Archive for the ‘General’ Category


Sep 20

2017 Chevy Bolt EV Priced From $37,495; Premier is $41,780



Today Chevrolet made official what its marketers had let slip in January by disclosing the 2017 Bolt EV in LT trim will start at $37,495 including destination charge. The automaker additionally said a Premier trim will also be offered for $41,780 including destination.

The first all-electric car at this price to offer over 200-miles range – in fact, the next-nearest competitors are in the low 100-miles – the 238 EPA-rated miles range Bolt is due by later this year.

“Value is a hallmark for Chevrolet and the pricing of the Bolt EV proves we’re serious about delivering the first affordable EV with plenty of range for our customers,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and leader of Global Chevrolet. “We have kept our promise yet again, first on range and now on price.”

Chevrolet Says Bolt EV’s Price Is $37,500

As expected, the aim was to hit the sub $30,000 price after a $7,500 federal tax credit. General Motors as a company has sold more than half the 200,000 credit-eligible plug-in cars allotted for it, and consumers may have less than a year or two to get theirs.


Unknown is whether the federal government might extend the credit, here in this election year, when even much is up in the air.

How Long Does The 2017 Chevy Bolt Have Before Federal Credits Begin Fading Away?

While armchair pundits have offered that the company should price it closer or even less than what Tesla promises the Model 3 for – $35,000, or maybe $36,200 if a $1,200 destination fee is tacked on as some speculate – Chevrolet does have a market to itself for now.

Tesla has said it has “pencils down” on the design of the Model 3, estimated by Tesla to give at least 215 miles range in a sleek style with lots of carryover elements from the Model S, albeit with price chopped from its $67,200 entry point.

The Bolt meanwhile appears to be a well engineered vehicle, with remarkable efficiency, and design intended with utility in mind coupled with 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds, and good highway passing power as well.

DC fast charging is a standalone option, and is $750, says Chevrolet.

DC fast charging is a standalone option, and is $750, says Chevrolet.

The U.S. EPA has just published the official numbers to, and numbers of interest may be perused there.

5 Cool Things About the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV

Chevrolet says “the well-equipped LT trim” includes a Regen on Demand steering wheel paddle, rear camera, 10.2-inch color touch screen and Michelin self-sealing tires (in certain circumstances).

The Premier trim bundles the above plus leather-appointed seats, front and rear heated seats, surround camera and rear camera mirror.

“The Bolt EV will be available at select dealerships in late 2016,” says the automaker of a car expected to be sold in all 50 states.

More information can be found at and


Sep 19

GM Commits To 100 Percent Renewable Energy By 2050


By Jon LeSage

General Motors has committed to power all its global operations through renewable energy sources by 2050 – up from a small percent today.

The global automaker said it will be generating or sourcing electrical power for 350 facilities in 59 countries through renewable wind, sun, and landfill gas energy during the next 34 years. As for now, GM expects that only 3.8 percent of its electricity will be powered by renewable sources.

“Establishing a 100 percent renewable energy goal helps us better serve society by reducing environmental impact,” GM Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra said in a corporate statement. “This pursuit of renewable energy benefits our customers and communities through cleaner air while strengthening our business through lower and more stable energy costs.”

As part of that initiative, GM is joining RE100, a global collaborative of 69 companies committed to switching over to 100 percent renewables powering their electricity use. GM will be one of three global automakers in the group, along with India-based Tata Motors and Germany-based BMW Group. Other companies on the membership list include IKEA, Google, HP, and Steelcase.

BMW has committed to sourcing more than two-thirds of its electricity consumed to be powered with renewable energy by 2020.

Amy Davidsen, North America executive director at The Climate Group, a non-profit involved with RE100, thinks GM’s new commitment will catch the attention of the global auto industry and other OEMs.

“GM has already saved millions of dollars by using renewable energy, and like any smart business that recognizes an investment opportunity, they want to seize it fully,” Davidsen said in a statement. “We hope that through this leadership, other heavy manufacturing companies will be inspired to make the switch too.”

SEE ALSO:  General Motors Now Member Of Solar Energy Industries Association


Last year, GM used nine terawatt hours of electricity to build vehicles and power offices, tech centers, and warehouses globally. The Detroit automakers expects to surpass its original goal of using 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020 when two new wind energy projects startup later this year to help power four manufacturing plants.

Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global renewable energy manager, said GM will tap into its experience using renewable energy for more than 20 years. He thinks most of the clean energy will come from wind and solar in the next few years.

The automaker’s biggest challenge will be financial costs, along with policy and regulatory barriers in certain countries. But it is getting better, he said.

“Costs have come down and economics are working,” Threlkeld said.

The Detroit News,


Sep 16

5 Cool Things About the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV



As its on-sale date and production start approach, this week Chevrolet released more info on the 2017 Bolt EV which is a first in its class of next-generation electric cars.

Automakers are always looking for ways to amplify excitement for their products, and Chevrolet’s bite-sized revelations are a latest trend to tease a new product along in the public eye, but ultimately the car’s merits will have to speak for themselves.

General Motors said it made it a priority to fast track the first EV with over 200 miles range at a $30,000-after-subsidy price point, and to date it’s been so far so good for the merit count.

People interested in the car – or already pre-sold in their mind – are still anticipating when Chevrolet will open up ordering through its network of dealers who’ve signed on for this and other electrified vehicle sales, though it has started a new website for it.

Many other questions remain, but meanwhile here’s a list of 5 cool things about the 2017 Chevy Bolt

238 Miles Range


Chevrolet said the Bolt EV would provide “more than” 200 miles range, and its EPA estimate of 238 miles in combined city/highway driving is remarkable for the car with a 60-kWh battery which is the size that nominally comes also the base Tesla Model S.

Drivers accustomed to the tremendous energy stored in gasoline may not appreciate a whole 38 miles over the minimum 200-mile target but at this stage, it was a big jump. In contrast, the first 2011 Nissan Leaf came with 73 miles from its 24-kWh battery, and that started the current major manufacturer EV era. Nissan then upped this by 11 miles in 2013, and again by 23 miles in 2016.

The now-107-mile Leaf has been a standard bearer in this EV category and over the past six years the Leaf has squeaked out incremental gains. Does that help put GM’s under-promise and over-deliver extra 38 miles over the bar achievement in perspective?

To test whether the Bolt’s 238 miles was attainable, drivers from various media were sent on a 240-mile road trip from Monterey to Santa Barbara, Calif., and without recharging en route all completed it, with a few finishing with over 30 miles potential remaining on the Bolt’s range meter. Does that mean a careful driver might get 270 miles from a Bolt in slower driving? More?

While not being positioned as a mega-distance conveyance for traveling salesmen, or for long road trips, the Bolt EV has radically upped the range-comfort zone for those looking for zero emission city/suburban cars at this cost level. Many people may be able to go a few days between charging instead of the typical daily plug-in with today’s lower-range EVs.

Stupendous Energy Efficiency


Earlier this year GM’s engineers were brimming with pride for the efficiency of their powertrain, and this week’s revelation of estimated EPA MPGe numbers of 128 city and 110 proclaim that was not idle boasting.

To put this in perspective, the Bolt now lays claim to best highway MPGe of any EV with range over 81 miles. It’s only slightly bested by the the BMW i3 with the original 22-kWh battery and 111 MPGe. The new 33 kWh i3 highway rating drops to 106.

Remarkable is the Bolt’s frontal area is larger than that of a Tesla Model S, yet the 60 kWh Model S is rated for 20 miles less range.

The larger, more-powerful Model S weighs much more which can’t help. And, the Model S may actually surpass the Bolt’s range with its superior aerodynamics at higher speeds than the EPA tests at, but preliminary test results from the aforementioned magazine drivers indicate the Bolt is not too shabby at all.

Respectable Speed and Performance


Although a city/suburban runabout designed to make the Prius look like a gas guzzler, the Bolt is being praised for satisfactory road handling and spritely acceleration from a stoplight – and on the highway.

Its 0-30 mph time from its 200 horsepower, 294-pounds-feet motor and single-speed transmission with two drive settings is as quick as 2.9 seconds, and its 0-60 is reportedly 6.5 seconds. Its 50-75 mph passing power speed is 4.5 seconds.

Top speed is only 91 mph, so it appears the emphasis was on legal performance, and thus usable get-up-and-go power.

SEE ALSO: Bolt EV Nearly As Quick As 300HP Dodge Charger From 50-75 MPH

As for cornering, the battery in floor lowers the center of gravity for the 3,580-pound hatchback to let it drive and feel normal – not boring. Low rolling resistance tires do not help the ultimate lateral acceleration g-force potential – though enterprising drivers willing to forego some efficiency may opt to change out to stickier aftermarket rubber.

Even as delivered however, while not a hot hatch by any stretch, nor likely to best what Tesla’s Model 3 is hoped to deliver, the Bolt should not disappoint.

Excellent Space Utilization

GM developed flat in-floor battery “skateboard” chassis in the 2000s ahead of others which used the concept first including Nissan, BMW, and Tesla, and now GM is using the smarter design in the five-passenger Bolt for maximized interior packaging.

A flat vehicle floor without obtrusive transmission tunnel or battery occupying valuable space is basically like a palette for designers to build the car of their ideals upon.

The automaker says its 16.9-cubic feet of cargo space tops that of the 16.6-cubic feet Honda Fit which itself is the next best thing to Dr. Who’s Tardis for being big on the inside while small on the outside.

Details like thin-frame seats also lend to the roominess in an interior with a mix of trendy but functional design elements.

Outside dimensions are 102.4-inch wheelbase, 164 inches long, 69.5 inches wide, 62.8 inches high. Its 94-cubic-feet of passenger space plus the 17-cubic-feet of cargo room add to 111 cubic feet which technically just makes the cut for mid-size by volume under EPA rules.

GM just says the car is two sizes bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.


Final pricing for the Bolt EV is not set although materials previously sent out by Chevrolet indicated $37,500 which would bring the car to $30,000 assuming a $7,500 federal tax credit. Potential state incentives also stand to reduce the outlay, as could in due time, dealer discounting.

Though not as easy on the eyes as is a sleek Tesla – in the estimate of many observers – the main takeaway here is the Bolt is as close as one comes today to a comparative steal in the range-for-dollar metric.

The 60-kWh Model S starts in the upper 60s, so if the objective is to have an electric car with maximum range, the Bolt could be had two for the price of one – though again, it is not being positioned against the Model S, or even the promised Model 3.

Actually, a more-even comparison for the Bolt would be to the Leaf, and other EVs in the sub-$40,000 range – and even a bit over that if including the BMW i3.

Compared to Leaf with the 107-miles range at just over $35,000 before incentives and discounts, the Bolt has more than doubled what the EV buying dollar can get in this echelon.

Nissan says it has a competitive second-generation Leaf in store but has not indicated when it will get here, and meanwhile 238-miles EPA rated range for the Bolt for $30,000 – or $37,500 MSRP – otherwise blows anything else in this league out of the water.

This article appears also at


Sep 15

2017 Chevrolet Volt Receives Top Safety Marks from IIHS


By Jason Siu


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has finally tested the second-generation Chevrolet Volt.

Although the Chevrolet Volt was redesigned for the 2016 model year, IIHS didn’t test it until now as part of a testing program of electric vehicles. The 2017 Chevrolet Volt earned good ratings across-the-board for crashworthiness, and its performance in the small overlap front test was an improvement over the previous-generation Volt that earned an acceptable rating.

The Volt earned a superior rating for front crash prevention when equipped with optional Front Automatic Braking and Low-Speed Front Automatic Braking. On track tests conducted by IIHS, the vehicle avoided collisions at 12 mph and 25 mph.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Chevy Volt Review – Video

When equipped only with Low-Speed Front Automatic Braking, the Volt avoided a collision at 12 mph, and its impact speed was reduced by 5 mph in the 25 mph test. IIHS also noted that the low-speed system gets credit for the warning function and earns an advanced rating.

Starting next year, vehicles will also need good or acceptable headlights in order to qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award. The Volt’s standard headlights earned an acceptable rating, but when equipped with optional high beam assist, the headlight rating improves to good.

This article originally appeared at


Sep 14

2017 Chevy Bolt Can Drive 238 Miles on a Charge


Note – I was in Detroit on another event, just getting back late to my desk, so posting this story with news I’m pretty sure you all have heard by now. It deserves mention just the same, as GM has surely beaten most expectations since it only said “more than” 200 miles range. Questions do remain however, and we’ll be eager to learn and report more. – Jeff

By Stephen Elmer


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an official estimated range for the all-electric 2017 Chevy Bolt: 238 miles (383 km).

Chevy says that it still plans to offer the Bolt for a starting price of below $37,500, before a federal tax credit of $7,500 is applied. The car will begin arriving in select Chevy dealerships in late 2016, offering customers the most all-electric range for the cheapest price on the market.

The cheapest 2016 Nissan Leaf starts at just $29,860 before tax credits, but it only offers 84 miles of driving range. The Tesla Model S is the only other electric vehicle on the market to offer over 200 miles of range, but it costs at least $66,000. For that base price, you get a 210-mile range from Tesla.

SEE ALSO: ‘Not a compliance car,’ GM says 2017 Chevy Bolt can meet demand of over 50,000 per year

The true range of the Bolt will also fluctuate. Long, 70-mph highway drives will drain the batteries quicker, while around town the small Bolt may actually be able to exceed the 238-mile rating.

Back when we drove a prototype of the Chevy Bolt, the brand said that the car will be able to fully recharge in 9 hours using an available 240-volt charger, and can regain roughly 25 miles of range per hour of charge. If you step up to a DC Fast Charger, the Bolt should be able to regain about 90 miles of range in 30 minutes.

This article originally appeared at


Sep 13

What Range is Enough to Allow EV Mass Acceptance?


By Tim Healey


One of the biggest obstacles to widespread adoption of EVs is range, or lack thereof.

So what minimum range will be needed for the public to feel more comfortable driving EVs? Is it the 200 miles being promised by the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3?

SEE ALSO: Chevrolet Teases 2017 Bolt EV ‘Regen on Demand’ Paddle

Green Car Reports put out a poll to its Twitter followers on what the minimum range would be, and over half said 200 miles. The second most, though, was 300 miles, and 150- and 120-mile ranges both polled under 10 percent.

SEE ALSO: Five Advantages The Chevy Bolt Has Over The Tesla Model 3

That suggests that 200 miles may be a minimum, and readers may want 300 miles while also having the awareness that 300-mile ranges aren’t practical for most EVs at this time. A 300-mile range would be on the lower side for most gasoline-powered vehicles, save for sports cars, large trucks, and large SUVs, so EVs have a ways to go. Given that over a third of the readers voted for 300 miles, consumers may feel the most comfortable at that range.

Only Tesla offers more than 200 miles of range with its current products, and neither one of those – the Model S or Model X – is affordable for most consumers.

Only one in five vehicles is driven more than 40 miles per day, but Americans tend to buy based on maximum range. This is due to urban and suburban sprawl, lack of alternative transit options, and range degradation in poor weather, as well as other factors.

So even if a 200-mile range is enough 99 percent of the time, most buyers may not feel comfortable with that. On the other hand, maybe consumers will find that 200 miles is enough in all but the most rare of situations. We’ll find out what consumers really want, versus what they say, over the next few years.

Green Car Reports