Pacifica Hybrid will help EV market growth

I’ve long been a fan of electric vehicles, but have always wondered when they would reach into other segments like trucks and minivans. You know, those large gas guzzling vehicles that have to haul a lot and don’t always need to travel far?

Actually, it’s those 2 facts that make a plug-in hybrid style platform perfect for a pickup truck or a minivan. Rather than putting in a large expensive battery pack in order to get long range, the idea is to put in a battery pack that is just large enough to perform mostly all day-to-day trips. Then, for the odd road trip or weekend excursion, a typical gas-burning internal combustion engine can take over to propel the vehicle beyond the range of the battery pack.

It’s a great way to get people hooked on an electric vehicle driving experience, while at the same time it seems much less daunting then going all-in with a 100% electric vehicle. After all, there is a learning curve involved. Charging methods, location of stations, how to figure out range, and just in general, there’s hesitation in everyone to change and going to an EV is definitely change.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a great middle road vehicle – the middle between 100% gasoline and 100% electric. With a 16 kWh battery pack, the Pacifica Hybrid can travel up to 30 miles on a charge, and then the gasoline engine can take you hundreds of miles farther.

On average, in North America, the typical person drives less than 40 miles per day. If that’s over more than 1 trip, or if there is charging available at the destination, then theoretically a Pacifica Hybrid owner could drive on electric power all the time.

That’s what happens quite often with people who own a GM Volt or i3 with Range Extender. Over 100,000 miles, they may drive 1% or less than on gasoline.

For more details, and discussions with Pacifica owners, check out the Forum here

Some dealers getting Bolt EVs already?

There’s been some rumor on the Bolt Forums about dealerships getting the Bolt EV already. However, when I started to dig deeper I realized that the dealers didn’t get the Bolts. They don’t have them on the lot.

In an article at this site it talks about how at the LA Auto Show, 2 dealerships mentioned they are schedule to receive shipments of the 2017 Chevy Bolt to their dealerships this week.

Boardwalk Chevy in Redwood City, CA said they are booked to get 39 Bolt vehicles sent to them this week, and 40 people have already put deposits down so don’t think you can order one!

In Portland OR, at Ron Tonkin Chevy, a representative said they “have 6 now and 4 all already sold.” That’s what sent out a fury of online buzz about the Bolt already being sold, and being on a lot.

Instead, what they mean is that they’ve received allocation of the Bolts. None have shipped to dealerships yet.

State rollout plan for the Chevrolet Bolt

Somewhere a week or so back I recall seeing an article talking about the rollout plan for the Chevrolet Bolt across the USA. It went something like this:
Western States, Carb States, East States, Southern States, Central States – and that was 2018 by that time.

I can’t find the article now, I wanted to have accurate data – does anyone know what the article I’m talking about?

Chevrolet Bolt Specifications

Chevrolet has finally released full details on the Bolt Electric Vehicle, and I wanted to share it with you here even though it’s already being thoroughly discussed on the Chevy Bolt Forum.

 

Here are the Chevy Bolt Specs:

Single Motor Drive Unit
Like most EVs on the road, the Bolt EV’s drive system uses a single high capacity electric motor to propel the car.  But it’s the smooth, powerful and quiet motor design, gear configuration and shift-by-wire system that separates it from the pack.

60 kWh Battery System
Having more than 1.3 billion miles of EV experience from the Chevrolet Volt helped Bolt EV battery engineers and strategic partner LG Electronics to develop an all-new cell and battery pack to offer more than an estimated 200 miles of range.

Regen System Provides One-Pedal Driving
Regenerative braking has become more than just a tool to boost range, it’s also transformed into a feature that can provide an improved EV driving experience.  The Bolt EV features a new regenerative braking system that has the ability to provide one pedal driving.

 

Information from GM’s website: http://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2016/Jan/naias/chevy/0111-bolt-du.html

GM not expecting Bolt to sell well?

According to supplier sources in discussions late last year, they hinted that GM’s assembly line for the Chevy Bolt EV isn’t expected to sell in massive volumes. The suppliers are set up to handle an annual volume of 25,000 to 35,000 vehicles.

The Bolt EV was built with ride sharing in mind which is a good way to guarantee an audience for the vehicle. GM invested $500 million into Lyft – so one could expect to see an announcement soon thatLyft drivers could purchase a Bolt at a great discount etc.

But seriously – it’s the first 200 mile electric vehicle, and it will cost around $30,000 USD. Why wouldn’t it sell well? The Nissan LEAF sold 17,000 copies in the USA, and that was with a slow down near the end of the year because of the next year’s model imminent release.

GM has also decided to sell the Bolt electric vehicle under the Opel brand in parts of Europe as the Ampera-e. That will help with sales volumes as well, in case sales are super low – and until the Bolt production lines are maxed out, extra sales are never a bad thing!

General Motors to unveil production Bolt EV at CES 2016

According to The Verge, General Motors is planning to unveil the production version of the Chevrolet Bolt at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show on January 6-9, 2016 in Las Vegas. General Motors executive vice president Mark Reuss made the announcement at the 2015 LA Auto Show.

Over the past 10 years or so, CES has quickly moved from a consumer electronics marketplace to a car show – mostly because of the advanced technology now being put in vehicles.

This year GM CEA Mary Barra is the keynote speaker, so it makes sense she wants something big to announce, and right now, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is the biggest thing right now.

January’s CES is about 1 year since the Bolt EV 200-mile concept electric vehicle was first unveiled. The Bolt, if ready to sell in early 2016, will be the first 200 mile ‘affordable’ electric vehicle to hit the market and will go head to head with Tesla’s Model 3 which is expected to be unveiled in early 2016 for 2017 production.

GM has said the Bolt EV will have a price well under $40,000 when it hits the market.Chevy Bolt EV Spy Photo

Milford Proving Grounds is already testing pre-production Bolt EV Test Mules

According to a recent press release by GM, there are 55 pre-production cars already built. GM has assembled the 55 Bolt EVs by hand at the Orion plant in Michigan and in South Korea where the Chevy Spark EV is being produced.

There are over 1,000 engineers being tasked with speeding along the program. Head of Chevy EVs, Pam Fletcher, said “They’re running fast, the fact that we can show you fifty-something cars running is busy.”

Also interesting is that GM says the cars are already exceeding the 200-mile range target in tests.

Chevrolet Bolt final production version will be unveiled sometime in 2016, and is expected to begin production in October of 2016, with plans to arrive in early to mid 2017 as a 2018 model year.

The Bolt Electric Vehicle will be available in all 50 states (unlike the Spark EV that is only available in CARB states) and some select markets internationally.

For further discussion, visit the forum

Chevrolet confirms BOLT name will stick to 200 mile EV

According to a recent interview with GM boss of marketing, Chevrolet will stick with the Bolt name for its upcoming 200 mile electric vehicle.

Tim Mahoney, Chevrolet’s marketing boss, said that he approved the Bolt name. “The decision is made. The name won’t be changed.” Mahoney went on to say that synergies between the Volt and Bolt name can actually help marketing as people are already familiar with the Volt and know it is a Chevrolet.

The Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will go on sale sometime in late 2016 or early 2017, and will cost around $30,000 after incentives. Chevy says the Bolt will have an electric range of 200+ miles.

Read the full Chevy Bolt article here

Ford wants to compete with the Chevy Bolt EV

According to AutomobileMag, citing a ‘source’, Ford will unveil a 200 mile + electric vehicle later this year. It is designed to compete with the Chevy Bolt, and may come to market in 2017 which is the same year Tesla is planning to launch their Model 3 (the under $40,000 long range EV that lit the fire under GM).

The ‘source’ made no indication that the Ford EV concept will be ready for the New York International Auto Show in April, and actually, it’s more likely the EV will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show in November. After all, California is the hot-bed for electric vehicles right now!

Also of note, at the end of the AutomobileMag article, it states “Ford’s official word is that the story is not accurate.”

Confirmed for production!! GM Bolt EV will be coming in 2016

This morning, GM’s head for North America, Alan Batey, announced that the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle is green-lighted for production.

Due to the overwhelming response of the concept vehicle, GM will be moving quickly and likely try and beat the Tesla Model 3 (and maybe the Leaf 2.0) to market.

“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it. We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles”

The Bolt EV will be available in all 50 states, and GM is still touting a starting price of $30,000 USD after incentives (so $37,500 starting price).

GM also says the Bolt EV Concept will have “more than a GM estimated 200 miles of range”

GM’s Press Release from Feb 12th

Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production
Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan

CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit.

GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”

Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000.

The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging.

“We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.”

Start of production and additional details will be announced later.

$200-million investment
GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact, and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies.

“As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.”

Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes.

“This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.”

Orion Assembly is the first GM facility to receive the Clean Corporate Citizen designation by the State of Michigan, and the Pontiac plant has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry three times.