Tag: electric vehicles

Chevrolet Bolt: An Electric Vehicle for Anyone

Chevrolet_Bolt_WAS_2017_1538General Motors has touted the Chevy Bolt as an electric car for everyone. This car is not only for the tech savvy or early adopters. It is not only recommended for the residents of California, where there is a higher level of acceptance for electric cars. The aim of General Motors is to make people think that the Chevy Bolt is a mainstream vehicle that happens to be an electric car. Considering its range and price, this car is clearly for any person who can drive. This information was provided by Chevrolet’s marketing and advertising manager, Kathy Belsic. Ms. Belsic further added that this vehicle is not only a great electric vehicle, but it is simply a great vehicle.

GM went on the record as being the first carmaker to produce a reasonably priced battery-powered vehicle with a range exceeding 200 miles per charge. The Chevy Bolt electric car gives an electric range of 238 miles and sells for less than $30,000 inclusive of federal sales tax. This tax is around $7,500, with a possibility of state incentives like $2,500 dollars in California. In December, the first 579 cars were delivered to Oregon and California. The Chevy Bolt is manufactured at the General Motors’ Assembly plant located in Orion Township, in Michigan. However, the residents of Michigan many be in the last lot of getting the vehicle. The customers from Michigan can place their orders starting from July when General Motors plans to open national ordering for its small crossover. Kathy Belsic noted that the Chevy Bolt that will be ordered in July will be delivered to customers in late August or September.

Bolt deliveries have been added by this Detroit automaker in Massachusetts, Maryland, as well as Virginia. The crossover is anticipated to get to dealerships in New Jersey and New York in March. Dealers from other states may continue to get the car in September. Chevy Bolt will also be sold in Canada, Mexico and South Korea. The automaker said that its first deliveries were focused on the electric cars’ key markets, while at the same time taking dealer-readiness into consideration. The car will be offered by approximately 40% of 3,100 Chevrolet dealers nationally. Kathy Balsic noted that an average American would drive around forty miles per day. This means that the Bolt electric car would give numerous driving days before it needs to be recharged. It is clear that electric vehicles are now gaining popularity, with more people realizing their numerous benefits.


Leave a Comment February 16, 2017

Volkswagen to Produce Electric Cars by 2020 in North America

IAA_2013_Volkswagen_e-Golf_(9834814356)The reputation of Volkswagen has been compromised in the last few months. As an attempt to redeem itself, the automaker has announced its plan to produce electric vehicles by the year 2020 in North America. The newly appointed Volkswagen AG’s U.S. head of operations, Hinrich Woebcken officially confirmed that the automaker’s Chattanooga, Tennessee-based plant, as well as a Mexico-based facility may be utilized for production purposes. Although Woebcken didn’t give in-depth details, he confirmed that the car manufacturer plans to build multiple models.

From a political point of view, it would be wise to use the factory at Chattanooga considering the fact that Unites States regulators have been pushing for the manufacture of more electric cars. Woebcken said to the Wall Street Journal that they all believed that United States, particularly its urban mobility is likely to shift to electric and hybrid cars from petrol engines. A heavy investment has been made to enable the shift in question, and this is inclusive of the planned production in the North American region.

The intent of Volkswagen to produce electric cars is not really news. Prior to the scandal of Dieselgate, the automaker already had plans for introducing twenty plug-in hybrids and all-electric car by 2020. The automaker claimed that the planned vehicles would be dubbed “smartphones on wheels.” The announcement was then followed by CEO Matthias Muller’s notice last month that the company planned to launch at least thirty fully electric new cars by the year 2025. Currently, there are only three battery-electric vehicles offered by Volkswagen. These cars are Audi’s R8 e-tron, e-Golf and VW e-Up. Introducing thirty different models within a time span of ten years would seem a virtually impossible challenge for the automaker.

Efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions should begin with increasing the efficiency of transportation. Electric vehicles have overwhelming advantages over gasoline cars. Therefore the move by Volkswagen to increase electric car production will result in significant savings in terms of costs and environment. The use of all-electric power to drive short distances plays a significant role in reducing gasoline consumption. Electric vehicles don’t utilize gasoline whatsoever and they also release zero emissions when renewable sources of energy are used for recharging.

Whatever the actual figure is, producing electric cars on the mentioned Atlantic side of America will play a vital role in clearing the air for Volkswagen to progress. It would also be a great addition to the e-Golf, Volkswagen’s only electric car currently sold in the United States.


Leave a Comment July 29, 2016

BMW’s i5 Extended Range Electric Vehicle Confirmed

BMW-i3-Electric_Drive_unit1The BMW i8 and i3 cars are now sure of getting a mate. Henrick Wenders, the BMW iproduct line boss confirmed that the i5 will officially enter the market. However, the full details of the yet to be released i5 have not been fully confirmed yet. Just like the i3, the BMW i5 is set to have a combustion engine with an extended electric range. This clearly means that the i5 is a range-extended version of the electric car and not a hybrid. The i5 drive unit is shown here.

The range will be a key limiting factor as well as an anxiety source for green cars in the coming years. Green cars will be fully adopted once they have a range that is similar or comparable to that in an internal-combustion engine. For this reason, BMW plans to go on offering range-extenders even in its future cars. This will be offered as an option to address various needs of its customers. Wenders insinuated that consumers opted for a range-extender for their i3 REx so as to address range anxiety. Most of those purchasers found out they actually did not need to use the extender that often. Wenders expects that the i5 will be a popular car among consumers because of the range-extender provision.

Wenders admitted to having held numerous internal discussions, and his attempts to always represent customers. For this reason, he has often advocated for maximum range. However, from an engineering outlook, it is vital to be extremely careful. The automaker has to provide consumers with a battery that has a high longevity. The drive-train and battery should also make sense in terms of carbon dioxide investment. Just like the i3, there will be small upgrades for the i5 over time, following the continual development of battery technology. Wenders confirmed that the carbon footprint will play a huge role for the i5 as well as other future models of the i class.

BMW is aware of its inherent rivalry with Tesla. To address the issue, Wenders said that he was highly subjective and was convinced that there was an emotional connection between BMW and its audience. He further added that the automaker is not focused on building a different brand with a different portfolio. This would be like talking about a different company, which might be seen as an autonomous competitor of Tesla. Wenders said that they are a sub-brand and a section of a thriving quality automaker. He concluded with the statement that BMW’s strength is its innovation and its ability to come up with new designs using new materials.


Leave a Comment March 17, 2016

Chevrolet Unveils the Bolt EV as its New Electric Car

Chevrolet_Bolt_Concept_(front)_NAIAS_2015General Motors Company recently made an announcement concerning its new pure electric vehicle that will boast a range of more than 200 miles. The new car will be marketed across the U.S and will be referred to as Bolt EV. According to an emailed statement by the company, the name Bolt EV has quickly been linked to Chevrolet since being unveiled three months ago. Therefore, when the vehicle goes into production, the name will be used. By unveiling the Bolt EV, Chevrolet has shown its commitment and strides towards electrification. The name is also well suited for this electric vehicle that is game-changing and made for attainability rather than exclusivity. Criticisms had been raised with respect to the name being closely related to Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid car by Chevy.

The Bolt concept was first shown by GM at the Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January and at the Chicago Auto Show a month later. In Chicago, GM made a confirmation of building a five-passenger car in Orion Township at the carmaker’s Orion Assembly plant. According to Michael Albano, Chevrolet spokesman, the final decision to use the name Bolt EV was made by GM about a month ago. In an email, Albano said that the confirmation was reached following consultation with dealers and customers. Most of the customers felt that the name was suitable and its connection to the Volt was viewed positively. Alan Batey, the GM present in North America said in February that the automaker was still debating on whether to or not to go with the name Bolt. He further added that GM may not come up with the decision this year. This is because some people claimed that the name was confusing.

GM and Chevrolet officials have not yet given the exact production date for the vehicle. The only information given is that the vehicle is on “fast track production.” An industry forecasting and analysis firm, LMC Automotive, projects the Bolt to be built later next year and enter the market in 2017. GM produces a high of 20,000 and a low of 30,000 vehicles on an annual basis. The new Bolt will serve as a replacement for the Chevy Spark EV and will have double the range. It has been estimated to cost around 30,000 dollars following a federal tax credit of 7,500 dollars. According to GM, 160-million dollars will be invested in purchasing the equipment and tools needed for manufacturing the future vehicles.


Leave a Comment April 24, 2015

Why You Need to Care About Hybrid Cars

bmw-i3-2013-07-29-01-1375106786 The climate change and greenhouse effect that has been witnessed in most parts of the world has mostly been attributed to the use of fossil fuels. The use of fossil fuels has also been named as the biggest cause for the increase in the acidity of oceans among harmful environmental effects.

Even for the people who don’t care much about the on-going campaigns about a greener planet in many parts of the world, there are a number of benefits that come with the increased use of green cars. There are a number of hybrid car models that are relatively cheaper to run compared to their non-hybrid counterparts. For instance, the engineers at EV have been working tirelessly to ensure that the EVs on the roads are relatively quieter and lighter over time. The whole of the front area of the car will be a crumple zone that serves to increase the safety of the driver in the event of a collision.

The pure electric cars and the plug-ins are usually relatively more expensive. This is a sad reality because it eliminates the cost-saving benefits of the hybrid car technology. It is good to put into consideration that there are federal tax credits of up to $7500 in the United States for the purchase of a number of EVs and plug-in hybrids in the country. For instance, the Nissan Leaf usually costs about $30,000, but the price can drop to about $20,000 after putting into consideration all of the federal tax rebates that come with the car. According to the research done by the scientists at Nissan, hybrid car drivers can save up to $4000 in gasoline costs over a period of four years. This reduces the effective price of this vehicle to about $16,000. It is still hard to estimate the cost of maintenance for this vehicle because there are still not enough of them in the market to give a fair view of the actual picture on the ground.

As hybrid cars keep increasing in the market, it is expected that the prices of the batteries and the cost of maintenance will continue to fall. This means that the hybrid cars are likely to get more affordable to the mid-income population over time. Some of the recent discoveries such as the lithium anode advances will eventually be rolled out into the market. This will significantly reduce on the weight and cost of the vehicles. The significant improvements shown in the hybrid-car technology has been made possible because of the competition, rebates and regulations that have helped motivate most of the car makers to invest more on innovation and create better and more effective designs.


Leave a Comment September 12, 2014

Positives from Hybrid Cars Technology

Nissan_LeafThere are many positives that we can draw from hybrid car technology. Research and experience shows that electric cars alone convert more than 80% of their energy supply to usable propulsion power. Gasoline powered vehicles have a conversion rate of about 20%. This is relatively low considering the fact that there has been an increased push for the world to adopt more environmentally friendly sources of energy. The hybrid cars have a higher conversion rate and since these are relatively more affordable compared to the pure electric vehicles, these offer a viable option for the mid-income people.

The best gasoline powered engines in the market, in most cases, consume relatively more energy and usually produce more heat than required. The only thing that has been holding back the adoption of the electric vehicles in the market is the fact that electric vehicles work efficiently with limited energy storage batteries.

At this point in the development stage of electric car technology, it does not make much sense, because of the weight of the batteries and short travel distance. However, the tipping point will be achieved when someone makes improvements on the technological equation.

Most of the automakers in the market are increasingly making improvements on the energy storage of their vehicles. Some of the vehicles to be introduced in the near future, such as the next generation EVs like the Nissan Leaf may have energy storage capabilities of up to 180 miles. This may come from improvements in the chemistry of the vehicles.

Consumers are increasingly demanding higher ranges. It is for this reason that established companies such as Tesla are determined on building a 200-mile range EV that will be sold at a price closer to that of the Leaf. It is also encouraging to know that improvements in technology such as advancements in super capacitor technology will play a significant role. These are technologies that are nearing their commercial readiness. There has been some very promising research in the pipeline for the lithium air, solid-state batteries, and aluminum air batteries. Advanced military and aerospace players are already using this because the technology has better energy density compared to the lithium-ion alternatives.

A good example is the Israel-base Phinergy that showcased its aluminum-air battery and the efficiency that comes with the technology. The company formed a partnership with a Fortune 500 giant, Alcoa, and has been working on advancing this technology. This technology will sure go a long way in improving the hybrid car technology for the future.


Leave a Comment September 5, 2014

Why You Should Think of Buying an Electric Car

If you are thinking of buying a new vehicle, an all-electric version should be considered as a leading option. Many people are discouraged from investing in hybrid and electric cars because of the high costs associated with them. What they fail to understand is that the cost is worth it considering the many advantages associated with electric vehicles. Many people lack adequate information and facts concerning electric cars. According to a national survey conducted by a union of scientists, it is clear that about twenty five percent of households in America could not afford electric cars. For such families, owning such a car would deter them from fulfilling their driving needs.

Despite the fact that many people are unsure of what to expect with electric cars, others have claimed that electric vehicles are quite running, fun and considerably high tech. It is also essential to add that electric vehicles offer the advantage of instant torque. Drivers have also noted that they offer regenerative banking and smooth acceleration. Electric vehicle owners have also claimed that driving an electric vehicle is more fun compared to driving a gasoline-powered car. From the reviews of electric car owners, it is evident that electric vehicles are a worthwhile investment.

By driving or owning an electric car, a driver has something to gain directly. Some of the benefits include saving money. On a long-term basis, buying an electric car would save money on fuel. This is mainly because such vehicles have a good mileage. This means that one can cover long distances using less fuel.

Another fact worth mentioning is that a person who owns an electric vehicle tends to indirectly benefit alongside other societal members. For instance, there are health and environmental benefits reaped from driving an electric car. Air pollution has been one of the complaints aired in relation to driving gasoline-fueled vehicles. The gas emissions not only pollute the environment, but they are also detrimental to health. Driving electric cars prevents emission of such fumes.

Buying an electric vehicle is a sign of taking responsibility. For example, an electric car owner would not be considered cheap, but environmentally responsible. Everyone has a role to play in society. Choosing to buy an electric car may be the first step towards taking responsibility for your own health, as well as the health of general society. Owning an electric car is like showing reliance on renewable, domestic and clean energy. Consequently, this promotes a long term economic, environmental and societal health.



Leave a Comment February 6, 2014

Belgium Study to Measure the Efficiency of Electric Cars

Electric cars have proven to be highly efficient. This is unlike cars that have internal combustion engines, which causes them to lose energy in the form of heat. Advocates of electric vehicles have emphasized the efficiency of electric cars for years. Also, there is reliable data concerning the efficiency level of diesel and gasoline cars. However, electric vehicles are still novel and few in number. This means that there is less documentation to show the efficiency of such cars. Some Belgian researchers were given a chance to investigate five cars. The cars under study were Peugeot models, which are exactly the same as Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the European version. The people who monitored the cars were drawn from Laborelec, and were supported by the Vrije University in Brussels. The University houses a facility whose major focus is automotive technology.

The funding for the study was provided by a Belgian utility known as Electrabel. The funds lasted for a period of two years. The first section of the study aimed at defining the methodology. A monitoring system that was both precise and dedicated was developed, and the starting point is when a full approval was received from the vehicle manufacturer. The study entailed recording data from five cars over a time span of two years. The variables under investigation entailed voltage, battery current, odometer, state-of-charge, ambient temperature, GPS coordinates, and instant speed. The five cars covered a total distance of 42,953 miles. The five cars had energy consumption of 336.28, 291.23, 289.62, 249.39, and 299.27 respectively in watt-hours per mile. Different values were obtained for the five cars mainly due to different drivers. The average energy consumption was 293.16 for the fleet of five vehicles. The above figures represent the total energy consumption, which is considered insufficient to give a full picture. This is because the car’s efficiency has been greatly increased by regenerative braking.

A significant aim of the study was showing the eventual course of electricity. It was to find out whether electricity was going to the auxiliaries or the motor. For the five cars, the energy consumption share entering the auxiliaries was 35.8, 40.1, 22.0, 21.6, and 33.6. Internal combustion vehicles shine in that, heating is basically free. In its normal operation, an internal combustion engine would lose a lot of energy. Hence, getting back some of the energy to heat the vehicle would cost almost nothing. It can therefore be concluded that the heating system is the biggest thing to increasing the efficiency of electric vehicles.



Leave a Comment December 20, 2013

A Basic Guide to Purchasing and Installing a Home Electric Vehicle Charger

Electric vehicle newbies may be surprised to find out that the vehicle’s electric charger is located on board. This equipment is deeply seated in the inner part of the car to convert an AC source to a DC. This makes it is possible to charge your vehicle’s battery pack. Nearly everybody knows that a charger is a wall-mounted box supplying 240 volts of electricity. Actually, a technical name for the box in question combined with a plug and code is EVSE or Electric Vehicle Service Equipment. An electric vehicle owner would need to install one of these at their home. We will shed light on purchasing an EVSE, which basically refers to an electrical device that allows drivers to connect their cars to an electricity source. There are a number of significant variations between different types of home chargers. Additionally, a few practices should be kept in mind.

Amperage Capacity

It is advisable to purchase a charger to handle more than 30 amps. According to averages, a 30-amp service gives a driver the potential to get approximately an additional 30 miles range per hour. Similarly, 15 amps would give an additional 15 miles in charging hour. It is important to note that EVSE with 30 amps requires at least a 40 amps circuit breaker.


Most experienced electric vehicle drivers hold a general consensus that EVSE that is durable and with a high capacity costs approximately 1000 dollars. This cost could be quite less or double, excluding the installation costs. There are a number of features including connectivity and portability that could cause an increase in price. To reduce the cost, it is advisable to avoid such features. Most electric vehicle drivers could get free EVSE from the year 2010 through the year 2013.


If possible, it is advisable not to install an EVSE permanently. This implies that you need to have an electrician to install NEMA 14-50 outlet. A plug should then be put on a pigtail that is mounted to the EVSE. In case you decide to relocate at some point, you need to simply unplug the charger and then plug it to a different NEMA outlet. The approach mentioned is similar to a hard-wire installation in terms of costs.


With advanced technology, there are numerous smart grids and smart phones, which may compel electric vehicle owners to purchase EVSE that is Wi-Fi enabled. However, this move might not be a smart one. Connectivity would only add pointless complexity.


Leave a Comment December 6, 2013

China’s Electric Vehicle Plans to Face Challenging Realities

China boldly made an announcement four years ago concerning its plan to produce five hundred thousand new energy cars on an annual basis. It further added that the sales were to account for 5 percent of the total sales of passenger cars. China’s new energy cars include hydrogen-fuel-cell cars and plug-in cars. The manufacture of lithium-based electric car batteries turned out to be tougher than the manufacture of cell phone batteries. The Chinese government is aware that its original goals could not be achieved.

According to the most current policy, which was issued in September, ten thousand new energy cars are to be sold in each of the megacities by the year 2015. The sales goal was five thousand cars for the smaller cities. Regardless of the downshifts of the sale targets for electric vehicles, the central government of China still holds the dream of being the powerhouse for new energy vehicles. The automotive industry division director, Qian Minghua, said that it was essential to let the market play its role under the guidance of the central government. Since there were still a lot of pending issues, Minghua admitted that the journey would be a long, winding road.

Beijing also plans to subsidize electric cars. Since Chinese customers rarely buy plug-in electric cars, their prices are quite high and their driving range is short. According to the latest subsidy policy for electric cars, fleets are subsidized more heavily and for longer time periods compared to passenger vehicles.

Another observation worth noting is that of local governments taking a practical move to learn more on the way consumers use electric cars. The Shanghai International Auto City is situated on the outskirts of Shanghai and a district that hosts a large Volkswagen plant, as well as numerous car supplier centers. It is also the central point of the electric vehicle zone or demonstration area that seeks the best intercity integration, as well as new energy cars.

At the electric vehicle zone, there is an electric rental plan, electric car sharing, as well as an electric car service center capable of importing electric vehicles without going through several custom procedures. To date, about eighty thousand people have attempted using electric vehicles. This is according to the new energy department’s project manager, Lucas Cao. The electric vehicle zone also plays the role of surveying those who take driving tests and give them advice according to their vehicle likes, dislikes and intents. From the above information, it is clear that China is taking practical strides toward becoming an electric vehicle powerhouse.


Leave a Comment November 8, 2013

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