Archives – January 23, 2015

The New Plug-in Hybrid Volt Unveiled by GM

'14_Chevrolet_Volt_(MIAS_'14)A new version of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid was unveiled by GM amidst the increase in gas prices and shrinking of the number of people interested in fuel-sipping vehicles. For most of this past year, cheap gas prices have been a big break for not only GM, but its competitors also. Detroit saw major profits increase with pickups and sport utility car sales. Although GM and other big companies are relying of a new technology that will not only satisfy regulators, but also prepare for future sales, consumers have shown a great interest in SUVs.

An independent car consultant in Connecticut, Maryann Keller, has said that with some places selling gasoline below 2 dollar per gallon, consumers may still not be interested. She claims that the Volt is a costly vehicle that fails to deliver a great value for its consumers. However, the Volt model that debuted on Monday at the Auto Show in Detroit can cover up to 50 miles when charged once. This is in comparison with the current version that can only cover 38 miles prior to recharging the battery with the gasoline engine. The car covers an average of 41 mpg if the battery is run down and the driver chooses to use a tank full of gas.

Another model that was introduced by GM at the Detroit Auto Show is the new Chevrolet Bolt EV version, whose price tag is estimated at $30,000 dollars. The car is fully electric and has a range exceeding 200 miles. The model will be put on sale by the year 2017, according to GM. With respect to the profit outlook, the production cost of Volt was cut by about $10,000. In this way, the vehicle would be more profitable. Plug-in hybrid cars such as Volt can go for long distances using electricity owed to the fact that their battery is larger in size compared to that of conventional hybrids. To use less gas and get more electric drive, drivers recharge their cars by plugging them in.

The long-term plans of GM revolve around meeting the future rules and regulations. Short-term plans will entail trying to meet the needs of consumers. The automaker also has plans of making key developments with the Volt, as well as other models. Chevy as a brand has been better known for Camaros and Corvettes that are tire-screeching rather than efficient technology. The Volt has given the Chevy brand a huge boost.


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Hybrid Car Sales Higher than Those of All-Electric Cars

volt-concept-620The sales of all-electric cars have been low because of the car’s short range on charge. GM plans to change this by launching a new Chevrolet Bolt that will have a range of 200 miles on one charge. The automaker plans to launch this new model in approximately two years time. In addition to giving details concerning the range, GM reported the car’s price to be estimated to be in the low $30,000. This price will be quite attractive to customers who would not normally consider purchasing an all-electric car for the apprehension of running out of power. When the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid was introduced in 2007 as a concept car, it was deemed everyone’s electric car. The car had the capacity to cover 38 miles using only battery power. Drivers who had worries of getting stranded could use the gas generator. However, the car’s sales were hampered by is price tag of $40,000.

The Chevrolet Bolt has been said to be mini SUV and its range will be three times that of Chevrolet Volt. Hybrid cars of Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Kia and Chevrolet have continued to report high sales volume. Customers prefer them because they are convenient. The sales of all-electric cars are not as high as those of hybrid cars. Among all the hybrid cars, Toyota modes are leading in sales followed closely by Ford models. The popularity of all-electric cars may be high in big cities since there are many people there that travel for short distances frequently. Additionally, there are more battery charging locations available in the cities.

According to Don Elwell, the director of public relations at Alan Jay Automotive Network Marketing, the demand for all-electric cars has further lowered following the decrease in gas prices. According to a Ford’s salesman, only two all-electric cars have been sold by the dealership. The salesman further noted that hybrid cars sell better than all-electric vehicles. While the mile range of Ford Focus is 70, it may depend on factors like the status of the air conditioner. A study conducted by AAA showed that the driving range of an electric car is affected by temperature extremes. The average range according to the test was found to be 105 miles at a temperature of 75 degrees. When the temperature was constant at 20 degrees, the range went down by 57%. Warm temperatures did not stress the battery range that much, but delivered 69 miles on average.


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