Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘chevy bolt’

Autonomous Cars, Battery Vehicles and Record Sales: a Look at 2016’s Top Auto Stories

Industry at “an inflection point.”

by on Dec.29, 2016

Ford's next-generation autonomous Fusion prototype. Self-driving cars were a hot story in 2016.

Barring an unexpected, December surprise, 2016 will go out like a lion for the U.S. auto industry, automakers collectively racking up their third consecutive year of record sales. That’s an all the more massive achievement considering the decade began with the worst downturn the U.S. car market had suffered since the Great Depression.

What’s ahead for the industry is far from certain, demand showing signs of losing momentum in recent months. But what’s clear is that 2016 will not only go down in the record book from a sales perspective but that the year could be seen as marking a series of major transitions – “an inflection point,” in the words of John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, Google’s recently renamed autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

The Last Word!

What was once the stuff of science fiction began shifting into everyday reality this past year, with hundreds of self-driving vehicle prototypes taking to public roads across the country – some even being used as part of ride-sharing pilot programs in Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

(more…)

GM to Launch Autonomous Chevy Bolt EV Public Test

Self-driving battery car will roll off suburban Detroit assembly line.

by on Dec.16, 2016

GM CEO Mary Barra with an autonomous Bolt.

General Motors will join the growing list of automakers testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in Michigan, expanding a program that has already put 30 self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs on roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona.

The new models will add the latest in sensor technology, including laser-based LIDAR, cameras and radar, and will roll off the same, Orion Township, Michigan assembly line producing the retail version of the Chevy Bolt EV. GM delivered the first retail version of the long-range battery car to three customers in California earlier this week.

Subscribe Now!

“GM will immediately begin autonomous vehicle testing on public roads in Michigan,” CEO Mary Barra announced during a news conference at the suburban Detroit plant on Thursday afternoon.

(more…)

First Drive: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Getting charged up over battery power.

by on Dec.12, 2016

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt can manage 238 miles from its 60 kWh battery pack, says the EPA.

It’s no surprise that the first generation of battery-electric vehicles barely registered on the U.S. sales charts. They were small, costly and, with the exception of a few luxury-priced Teslas, not very much fun to drive. Add limited range and only the most green-minded buyers were willing to plug in.

But the equation is about to change and, if a handful of new models deliver what they’re promising, we could begin to see electric propulsion move into the mainstream. First out of the box is the new Chevrolet Bolt EV. With a range of 238 miles and a price tag dipping below $30,000 – once you factor in the $7,500 federal tax credit – there’s a lot to like about the Chevy hatchback.

Stay Plugged In!

We’ve now had three stints behind the wheel of the Bolt EV, including our first drive of a pre-production prototype last January. While it may not have the cache of the Tesla Model 3 – which won’t make it to market until the second half of 2017 at the earliest – the new Chevy battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, really delivers on all its promises. It’s surprisingly quick, roomy and able to deliver nearly as much range as comparably sized gas vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Sonic.

(more…)

Getting it Right: Inside the Chevy Bolt EV Plant

by on Dec.09, 2016

A new Chevrolet Bolt rolls down the assembly line at GM's Orion Township Assembly Plant.

With the plant running at only about a third of its capacity, General Motors has dimmed the lights at much of its Orion Township Assembly Plant, save for one final station near the end of the production line. There, in a booth lit as brightly as a mid-summer’s day, a couple of hourly workers are carefully inspecting a Chevrolet Bolt hatchback.

They’re determined to make sure all the sheet metal and chrome fit together as planned, and that there are no nicks or scratches to the paint. GM can’t afford any mistakes. The Chevy Bolt EV could prove to be one of the most important products the Detroit-based automaker has launched in decades.

Plug In!

The first long-range, affordably priced battery-electric vehicle isn’t likely to generate six-figure sales. Nonetheless, it will not only demonstrate whether there’s a mainstream market for EVs but also show whether GM can appeal to the sort of buyers who have largely flocked to either imports or new start-ups like Tesla.

(more…)

Will Trump Unplug EVs?

U.S. could lose lead in battery-car market.

by on Nov.21, 2016

The Jaguar I-Pace is making its debut appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

It certainly doesn’t look like your typical Jaguar. Indeed, its cab-forward proportions are decidedly different from most vehicles on the market today. That’s because the Jaguar I-Pace Concept making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week was designed specifically to take advantage of its electric propulsion system — with its batteries and motors below the floor that translates into a much larger cabin than you’d normally expect.

Jaguar is just one of the many automakers displaying new battery-based vehicles at the L.A. Auto Show. There’s the next-generation Fortwo Electric Drive, the new Volkswagen e-Golf, which gets a 50% bump in range, and the pure electric version of the Hyundai Ioniq. Chevrolet is not only showing off the production version of the Bolt battery-electric vehicle, but also the numerous awards it collected last week, including Green Car of the Year and Motor Trend Car of the Year.

Subscribe Now!

With dozens of new hybrids, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles set to debut between now and 2020 it might seem to be a golden era for battery-based vehicles. But some observers wonder whether the push to electrify the automobile might suddenly be short-circuited by the election of Donald Trump, a man who has repeatedly denied climate change, declaring that global warming is a “hoax” created by the Chinese.

(more…)

Chevrolet Bolt Lauded as Green Car of the Year

Battery car claims another endorsement.

by on Nov.17, 2016

Chevrolet Bolt marketing manager Steve Majeros and Green Car Publisher Ron Cogan show off the battery-car's latest award.

The Chevrolt Bolt, the world’s first long-range, mainstream-priced battery-electric vehicle, was given another in a growing list of endorsements, being named Green Car of the Year during a ceremony at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Organizers of the award called the Bolt a “game-changer,” suggesting that its launch will transform the public’s perception of green powertrain technology from a quirky niche to something that can appeal to everyday drivers.

Green News!

“This takes battery power into the mainstream,” said Ron Cogan, publisher of Green Car Journal and the organizer of the annual Green Car of the Year award. “This is the transition year. Green technology is no longer for early adopters.”

(more…)

Chevrolet Gets a Jump as Bolt Production Begins

Sales set to begin before year-end.

by on Nov.07, 2016

A prototype Chevrolet Bolt rolls down the line at the GM plant in Orion Township, Michigan.

The line is moving at a snail’s pace, but production of the Chevrolet Bolt is finally ramping up at the General Motors assembly plant in the Detroit suburb of Orion Township, with the first of the new, long-range battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, set to go on sale before the end of the year.

Parent General Motors is hoping that it can steal a march on a variety of competitors, notably Tesla Motors, who hope to get their own long-range electric vehicles into showrooms over the next several years. With regulators in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China pushing the industry to expand sales of zero-emissions vehicles, the Bolt could provide the first real test of a vehicle designed to overcome so-called range anxiety.

Subscribe Now!

But whether motorists will take to the $37,495 Chevy Bolt – or any of the other, more mainstream BEVs to follow is far from certain. Fully electric models have accounted for just 0.4% of the U.S. market so far this year. Adding in plug-ins and conventional hybrids, battery-based vehicles still only make up a miniscule 2.5%.

(more…)

First Look: Tesla Model 3 Battery Sedan

Over 100,000 buyers already plugged in with advance orders.

by on Apr.01, 2016

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk stands on stage with three of the maker's new Model 3 sedans.

With a standing-room-only crowd cheering him on, Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk pulled the wraps off the long-awaited Model 3 sedan Thursday night, a vehicle intended to take the battery-carmaker into the automotive mainstream.

A downsized version of the luxurious Model S, the Tesla Model 3 will go for about half the price, starting at $35,000, Musk said, for a vehicle that will deliver at least 215 miles range per charge, launch from 0 to 60 in under six seconds, comfortably fit five adults and surround them with a full range of safety features, as well as the semi-autonomous AutoPilot system.

Plug In!

More than 115,000 advance orders have already been placed, said Musk, noting plans call for the first of the sedans to be delivered “next year.” But in a nod to the fact that the recently launched Tesla Model X fell two years behind schedule, the South African-born executive added, “I feel fairly confident they will begin next year.”

(more…)

Tesla Set for Biggest Risk Yet as it Reveals New Model 3

Will early interest translate into profitable sales?

by on Mar.31, 2016

A shortage of showrooms could prove a problem taking the new Tesla Model 3 mainstream.

Battery-carmaker Tesla Motors is set to make the biggest bet in its short life Thursday night with the official unveiling of the all-new Model 3.

At an estimated price of $35,000, the new sedan will cost less than half as much as the base version of the current Tesla Model S and, if all goes according to plan, transform the California carmaker into a serious mainstream, rather than niche, manufacturer.

Plug In!

According to some observers, Tesla could very quickly log more than 100,000 early reservations. But not everyone is convinced, one analyst warning that “fundamental headwinds” could prove more substantial than Tesla’s ever-upbeat founder and CEO Elon Musk has anticipated.

(more…)

GM Set to Move Faster on Future Battery Cars

Will GM partner with Honda on plug-based models?

by on Jan.07, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra at the CES debut of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.

The launch of the new Chevrolet Bolt is likely to mark the start, rather than the end, of General Motors’ electrification efforts, a number of company officials tell TheDetroitBureau.com.

And though CEO Mary Barra was not ready to comment about future models during a media roundtable in Las Vegas, she stressed the speed with which GM will have gone from concept to customer with the 200-mile Bolt. It was first revealed in prototype form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, returning in production form at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. The Chevy Bolt will be on sale later this year.

Stay Plugged In!

“That speaks to the speed of this technology team,” said Barra, adding that, “We are committed to electrification. We see it as a very important part” of the GM portfolio.

(more…)