility. There’s also a good business case as prices for traditional power are about a third greater than the United States.

“Once online, we’ll evaluate the project to better understand how we can expand the use of wind power.”

GM is a founding member of the Business Renewables Center, a collaborative platform launched earlier this month by the Rocky Mountain Institute. The center aims to accelerate corporate renewable energy procurement with a goal of nearly doubling U.S. capacity of wind and solar energy by 2025. It is part of a larger effort – the Corporate Renewables Partnership – that includes the World Wildlife Foundation, the World Resources Institute and the Business for Social Responsibility. The Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, of which GM is a signatory, set a framework for the partnership and guides the Business Renewables Center.

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 an EV News Report repost, credit: GM.

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Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production

February 12, 2015 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, Michigan

Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan

General Motors CEO Mary Barra (left) and North America President Alan Batey with the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept vehicle Monday, January 12, 2015 during its unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The Bolt EV concept is Chevrolet's vision for an affordable, long-range, all-electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range - starting around $30,000. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet) Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production

General Motors CEO Mary Barra (left) and North America President Alan Batey with the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept vehicle Monday, January 12, 2015 during its unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The Bolt EV concept is Chevrolet’s vision for an affordable, long-range, all-electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range – starting around $30,000. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)
Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production

CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit.

GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”

Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000.

The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging.

“We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.”

Start of production and additional details will be announced later.

$200-million investment

GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact, and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies.

“As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.”

Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes.

“This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.”

Orion Assembly is the first GM facility to receive the Clean Corporate Citizen designation by the State of Michigan, and the Pontiac plant has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry three times.

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 Spark EV Plugs into Maryland

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

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.