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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.

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GM Surpasses 400 EV Charge Stations at U.S. Facilities

May 21, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, GM

Automaker has nearly 160 stations located at various manufacturing facilities

Infographic courtesy of GM

Infographic courtesy of GM

INDIANAPOLIS Based on growing employee demand, General Motors today (5-20-14) announced that it has installed 401 electric vehicle charging stations at its U.S. production and business facilities. More than 20 percent of the stations use electricity generated from solar canopies to help charge employee vehicles.

The majority of the stations are located at GM’s large engineering and corporate facilities in Michigan, where employee EV ownership is growing steadily. All charge stations are available free of charge to GM employees and visitors.

“GM’s commitment to installing a workplace charging infrastructure is among the most expansive of any corporation in the U.S.,” said Britta Gross, director of GM advanced vehicle commercialization policy. “Workplace charging is one of the most important things a company can do to raise plug-in electric vehicle awareness and energize employees.

“Once employees see how easy it is to plug in at home and work, and they realize the fuel savings, plug-in electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt begin to sell themselves.”

In addition to the workplace charging, GM has another 400 charge spots dedicated exclusively to vehicle development and testing. Chevrolet and Cadillac dealers have installed approximately 5,900 charge stations at their locations for owner use 17 of these dealerships use solar charging canopies.

“Workplace charging is now part of GM’s corporate sustainability plan and our employees want to be part of this positive change,” Gross said. “The key for any company is to take the first step and make it simple for employees to engage – in our case we started with outlets and free charging.”

GM’s charging count follows the U.S. Department of Energy’s announcement that 75 businesses have committed to participate in its Workplace Charging Challenge to install charging stations for their employees.

The Workplace Charging Challenge, of which GM is a founding member, seeks to persuade America’s employers to commit to provide electric vehicle charging access to employees through partnership, advocacy and promotion.

“GM is an example of a partner who not only has more than 400 workplace charging stations deployed, but also is actively out recruiting other employer partners for the Challenge,” said Reuben Sarkar, deputy assistant secretary for transportation, U.S. Department of Energy, told attendees at the annual Electric Drive Transportation Association conference here.

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 (5-20-14), credit: GM.

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GM Outlines Efforts to Transform Transportation

May 19, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM

Sustainability report shares progress toward a more enduring industry

A Chevrolet Volt hooked up to one of TimberRock’s solar charging stations. Photo courtesy of GM

A Chevrolet Volt hooked up to one of TimberRock’s solar charging stations.
Photo courtesy of GM

DETROIT – Facing an automotive industry that is unsustainable in its current form, General Motors is restructuring its global vehicle portfolio, rethinking manufacturing and collaborating with unlikely partners to advance the industry.

The company is working to transform transportation and describes its efforts in its latest sustainability report.

“Our customer focus underscores why sustainability is and will continue to be a core strategy for GM,” said CEO Mary Barra. “People care about more than the cars. They care how we build them, and how we engage with the world around us. This knowledge, and the discipline that flows from it, is transforming our approach to product design, manufacturing, safety, quality, the environment, customer care and a host of other areas at a remarkable pace.”

From smaller and cleaner high-performing engines to mass reduction and improved aerodynamics, vehicle efficiency efforts will reduce carbon emissions and increase fuel economy while meeting a variety of customer needs. The company now has five models achieving more than 40 miles per gallon. GM progressed in all four of its product commitments in fuel economy, electrification and emissions reduction, and added another to tackle its biggest market. It has committed to reducing the average carbon emissions of its China fleet by 28 percent by 2020, which could result in an annual reduction of 2 million metric tons of CO2 and avoid the use of 1 billion liters of gasoline.

GM had 153,034 electrified vehicles on the road as of 2013, moving along its path to reach 500,000 by 2017. Last year the company launched two new electrified vehicles, the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Cadillac ELR extended-range electric vehicle. They join the Opel Ampera in Europe, the Chevrolet Volt, the best-selling U.S. plug-in electric vehicle of 2012 and 2013, and the Chevrolet Springo EV in China.

“Climate change, energy security, and congestion challenge our environment and our industry, but we see value in the disruption,” said Mike Robinson, vice president, GM Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “We are reimagining transportation using a long-term, customer-centric approach.”

As more people expect their cars to have the technology they use everywhere else in their lives, GM satisfies connectivity demands while enabling a more sustainable transportation future. Customers can use OnStar route optimization to find ways around congestion and receive real-time feedback on how to drive more efficiently. GM also is working toward a vision for connected vehicles that share information with each other and their infrastructure to help anticipate and avoid crashes.

“This innovation helps our products stay relevant and broadens the positive impact of a connected world,” Robinson said.

GM also is changing how cars are made to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint. The company completed a lifecycle analysis to better understand the greenhouse gas impacts of its products throughout the supply chain so it can make broader improvements.

GM remains the only automaker signatory of the Climate Declaration, which asserts there is economic opportunity in addressing climate change.  The company ranked among the top 10 percent of organizations that reported in the CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013, demonstrating transparency in emissions and energy measurement and climate change strategy.

Last year, GM met the voluntary ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry criteria at nine additional plants for an industry-leading total of 63 facilities worldwide, saving $162 million in combined energy costs. From removing coal-fired boilers at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to saving $10 million in annual energy costs by using more landfill gasat its Fort Wayne and Orion assembly plants, GM is reducing its global carbon footprint, plant by plant.

GM and its communities continue to benefit from ongoing energy, water and waste reduction. Seven years ahead of schedule, the company met its commitments to reduce total waste and volatile organic compound emissions by 10 percent each and to establish 25 non-manufacturing landfill-free facilities. It will now set new targets.

Progress against other 2020 global manufacturing commitments with a 2010 baseline includes:

  • Expanding renewable energy use to 66.2 megawatts, toward a goal of 125 megawatts
  • Increasing the number of landfill-free manufacturing sites to 83, toward a goal of 100
  • Reducing water intensity by 9 percent, with a goal of 15 percent
  • Reducing energy intensity by 10 percent, with a goal of 20 percent
  • Reducing carbon intensity by 7 percent, with a goal of 20 percent

“We like the results we are seeing, but we fully recognize we have a tremendous amount of work to do,” Barra said. “We must innovate more, seize opportunities faster and work harder to achieve true leadership – a claim that only matters if our customers, employees, communities and other stakeholders agree.”

Industry transformation will not come from one company’s actions alone. GM collaborates with unlikely partners, including competitors such as Honda to develop fuel cell systems and technology, and such non-governmental organizations as the BlueGreen Alliance, Union of Concerned Scientists, World Wildlife Fund and Ceres to create a greener economy and conserve the resources vital to the industry.

For more information, visit www.gmsustainability.com.

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, 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.

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Brownstown Battery Assembly Expands Capabilities

May 14, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM

Will build battery system for 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV

General Motors Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant worker Tina Oaks attaches wiring harnesses on a Spark EV battery pack Tuesday, May 13, 2014 in Brownstown, Michigan. GM is bringing all of its electric vehicle battery building capabilities in-house with production of battery systems for the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV at Brownstown. The plant already manufactures complete packs for the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera and Cadillac ELR. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors) Courtesy of GM

General Motors Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant worker Tina Oaks attaches wiring harnesses on a Spark EV battery pack Tuesday, May 13, 2014 in Brownstown, Michigan. GM is bringing all of its electric vehicle battery building capabilities in-house with production of battery systems for the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV at Brownstown. The plant already manufactures complete packs for the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera and Cadillac ELR. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
Courtesy of GM

DETROIT – General Motors will bring all its electric vehicle battery building capabilities in-house with production of battery systems for the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV at its battery assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich.

“Using our in-house engineering and manufacturing expertise enabled us to deliver a battery system that is more efficient and lighter than the 2014 Spark EV without sacrificing range,” said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM global transmission and electrification engineering. “Our successful working relationship with LG Chem has allowed us to deliver a new battery system for the Spark EV that helps us to better leverage our economies of scale.”

A newly designed battery system features an overall storage capacity of 19 kWh and uses 192 lithium ion cells. The cells are produced at LG Chem’s plant in Holland, Mich. The battery system weight of 474 lbs. is 86 pounds lighter than the system in the 2014 Spark EV. The Spark EV battery is built on a dedicated production line at Brownstown, which also manufactures complete battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera and Cadillac ELR.

Changes in battery design will not affect the Spark’s MPGe, or gasoline equivalent, performance compared to the 2014 model. Range will remain at an EPA-rated 82 miles and MPGe will remain at 119.

Priced at $19,995 with full federal incentives, The Spark EV is one of the most efficient – and affordable – all-electric vehicles available. Currently on sale in California and Oregon, the 2015 Spark EV features segment-leading technology including Siri Eyes Free, 4G LTE and DC Fast Charging.

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.

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, 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.

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GM Starts Work on New Performance and Racing Center

April 30, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM

Rendering of the interior of the new General Motors Performance Racing Center. Construction began for the facility that will centralize talent and create opportunities for GM racing and production engineering in Pontiac, Mich. Image courtesy of GM

Rendering of the interior of the new General Motors Performance Racing Center. Construction began for the facility that will centralize talent and create opportunities for GM racing and production engineering in Pontiac, Mich.
Image courtesy of GM

PONTIAC, Mich. – General Motors today began construction of a state-of-the-art facility for race engine design and development, as well as an electric motor laboratory and gear center.

GM’s continued investment in motorsports comes from the time-tested belief that racing is the ultimate proving ground for much of the technology that applies to the vehicles GM sells.

“The GM Performance and Racing Center, or GMPRC, will continue to develop some of the world’s winningest race engines for Chevrolet and Cadillac,” said Steve Kiefer, vice president of GM Global Powertrain. “Connecting our race engineers with our global powertrain engineering teams will improve our customers’ powertrains in terms of efficiency, reliability and durability. The center will also provide exciting career opportunities for our engineering organization.”

Engineers and technicians from GM’s race engineering center in Wixom, Mich. will move to the new facility in mid-2015. The relocation will centralize North American powertrain engineering expertise for production engines as well as advanced and racing propulsion programs. Condensing the engineering to one large space is an excellent way to develop race-bred engineers whether they work on production or performance vehicles.

This centralization of talent will provide more collaboration opportunities between racing and production engineers already at GM Powertrain Engineering headquarters and development lab, one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world.

The move will include about 100 employees who work on powertrain racing development, electric motors and in the gear center. The new building is expected to be opened and in use by mid-2015 and completed by early 2016.

“The GM Performance and Racing Center will serve as a resource to help our race teams and drivers continue to win races and championships,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It will also help advance technical sharing between racing and production engine programs.”

The GMPRC is part of a $200 million investment GM announced last January to build a new 138,000 sq.-ft. test wing. At that time, the company announced work at four remote locations would consolidate on the Pontiac campus, helping to reduce development timing for GM’s next-generation advanced propulsion technologies. When the moves are complete, about 400 jobs will be added to the Pontiac campus.

Engineers at the GMPRC will work on powertrain-related projects for GM’s involvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Verizon IndyCar Series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Pirelli World Challenge, NHRA (COPO Camaro Program) and Global Rally Cross.

The Chevrolet and Cadillac racing teams have seen much track success. Since its inception in 1999, Corvette Racing has won 10 manufacturer titles in GT competition and 92 global wins, including seven prestigious class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Team Cadillac, since 2004, has amassed 24 wins, 82 podium finishes and 20 pole positions. The team won the World Challenge Manufacturer Championship in 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.

In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, Chevrolet has captured the Manufacturers’ Cup title an unprecedented 37 times, including the past 11 consecutive years. Chevrolet also leads all Manufacturers in the series with 722 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.

Chevrolet returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012 as an engine manufacturer, and won 23 of the 37 races held since. Chevrolet also won the IndyCar Manufacturer Championship in 2012 and 2013. Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in both 2012 and 2013, and Tony Kanaan won the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

In addition to the performance and racing engineering, the new facility will house an electric motor lab and a gear center.

The electric motor lab produces prototype electric motors and validates manufacturing processes used in the production of electric and hybrid vehicle motors. Electric motor engineering, design and validation are core competencies for GM in the development, sourcing and manufacturing of electric vehicles and their major components.

The gear center supports design, manufacturing processes, inspection techniques and testing of gears used primarily in the next generation of GM transmissions.

The GM Powertrain World Headquarters is a 450,000-square-foot facility. Engineers at the facility design and develop engines, transmissions, hybrid and electric powertrains, and fuel cell technologies. Advanced tools within the campus provide engineers the ability to test all elements of these propulsion systems under extreme conditions, including cold ambient temperatures, high RPMs, and repetitive starting and stopping, to assure excellent durability, reliability and quality.

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.

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Cadillac ELR test drives tour the West Coast

April 29, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, GM, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco

California Consumers drive Cadillac’s new electrified luxury coupe

The 2014 Cadillac ELR on display, in Radiant Silver Metallic. The ELR Mobile Tour stopped at Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, Calif., where customers were able to drive and experience the 2014 Cadillac ELR. On sale now, the ELR is a combination of provocative design and progressive technology, with a total range of 340 miles. Photo courtesy of GM

The 2014 Cadillac ELR on display, in Radiant Silver Metallic. The ELR Mobile Tour stopped at Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, Calif., where customers were able to drive and experience the 2014 Cadillac ELR. On sale now, the ELR is a combination of provocative design and progressive technology, with a total range of 340 miles.
Photo courtesy of GM

LOS ANGELES – The ELR Mobile Experience is now touring major California commercial and entertainment districts and festivals, giving consumers the chance to test drive Cadillac’s new electrified luxury coupe. The tour visits hotbeds of luxury, design and technology, and includes an outdoor lounge with mobile charging stations, beverages and the ELR display and test drives.

Upcoming dates include:

Los Angeles
May 3-4 The Grove
May 9-10 Americana at Brand
June 20 – 21 Dwell on Design
San Francisco Bay Area
May 15 Google Campus
May 17-18 Santana Row
May 24-25 Village at Corte Madera
June 7-8 Union Street Festival

ELR launched in the U.S. in early 2014 as the only luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology. The dynamically designed coupe has a total driving range of 340 miles.

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 (4-28-14), credit: GM.

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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.