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GM to deploy thousands of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs to Lyft’s ride-sharing service

The ride-sharing fleet of sharing Lyft Inc. will soon include thousands of specially fitted self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, courtesy of General Motors. If plans push through, Lyft’s clients would be riding in autonomous EVs as early as start of 2018, according to a report by Reuters, citing sources privy to GM’s plans.

This brings the partnership between GM and Lyft to a new level – a technologically advanced collaboration that involves not just innovative electric vehicles, but also ground-breaking autonomous ones. Deploying thousands of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV to Lyft would allow the United States-based carmaker to accelerate tests of its autonomous technology on its zero-emission cars. One of Reuters’ sources divulged that Lyft is planning to deploy these autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs for testing in a number of states across the US.

GM’s plans are in line with pronouncements of its executives and with its investor presentations in 2016 that it intends to build a high volume of self-driving vehicles and then deploy them in ride sharing services like Lyft. Despite these pronouncements ad presentations, details are still vague as to how many autonomous vehicles will be built or when the US carmaker is specifically planning to deploy them. In fact, GM has only said in recent statement that its autonomous vehicle technology will be featured in an on-demand ride sharing network application sooner than people have expected. It should be noted that the GM acquired a minority stake in Lyft in 2016 for around $500 million.

Read the entire article GM to deploy thousands of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs to Lyft’s ride-sharing service

GM will miss goal of selling 500,000 EVs in the U.S. by 2017

General Motors’ sales for electrified products have not met expectations and so the automaker will not be able to meet its target of having 500,000 of these vehicles in the U.S. by 2017. In GM’s annual sustainability report, GM said that the factors that affected its poor sales are cheaper gasoline prices and a “surge” in the number of models that other automakers are offering.

These had an impact on GM’s sales of its electrified products like plug-in hybrids, pure electric vehicles and vehicles with the eAssist system that improves fuel economy in cars powered by gas by up to 25%. In the 2014 report that was released last Thursday, GM said that it is “committed to electrification” but the demand for its electrified vehicles has not kept up with its initial projections.

The automaker said that U.S. roads last year had 180,834 electrified GM vehicles – an improvement from the record set in 2003 of 153,034. The 2017 target was outlined by GM CEO Mary Barra in November 2012 when she was the brand’s global product chief. Back then, Barra said that the eAssist system is targeted to be on "hundreds of thousands" of cars annually by 2017.

Read the entire article GM will miss goal of selling 500,000 EVs in the U.S. by 2017

GM Brownstown Township site to assemble battery pack for 2015 Chevy Spark EV

General Motors is shifting output of the battery pack for its Chevrolet Spark EV to its own Brownstown Township battery assembly plant. The Spark EV’s lithium ion battery packs had been sourced from A123 Systems, which filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and later was acquired by Wanxiang Group.

GM disclosed in April that it would invest $65 million into the site to expand lithium ion battery production as the carmaker press for in-house development and manufacturing of EVs. GM builds its own battery packs and some of the motors for its EVs and plug-in hybrids.

In 2013, the carmaker started assembly of the Spark EV’s 85-kW electric motor at its White Marsh powertrain plant in Maryland. Larry Nitz, executive director of GM global transmission and electrification engineering, said in a statement that the carmaker’s in-house engineering and manufacturing expertise has allowed them to deliver a battery system that is more efficient and lighter than in the 2014 Spark EV.

Read the entire article GM Brownstown Township site to assemble battery pack for 2015 Chevy Spark EV

General Motors developing an affordable electric vehicle to take on Tesla

General Motors will still focus on affordable mainstream electric vehicles despite plans to launch the electrified Cadillac ELR coupe late this year to complement its Chevrolet Volt, according to Doug Parks, vice president for global product programs. Parks remarked that while the Cadillac ELR coupe will allow GM to compete better with electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc, the carmaker still plans to further improve the performance and lower the costs of the Volt and its future siblings.

"We're trying to put more stress on getting this right for the lower-priced vehicles," Parks told reporters at GM global battery systems laboratory near Detroit. Although the Volt starts at $35,000 before federal tax credits, it has been outsold by the Tesla Model S sedan, which has a base tag of $71,000. According to Parks, GM officials "haven't simplified the message" enough to consumers about the Volt's value.

GM also offers the Chevrolet Spark EV for around $27,500. The carmaker offers discounted leases on the Spark and the Volt. GM has disclosed that the next Volt -- due in 2015 or 2016 -- will have a price of between $7,000 and $10,000.

Read the entire article General Motors developing an affordable electric vehicle to take on Tesla

There is now an ongoing battle between carmakers in the electric vehicle segment – a price war! One by one, carmakers are offering discounts on the prices of their offerings, making electrified vehicles more affordable this year than in 2012. It all started in January 2013 when Nissan Motor Co. cut the sticker price of its Leaf electric vehicle by around $6,400.

That resulted to higher sales and other carmakers followed suit, particularly Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. The price cuts made by these carmakers have left General Motor’s electrified offering, the Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicle, as the priciest mainstream plug-in EV. The Volt has a sticker price of nearly $40,000 sticker price, which does not look appealing enough for people who know they could get a Toyota Prius for a significantly lower tag of $25,010 Toyota Prius.

GM posted a 3-percent drop in sales of the Volt in July, and bared last week that it would trim the price of its plug-in offering by $5,000. This effectively dropped the price of the Volt to $34,995. Jeff Schuster, an analyst at researcher LMC Automotive, remarked to Bloomberg that the EV segment is having “a competitive nightmare,” which forces carmakers to play “within the realm of what others are doing." He noted that, although price war is no longer occurring in the auto industry’s volume sector, it is “alive and well” in the EV segment.

Read the entire article EV price war erupts as GM cuts tag of Chevrolet Volt

General Motors Co. has set a goal that by 2017, it will have the annual capacity to produce as many as 500,000 units, which include some type of electric power in the engine like the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, according to global product development chief Mary Barra. She told reporters that GM has a central part of its global strategy is being able to build cars with electrical technology such as its eAssist system that raises fuel efficiency in gasoline-powered cars.

She added that this target is slightly higher than 5% of GM's worldwide sales in 2011 of around 9 million. This estimate includes plug-in hybrids; pure electric vehicles such as the Chevy Spark EV that will start selling next summer; and eAssist system, which is offered in several GM models.

The Volt was presented by GM in the fall of 2010. So far in 2012, GM has reported U.S. sales of over 50,000 units for models that use electrification technologies. The eAssist technology was seen in slightly higher than half of this figure. Barra didn’t indicate what percentage of the target would be cars that don’t have a gasoline engine. However, she said that plug-in technology will stay at the center of GM's strategy.

Read the entire article GM aims to build 500,000 EVs, hybrids per year by 2017

General Motors has only just started to promote its electric vehicle segment in China. So far, sales of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car have been low. But even so, GM aims to be a major play in this segment as the market for these vehicles widens. Ray Bierzynski, head of GM's electric vehicle strategy in China, said that Volt sales are minimal.

One reason is because Chinese import duties raise the price to nearly double its price of slightly below $40,000 in the U.S. He also said that GM is relying on this vehicle to cement the name of GM as it unleashes the similar alternative-energy vehicles in the future. He didn’t give Volt’s sales figure but then it’s likely to be a low-volume car.

GM has talked about its plan to eventually sell the Cadillac ELR luxury electric coupe in China. There are also plans to explore an all-electric version of its Chevy Sail, a best-selling car in China, where GM held the biggest market share. When interviewed, Biergzynski disavowed the presence of a “silver bullet.”

Read the entire article General Motors starts promoting its electric vehicle segment in China

General Motors Co. and China's largest domestic carmaker, SAIC Motor Corp., will be developing electric vehicles in an effort to meet government requirements for more low-emission rides in China, the biggest automobile market in the world. The partners will design the vehicles and develop the parts at an existing joint venture in the country, the two companies have disclosed.

According to GM's head of international operations, Tim Lee, electric vehicles will be "a key component" in their current five-year plan for the country.

Vehicle manufacturers such as Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG have revealed plans to add alternative-energy cars in the country in order to reduce emissions. According to the Ministry of Science, the government is targeting 1 million electric-powered cars on the road by 2015.

Read the entire article GM signs agreement with SAIC to develop electric cars in China‎

An agreement was signed last Wednesday by Dan Akerson, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors Co., and Juno Cho, President of the LG Group, for the development of electric vehicles. A GM statement revealed that the deal will “help GM expand the number and types of electric vehicles it makes and sells.”

This trend appears to be catching on as earlier in the week, Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. said they are partnering to build hybrid light trucks.

Automakers are partnering with other companies to help in the development of cars that more fuel-efficient as U.S. regulators intend to implement more stringent fuel-economy regulations later this decade.

Read the entire article GM, LG sign agreement to design and engineer future electric vehicles

Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) in Shanghai developed the Sail electric concept vehicle, which is based on the Chevrolet Sail that went on sale at the beginning of 2010. The Sail electric concept vehicle, an environmentally-friendly small car that is expected to appeal to ordinary Chinese families, is driven by a lithium-ion battery with maximum output of 65 kW and maximum torque of 220 Nm.

It uses regenerative braking to produce more energy and has a maximum speed of 130 km/h and can go up to 150 kilometers on a single electric charge. The Intelligent Charging Assisting System maximizes the energy conversion ratio. The Sail is inspired by leaves, as evidenced in the exterior, and its simple contemporary design is aerodynamic.

The Sail electric concept vehicle, which has adopted electric vehicle standards for safety set by ISO and SAE, features a simple yet modern interior along with a range of electronic amenities.

Read the entire article GM unveils Chevrolet Sail EV Concept in China

Three unidentified sources said that Dan Akerson, who is General Motors Co.'s Chief Executive Officer, seeks to triple the company's target for electric-car sales by expanding the market for the Chevrolet Volt and adding models that would share similar technology.

The sources disclosed that Akerson asked GM's executive team in early December to find ways to sell three to four times as many electric cars as planned for 2012 by mid-decade. GM has said it expects selling 10,000 Volts in 2011 and 45,000 the following year, when capacity may reach 60,000.

Creating other models with electric drive and increasing Volt sales will spread out the cost of developing the technology across more vehicles. It also carries a certain amount of risk since electric and hybrid cars tend to sell in low volume and be unprofitable, said Jim Hall, principal of 2953 Analytics Inc., a consulting firm in Birmingham, Mich.

Read the entire article CEO Dan Akerson wants to triple GM’s electric vehicles sales

General Electric pledged that by 2015, half of its global fleet will be composed of electric cars. GE also announced that it has made an initial purchase of 12,000 GM vehicles, starting with the Chevrolet Volt in 2011. GE intends to add more vehicles as carmakers move to expand the ranges of their electric vehicle lineup.

Production of the Chevrolet Volt began this month. Other automakers have also confirmed that they are releasing electric vehicles to the market.

When this happens, GE will have the access to resources to help its 65,000 global fleet customers convert and manage their fleets. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said that electric vehicle technology is “real and ready for deployment.”

Read the entire article GM to sell 25,000 electric vehicles to GE for its fleet and for fleet customers

As part of an effort to hasten the adoption of plug-in hybrids such as the forthcoming Chevy Volt, General Motors Co. and two Michigan utilities pledged to install over 5,300 charging stations in Michigan.

GM said that it intends to put up nearly 350 charging stations for employees at its Michigan facilities. It will also build charging stations at about 1,500 Chevrolet dealers who will sell or service the Volt.

According to GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens, 600 dealers in launch states will be given charging stations. About 900 Chevy dealers nationwide will be turned to Volt service centers with charging units. As of Jan 1, there were 3,463 Chevy franchises in the US.

Read the entire article GM, Michigan utilities pledge to install more than 5,300 charging stations

General Motors revealed today the Cruze BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), a demonstration vehicle designed to explore market needs and customer acceptance of battery electric vehicles in Korea.

The new car is the result of shared development with GM Daewoo, LG Chem and LG Electronics. It is equipped with a 31-kWh battery capable to deliver a maximum power of 150 kW or 201 hp.

With this amount of power it can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 8.2 seconds, while the maximum speed is limited to 165 km/h (102.5 miles per hour).

Read the entire article GM introduces Chevrolet Cruze BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)

General Motors Europe President Nick Reilly remarked that Europe needs to gain the lead in developing technology for electric mobility or its rivals in Asia will "enjoy [its] market opportunities." Reilly told the Automotive News Europe Congress that Asia has an "amazing" speed in moving up on battery and other technology.

Reilly, a former head of General Motors Co.'s international operations in Shanghai and who is also CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, said that Europe will require "unprecedented technological breakthroughs and major investments."

Many international studies forecast the eventual disappearance of combustion engines and their replacement by electric motors. 

Read the entire article Europe must gain the technological lead in electric mobility, says GM’s Nick Reilly

By the end of 2011, General Motors Co. will build 10,000 Chevrolet Volts and by 2012, it will build 30,000 more, according to Tony DiSalle, marketing director for the Volt.

CEO Ed Whitacre told reporters in Austin that the Volt plug-in electric vehicle, which will be launched in October or November, will initially go on sale in Austin, Texas, and New York City. This is in addition to Michigan, California and Washington, D.C., which were earlier announced by GM.

The carmaker is expected to expand its launch markets early in 2011 to the rest of Texas and New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. During a Web chat, DiSalle said that halfway through 2011, GM will add more markets. Within 12 to 18 months of launching, GM will sell the Volt in all 50 states. The Volt will also enter Canada in 2011.

Read the entire article GM plans to build 10,000 Chevrolet Volts by the end of 2011, 30,000 more in 2012

Have you ever wondered what happened to General Motors' forecast of its Chevy Volt electric car running 230 miles per gallon? Wonder no more as it has been confirmed to be dead. GM said that this figure had been calculated using a government formula that never got final approval. It also said that the feds are trying to come up with a new formula.

Last Wednesday at GM's battery factory in Brownstown, Mich., Micky Bly, executive director of global electrical systems for GM, said that the carmaker doesn't know what the new number will be.

Tom Stephens, GM's vice chairman of global product operations, divulged that talks with the government on how to calculate an mpg-equivalent index for plug-in electrics will continue until the very eve of Volt production in November. Stephens said that GM has been "working collaboratively" with the EPA and the industry to agree on a number that gives customers "something they can feel comfortable with."

Read the entire article GM says its forecast of 230 mpg for the Chevy Volt electric car is dead

BMW’s European customers who are looking forward to have a new range extender version of the 2019 BMW i3 (BMW i3 REx) will have to bear a bad news from the German premium carmaker. They won't be able to get a new one as BMW will stop producing and offering the i3 REx in Europe starting 2019 model year.

It should be noted that BMW still listed the i3 REx in the 2019 model year specification, although its Web site aren’t offering any information about the ranger extender version anymore. This has led to confusion, with many still assuming that that REx version of the i3 would still be available for the upcoming model year. To an extent, there is some truth to this, since while the 2019 BMW i3 REx will be discontinued in Europe, it will still be offered in the United States.

At first glance, it may seem odd that BMW would discontinue the range extender version of the i3, after all the REx had accounted for 60 percent of the model’s sales, despite being around £,3150 more expensive than a standard i3, which is pure electric. However, the true appeal of the i3 REx isn't really the combination of electric motors and a range-extending two-cylinder 650-cc petrol engine to provide additional charge to the drive battery. The true charm of the i3 REx lies on fact that it allows its driver to travel more distance even when the battery pack has reached a certain low charge.

Read the entire article BMW i3 REx to be discontinued for 2019 model year in Europe

The distance a vehicle can travel with a full tank of gas or a single full charge is important to any driver. This is why most carmakers reveal the range of their vehicle offerings. With the first example of the I-Pace already delivered to its retail customer, Jaguar has released its MPGe estimates for its electric SUV. Sad to say, but the Jaguar I-Pace doesn’t measure to its EV competitors in terms of electric range.

When Jaguar said that the new I-Pace electric SUV would be getting a large battery as its core, expectations were high for its electric range – until it release its estimated MPGe figures. MPGe stands for miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), as how the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) converts the power consumed by an EV into a term that is familiar to most Americans. MGPe is essentially how far an electric car can travel on the amount of energy that is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline.

According to Jaguar, the new I-Pace returns 80 MPGe city, 72 MPGe highway and 76 MPGe combined. This means that the Jaguar I-Pace can travel up to 234 miles in all-electric range in a single charge from its 90-kWh battery. That may sound impressive, but wait until its electric range is compared against other EVs, in particular the Tesla Model X that is considered as its main rival as both are electric SUVs.

Read the entire article Jaguar says I-Pace electric SUV has an electric range of 234 miles

The new Porsche Taycan is considered as revolutionary at the German sports car maker as the upcoming model is its first all-electric vehicle. Nonetheless, the new Taycan four-door EV will also be the starting point of a new revolution in the company. As Porsche is committing itself to electric mobility, it also has to undergo a significant change, especially in terms of production.

Porsche is currently building its conventionally powered vehicles, including its 911 sports car, using the traditional principle of an assembly line. But when it commences the production of the Taycan, Porsche will be implementing major changes for the production and assembly facilities of the new EV.

Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Board responsible for Finance and IT at Porsche, remarked that starting 2025, more than 50 percent of the Porsche models delivered are expected to be electrified. While this will require substantial investments in development, production, and staff training, Porsche believes that the carmaker will still be able to achieve a target profit margin of at least 15 percent.

Read the entire article Porsche to implement flexi-line production system for new Taycan EV