Tag: General Motors

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

Toyota to Share Its Hybrid Technology with Major Competitors

toyota_prius_plug-in_hybrid_-_paris_motor_show_2016_01Toyota has made quite a number of remarkable decisions over the past half year concerning its present, as well as future vehicle technologies. After opposing the battery-electric cars for several years, the automaker has finally made a commitment to launch one by the year 2020. Now, Toyota has made the decision to share its hybrid technology with other automakers. This decision was announced in the last two weeks as a part of the company’s power train strategies. The move by the automaker marks an evident change of course.

Since the launch of the Prius Hybrid in 1997 in Japan, the automaker has been known to fiercely guard and protect its hybrid-electric technology. A few licensing deals have been signed including one with Nissan for an Altima hybrid (2007-2011 models) that have been sold in the United States. Toyota also signed a deal with Mazda for the Mazda 3 compact hybrid that was sold solely in Japan. A notable aspect concerning those deals is that they were not only limited, but also fairly low-volume. According to the description given in a report by Reuters, Toyota has a plan of working with the suppliers at an early stage to allow standardization of components and make it easy for other automakers to utilize its hybrid technology.

The fourth generation of Toyota Prius was launched last year. The car’s drive is considerably better, while its fuel-efficiency is also better compared to the previous versions. Unfortunately, the sales seem to have lagged, probably due to factors such as continued cheap gasoline, a change in consumer preferences, and the model’s extreme styling. Toyota also made a shocking decision in its 2017’s Prius Prime, which is the most recent plug-in hybrid. The latest technology defaults the vehicle to run only in the electric mode when the battery charge is still present. This is contrary to a majority of other plug-in hybrid cars except the Chevrolet Volt.

There has been an increased understanding of the advantages of fully-electric propulsion by Toyota. The strategy of sharing the hybrid technology would be of a long-term nature. Changes will be made to technical standards and parts specifications, with most of them being invisible to buyers. The suppliers of Toyota have been known to produce technology that can only be utilized by Toyota. As the simple battery-electric cars gradually gain market popularity, they have a high likelihood of surpassing the continually low market penetration of hybrid cars. Either way, consumers should get ready for more hybrid cars utilizing the Toyota technology. The company is trying to match up to its competitors including Tesla and General Motors.


Leave a Comment December 30, 2016

Toyota Starts a New Electric-Vehicle Project

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

Toyota Motor Corporation is trying to follow the footsteps of Tesla Motors, Nissan Motor and General Motors in the development of electric cars. Toyota is well-known for the production of hybrid cars that utilize traditional engines, and it has been skeptical of delving into the fully electric car market. Instead, it has been investing in researching on hydrogen fuel-cells. The automaker’s president, Akio Toyoda, who was in charge of branding the luxury division of Lexus, will oversee the newly set-up electric car Department of Business, planning alongside other executives. The push for electric cars follows Toyota’s president’s move to increase autonomous car research.

A one million dollar investment has been made on the project with several employees hired in Silicon Valley. Toyota, which is the largest car maker globally in terms of profit and sales, has substantial financial resources to utilize in future projects. Meanwhile, Volkswagen AG, its primary competitor has settlement costs and fines amounting to billions of dollars in relation to cheating on emissions tests in the United States. Mr. Toyoda, who is the grandson of the automaker’s founder, has plans of manufacturing cars that can drive themselves by the year 2020. However, Toyota has a likelihood of engineering vehicles that require driver engagement in the operation process.

While the pioneering work of Google on autonomous cars has resulted in a great investment in driverless-car research, electric-car research is also making progress. It is essential for automakers to react to the current regulatory and emission pressures that are overshadowing the lack of demand for battery cars such as BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf. Although Toyota has been focusing more on fuel cells, the automaker seemed to be interested in joining the electric car market many years ago. Toyota started by investing in Tesla in 2010 before launching the Model S electric car sedan. Toyota made an agreement with Tesla to purchase batteries from Tesla, a deal which ended following disagreements between Toyota and Elon Musk.

Toyota still has plans of selling thirty thousand fuel-celled cars per year by 2020, which will coincide with Tokyo’s Summer Olympics. But there are some challenges currently faced. For instance, there have been delays in constructing hydrogen refueling stations, especially in California. This has hampered the sales of Mirai’s fuel-cell car. Recently, Toyota announced that it had plans of setting up a unit for building a battery-powered vehicle that will be marketed quickly. This move has come at a time when the Prius hybrid car sales have been declining in the United States.


Leave a Comment December 9, 2016

Excellent Choices in Plug-in Hybrid or Electric Cars

Candy_Red_Tesla_Model_3_trimmed_2Have you finally decided to switch from a gasoline-powered to a plug-in hybrid or electric car? Over the past few years, green cars have seen an increase in popularity as more people are realizing their numerous benefits. Each model year, car manufacturers have been increasing their offerings of cost-friendly and fun electric and plug-in hybrid cars. While buyers are clearly interested in the new vehicles, the new fuel efficacy regulations set under the leadership of President Obama have had a major impact in the industry. The rules have given automakers a basis for stepping up the production of less consumptive cars that can compete in cost with conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

Additionally, consumers can save almost $8,000 in tax incentives, and probably a much higher figure from their state. The availability of such incentives has substantially lowered the costs involved in purchasing a plug-in hybrid or electric car. It means that it is extremely easy to opt out of gasoline and go for an electric car. A perfect case is Ford’s revamped C-Max Energi, a popular plug-in hybrid car with a range of about 500 miles and a 19-mile range when driving in a fully electric mode. This car’s retail price doesn’t exceed $28,000.

Not to be left behind, GM’s Chevrolet is also releasing several plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles that will be sold to consumers at reasonable prices. Chevy’s Spark electric has a range exceeding eighty miles per charge and its retail price is $19,000 dollars. The enthusiasts of the Chevrolet brand interested in a ride with more torque and engine power can settle for the Volt with a gasoline driving range of approximately 380 miles and 38 miles on all-electric driving. Its price tag has been estimated to not exceed $27,000.

Meanwhile, German car manufacturers continue to showcase their creativity in the electric vehicle sphere. The fully electric BMW i3 electric vehicle shoots from 0 to 60 within seven seconds, despite its not-so-attractive look. The fully electric i3 version retails for approximately $35,000 and its range is 81 miles per charge. However, owners have the option of adding a small-sized back up engine for an extra cost of $4,000, which would transform the car to a plug-in hybrid and give it a range of 150 miles. Let’s not forget Tesla’s Model 3 that is yet to be launched next year with its impressive range of 215 miles.

Hence, plug-in hybrid and electric cars are the future cars that should be embraced widely.


Leave a Comment May 27, 2016

Aston Martin to Co-Develop an Electric Car with a Chinese Firm

Cadillac_CT6_front_viewAston Martin and a Chinese company, LeEco, have made a deal to develop a luxury electric car. This is a clear indication of China’s emergence as a key force with respect to production of electric cars. Aston is the popular British carmaker that is well known for building the James Bond’s car choice. The company made an announcement earlier this week that an agreement had been settled upon with LeEco, a Beijing-based technological firm, to produce an electric car dubbed as RapidE by the year 2018. The founder and current head of LeEco is Yueting Jia, the billionaire also famed for Faraday Future, an electric car start-up in Los Angeles. A joint statement by Aston-LeEco illustrates that the impact of the joint effort could be the manufacture of a Faraday Future car as well.

The company is committed toward building smart, electric, socialized and connected cars. This is according to the Global Vice Chairman of Electric Car Systems Creation Division, Ding Lei. Lei said that their target is the highest possible standard in the automobile industry with respect to R&D, design and electric car manufacturing. LeEco was previously called Letv, and has famed itself for beginning as a video-streaming firm. It offers integrated ecosystem spanning over TVs, smartphones, sports, transportation, entertainment, film and much more. On its webpage, LeEco has made clear its intention to make the electric powetrain of this car. This is according to Mathew Clarke, Aston’s spokesman. At the Consumer Electronics Show that was held in Las Vegas in January, a concept electric vehicle having LeEco components was displayed.

The Aston-LeEco partnership is a clear indication that Chinese companies are beginning to offer cars with low-tech parts, as well as cutting-edge and high-tech cars. This is a perfect example that Chinese firms can now provide technology for cars and this is not only applicable to China, but also other parts of the world. Recently, an announcement by General Motors showed that the automaker is planning to import two of its popular crossover car models from China-based factories. The two crossovers are Buick Envision and Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid model. Additionally, BYD, a Chinese automaker has opened a plant in Lancaster, Calif., where it plans to produce electric business. China’s expansion into electric car development is correlated with the increase the country’s green car sales. The sales of all-electric, plug-in hybrids and other alternative energy cars went up by 184% in 2015’s third quarter. It is also worth mentioning that the cars emerging from Chinese factories are first rate.


Leave a Comment February 26, 2016

Ford Set to Increase Electric Car Production

2013_Nissan_Leaf_2012_LA_ShowFollowing the trends of General Motors and Tesla, Ford is planning to invest about 4.5 billion dollars in manufacturing electric cars. A major setback has been the high costs, which have led to relatively slow progress in development of next generation batteries. This means that the automaker will have to convince its consumers to embrace electric cars. So far, no encouragement has been offered to Ford by Wall Street considering the fact that the automaker’s stock experienced a third consecutive low last month. This was regardless of the fact that it had made its plan clear to invest in electric cars.

According to Ford’s director of electrification programs, Kevin Layden, the costs of batteries are not reducing at a favorable rate. While we are yet to see any breakthroughs, engineers and scientists are trying their best to find ways of minimizing lithium-ion battery costs by up to twenty percent. The objective will be lowering the cost and weight of electric cars while at the same time improving their power.

The improvements mentioned coupled with other forms of amendments will be vital to actualizing the plans of Ford’s CEO, Mark Fields, to produce 13 brand new plug-in hybrid and electric cars in four years time. By 2020, Fields hopes that forty percent of all the nameplates associated with Ford will have an option for electric power. This will be up from the current 13 percent. Although the prices of fuel are lower than they’ve been for quite a while, automakers are still boosting their green car production following the intense government pressure put on them to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions. The heightened concern about the issue of global warming also pushes forward the agenda of green car production.

Some of the primary barriers that Ford will have to overcome in order to attract investors to the electric car project include the high costs of labor and worries concerning sales in the South American market. The car manufacturer remains positive and hopeful that these are just stepping stones towards ultimate success. It is believed that the next generation of electric cars will bring in high profits. This will be possible when the costs of batteries, as well manufacturing costs are lowered.

Ford plans to follow the example of other electric manufacturing company leaders such as Nissan, General Motors and Tesla. These automakers have consistently produced electric cars that have been successful and highly profitable. It is evident that green cars such as electric and hybrid cars are the cars of a sustainable future.


Leave a Comment February 12, 2016

Pre-Production Version of 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet_Bolt_Concept_(rear)_NAIAS_2015The highly anticipated 2017’s Chevy Bolt was introduced at Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show. Mary Barra, the CEO gave a speech and officially presented the more than 200-mile range electric vehicle. Chevy Bolt is one of the cheaper higher range electric cars. Barra further acknowledged the fact that many companies have plans of manufacturing electric cars. The Chevy Bolt fulfils the promise of delivering a long range electric car at a quite affordable cost. According to GM, production is set to begin prior to the end of the year and the anticipated price will be around $37,500 before federal tax and additional incentives are applied. The Bolt is a 5-passenger, five-door hatchback with fold down rear seating.

Barra failed to give the exact specification of the extra miles that would be covered within the range of driving. These details will be revealed much later. The car has an in-floor battery that a driver will be able to charge up to 80 percent within an hour. The battery capacity was also not specified, and this is often estimated using electrical efficiency. Additional details are likely to be revealed at the International Auto Show that will be held in North America later in the month. There is a high probability that Bolt’s sales strategy will target regional driving or local commuting.

Chevy Bolt’s concept was formally announced at NAIAS last year. When speculations went around concerning its production approval, majority of the observers made the assumption that the model will be released in 2018. Others had doubts on whether the target price could be achieved. Some critics also expected that the set range of 200 miles would work under great conditions instead of the EPA sticker estimate that was more conservative. While cars are normally made from parts derived from a wide range of suppliers, GM chose to source most of the primary components of Bolt from South Korea’s LG conglomerate. It did this in exchange for a deal to lower the costs of the battery cell.

The 2017 Bolt has a rear camera capable of feeding live videos to a built-in display at the rear view mirror. This allows for a wider angle of viewing behind the vehicle in comparison to a standard mirror. A surround vision is provided by another camera to give a “bird’s eye view” especially during parking and driving at low speed. Alterations have also been made to the system used for navigation, which makes it possible for a driver to know driving routes capable of improving electric vehicle efficiency. Additionally, the screen can display the available charging stations. The Orion Assembly, one of GM’s plants will be the building location.




Leave a Comment January 14, 2016

Carmakers Focus More on Electric Vehicles

640px-Audi_e-tron_(Edit1)Although the hybrid and electric car sales have remained constant in the past year, automakers have gone ahead to manufacture novel battery-powered cars for the market. Many vehicle companies are shifting their focus towards electric car production for international markets. These automakers include General Motors that has already unveiled the pre-production version of the highly anticipated Chevrolet Bolt. Mary Barra, the chief executive of GM said that the Bolt represented a huge step towards car electrification, considering its costs and capability of covering about 200 miles when fully charged. The Chevy Bolt is clearly the first electric vehicle to crack the standard code due to its long range and affordability. This information was revealed through a speech given by Barra at a recent motor show.

The Bolt is likely to enter the market this year and its sticker price will be around $30,000 with government incentives totaling to about $7,500. Despite the affordable price and long range of Bolt, it is still unclear whether consumers will continue to take advantage of the low gas prices to purchase large cars. However, GM has high hopes that its new entry to the market will be a hit. Consumers are starting to realize the value of owning electric and hybrid cars over gasoline-powered cars. The Nissan Leaf is currently the leading all-electric car in terms of sales, while the Toyota Prius leads in the hybrid category. Generally, hybrid and electric cars account for approximately 2% of America’s car market. Luxury carmakers such as the BMW also introduced a novel electric car last year. Tesla’s lineup is also expanding to include Model X, a fully electric sport-utility vehicle.

There has been mixed success for GM with the Volt plug-in, whose battery power is enhanced by a small-sized gasoline engine to extend the driving range. Barra acknowledged GM’s commitment towards electrification. Other notable figures at GM said that the Chevy Bolt could alter the perception of consumers towards fully electric vehicles as solely for commuting purposes and other minor trips. Pam Fletcher, the chief engineer for GM’s electric cars said that a range exceeding 150 miles is likely to increase buyer consideration. We are eager to see how consumers and the market in general will embrace the Chevrolet Bolt, particularly in the current cheap gas era. Other carmakers that will showcase electric car models during the International CES include Volkswagen whose electric microbus concept version was unveiled earlier this week. Audi gave additional details concerning its electric sports utility vehicle, the e-Tron.



Leave a Comment January 14, 2016

General Motors Gives Details Concerning its Yet-to-be Released Pure Electric Car

Chevrolet_Bolt_Concept_(front)_NAIAS_2015General Motors automobile company has recently geared more effort towards the production of electric cars. Early this week GM announced its intention to form a close partnership with LG in producing electric motors, batteries, as well as additional components for the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt electric car. The Chevy Bolt will have the capacity to cover a mileage exceeding 200 miles using single charge. The production phase is deemed to begin later next year. Currently, the automaker has the Spark electric vehicle has its pure-electric vehicle. On a single charge, the Spark can only cover approximately 80 miles. The Bolt electric car was first unveiled by GM as a concept vehicle in January. The automaker officially confirmed its intention to produce the vehicle in February at the Michigan Orion plant.

The projected price of the Bolt electric vehicle is around $30,000. This means that its direct competitor will be the expected Model 3 by Tesla. Model 3 will be among one of Tesla’s first cars to be available to the mass market. According to a statement made by Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, the price tag for Model 3 is expected to range from $35,000 and the production will begin in the next two years. The range of Model 3 is expected to be the same as that of Tesla’s Model S that can cover approximately 250 miles. Musk further added that for Tesla to begin the production of its electric vehicle, the Gigafactory, a Nevada-based battery factory has to begin its production first, probably in 2017.

GM may outdo Tesla considering the fact that the Chevy Bolt electric car is set to enter the production phase mid next year. While Tesla would earn points for steering the revolution or changes that have been seen in plug-in electric cars, the technology actually emerged in 1990s with General Motors being the major pioneer. However, GM stepped aside from the electric vehicle business due to low profitability. GM hopes to return into the electric car market with the release of its novel Bolt electric vehicle. According to information obtained from the General Motors website, the Chevy Bolt has a number of semi-autonomous features such as a technology that allows for automatic parking and retrieval. This feature will make it possible for car owners to get out of the vehicle and get the car and control the car’s parking using an application. It has also been confirmed that 80% of Bolt’s battery can be charged within 45 minutes.


Leave a Comment November 6, 2015

First Drive for Chevy’s 2016 Volt

2016_Chevrolet_Volt_NAIAS_2015The launch of 2016’s Chevy Volt is just around the corner. While the new Volt will have the virtues of its predecessor, it has managed to address some of the vehicle’s vices. One of the aspects addressed is the range, whereby the new Chevrolet Volt will have a higher electric range of 53 miles. It will also have a higher fuel efficiency of 42 mpg, thanks to an engine that has range-extending capability. It is also worth noting that the new Volt is faster, smoother, quieter, and has a better physical outlook. Hence, current Volt owners should consider it an upgrade. The 2016 Volt is a an electric car that is not only fantastic, but also gives a total range exceeding 400 miles for one out of ten trips that the car can make solely on battery power.

What analysts are worried about is the ability of General Motors to give a clear description of the Volt. This entails the ability of GM to explain why Volt needs to be considered a better alternative to other plug-in cars. The automaker also needs to explain how the 2016 Volt combines the advantages of an all-electric drive and the security offered by range-extending engine in times of need. There was inconsistency with respect to the sale and marketing of Volt’s first generation. This marketing was primarily based on mileage and was sporadic. GM needs to come up with thoughtful, smart, effective and memorable marketing if it intends to keep the sales of 2016’s Volt at the top. One media outlet that played a fundamental role in driving the sales of the 2016 Volts that were produced earlier this year is Green Car Reports. The media outlet dedicated two days to researching two different Chevy Volts and comparing them to the 2015 models.

The new 2016 Volt has expounded on the positive aspects of the previous version, though Chevrolet executives have said that the car’s design was chosen according to the preferences of Volt owners. There are some minor details such as a compartment housing a charging cord. This means that when owners need to recharge their plug-in car on the road, they do not need to unpack the luggage or cargo carried. The new Chevrolet Volt has a crisper, more aggressive and more angular design, contrary to a slab-sided look of the previous Volt. The color of the Volt released for specification purposes is a metallic blue.


Leave a Comment September 11, 2015

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