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Chevrolet Planning to Launch 200-Mile Bolt Electric Vehicle in Late 2016

GM wants to “put a muzzle on” outspoken Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

by on Feb.06, 2015

The Chevy Bolt would deliver significantly longer range than almost any current battery-electric vehicle - for around $30,000. Photo by Len Katz.

General Motors will begin building a production version of its Chevrolet Bolt battery-electric concept vehicle in October 2016, several well-placed company sources told TheDetroitBureau.com, a move that will put GM into direct competition with California EV start-up Tesla Motors, as well as more traditional automakers such as Nissan and BMW.

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Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month, the Chevy Bolt concept was expected to deliver about 200 miles of range per charge – more than double that of most of the electric vehicles currently on the market. That would address the issue of “range anxiety’ which, industry analysts say, has held back demand for battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

GM officials, meanwhile, said they would deliver the Bolt for around $30,000, which would put it much closer to the price tag of a comparable, gas-powered vehicle.

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New GM Electric Vehicle Could Take Aim at Tesla

Chevrolet Bolt expected to deliver 200-mile range at $30,000 price tag.

by on Jan.11, 2015

The nose of the current Chevrolet Volt, the first mass-market plug-in hybrid. It was redesigned for 2016. A pure electric Chevy Bolt could follow in 2017.

First came the Chevrolet Volt, now comes the Chevy Bolt. Even as General Motors gets ready to officially unveil an all-new version of its plug-in hybrid, various sources suggest the Detroit maker also will debut a concept version of a battery-electric vehicle at this week’s North American International Auto Show.

Significantly, the Chevrolet Bolt is expected to deliver as much as 200 miles range per charge. That would more than double what most of the current crop of electric vehicles can handle – and would be in line with what Tesla is thought to be targeting for the Model III, the mainstream EV it plans to launch in a couple years.

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And, at an estimated $30,000, GM would likely undercut the smaller Tesla model while coming in only slightly higher than some competing vehicles delivering half Bolt’s range, such as the Nissan Leaf, the Ford Focus Electric, and the current Chevrolet Spark, which can travel just 82 miles per charge.

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Chevrolet Offers Unexpected Preview of New 2016 Volt

"Significant" improvements to range, mileage and performance.

by on Jan.05, 2015

Chevy intentionally made sure reporters got only a brief view of a poorly-lit version of the 2016 Volt during a sneak preview at CES.

A week before its official unveiling at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, Chevrolet pulled off a surprise, giving a small group of reporters a first, brief glimpse of the second-generation Volt plug-in hybrid.

While the unexpected preview at the Consumer Electronics Show revealed a significant shift in styling, Chevy officials withheld specific details, including the range and fuel economy of the 2016 Volt.

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But in a subsequent conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com, Chevrolet’s global marketing chief Tim Mahoney did confirm that the updated extended-range electric vehicle will deliver a “significant” increase in mileage, as well as the distance it can travel in all-electric mode, while there will be a number of other improvements, including a roomier and more upscale interior, as well as increased performance.

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EVs May Not be as Green as They Seem

New study claims battery cars actually can worsen global warming.

by on Dec.16, 2014

Where does that electricity come from?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new battery-electric vehicle in an effort to be kinder to the environment, a new study suggests you might want to think again. According to its authors, EVs might actually worsen global warming.

If you’re charging up your new battery-car using electricity generated from coal, it turns out, you’ll actually create nearly four times as much soot, while increasing the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere – while also increasing smog deaths, according to the new study by the University of Minnesota.

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“It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline,” despite its bad reputation among environmentalists, said study co-author and engineering professor Julian Marshall. “A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean,” he added, “are not better than gasoline.” (more…)

Volvo Reveals “Twin Engine” XC90 T8

Plug-in SUV balances performance, fuel efficiency.

by on Dec.08, 2014

The Volvo XC90's plug-in drive will allow it to launch from 0 to 62 in 5.9 seconds - and yield 25 miles on battery power alone.

Volvo is out to prove that an SUV can be environmentally friendly – and still be a lot of fun to drive.

The maker is offering a first look at the new XC90 T8, a plug-in version of its next-generation SUV that it expects to deliver high fuel economy, low emissions and near sports car-like performance, with 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62 mph) launch times of just 5.9 seconds.

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“The XC90 T8 is a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one,” explains R&D chief Peter Mertens. “The Drive-E engines already offer highly competitive performance versus the competition. The T8 takes it further into a leading position.”

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Detroit Electric Releases “Final” Design of SP:01 Electric Sports Car

Over a year late, the maker promises to launch production before year-end.

by on Oct.27, 2014

An obvious digital rendering shows the revised rear of the Detroit Electric SP:01 sports car's "final design."

Better late than never? That’s apparently the philosophy at Detroit Electric, the ambitious, if struggling, battery-carmaker that has been promising to put the world’s fastest electric sports car into production.

First teased at a splashy Motown event in the spring of 2013 – with a concept vehicle unveiled at last year’s Shanghai Motor Show, Detroit Electric has missed all of its original targets. But despite the legions of skeptics, it has today released an image of what it is billing “the final exterior design” of its pure battery electric sports-car, the SP:01.

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Apparently, quite a bit has changed since Detroit Electric first announced plans to revive a brand name that has been gone since the Great Depression.

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Green Car Finalists Announced

Battery power vies with diesel, CNG and advanced gas options.

by on Oct.21, 2014

The BMW i3 is one of five cars up for the 2015 Green Car of the Year award at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

There’s been plenty of attention paid to electric vehicles over the last several years, but not all green machines have a battery under the hood.

To underscore that point, just check out the five finalists for the 2015 Green Car of the Year. The nominees for the annual award, which will be presented at the Los Angeles Motor Show next month, present a mix of alternatives that include not only the requisite EVs, but also a diesel, a bi-fuel package and a conventional gasoline-powered model. The list is dominated by three European models with one each from Japan and the U.S.

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“These five exceptional vehicles reflect an expanding ‘green’ car field that embraces diverse fuels and technologies as answers to a more efficient and low carbon future,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Each offers a distinctly different approach to driving ‘green’ that appeals to buyers with varying needs and perspectives on how best to lessen environmental impact, while maintaining the joy of driving.” (more…)

Tesla Announces “Auto-Pilot,” AWD Updates for Model S

But news falls short of some expectations.

by on Oct.10, 2014

Tesla claims the high-performance AWD version of the Model S will deliver McLaren-like performance.

Tesla Motors is giving its Model S battery-electric vehicle a “D,” but some buyers – especially those in the Snowbelt – are likely to reward the company with an “A.” As for investors, well, that’s another matter.

The new Tesla Model S D edition will be the first to get all-wheel-drive, a must in many parts of the country, as competing luxury carmakers have discovered. Meanwhile, a high-performance version of the AWD Model S will now be capable of launching from 0 to 60 in barely 3 seconds, on a par with a $1 million McLaren supercar, Tesla CEO Elon Musk boasted during a preview in Hawthorne, California.

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Musk’s frequent tweets had been triggering a flurry of speculation about what Tesla might have in store. And, among other things, the start-up battery-carmaker also announced a new “auto-pilot” system that will allow nearly hands-free driving on the highway. But the technology fell short of expectations that Tesla would reveal a fully autonomous version of the Model S – or of its next-generation Model III.

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Tomorrow’s Mustang Will Likely Adopt Radical New Powertrain Options

Downsized engines, e-turbos, hybrids and other options all under study.

by on Sep.18, 2014

The 2015 Ford Mustang now gets an EcoBoost engine option that balances performance and mileage.

When Ford Motor Co. unveiled its 50th anniversary Mustang late last year, it delivered a shock to the market by adding a new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to its powertrain line-up alongside the pony car’s classic V-8 and V-6 packages.

The EcoBoost engine is expected to have significant appeal to fuel economy-minded buyers, especially those overseas, where Ford will aggressively market the Mustang for the first time. The inline-four also will help Ford prepare to meet increasingly stringent mileage and emissions standards in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

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But it is likely to be just a first step in what could become a radical transformation in the powertrain options Mustang buyers will be offered in the not-too-distant future. Various Ford officials tell TheDetroitBureau.com that the range of alternatives that could be required to keep the pony car in the fleet range from even higher-tech turbo and supercharged engines to gas-electric hybrids that can deliver both improved mileage and serious performance simultaneously.

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Tesla Confirms Plans for 3rd, Mainstream Model

Maker plans to have a line-up full of S-III-X.

by on Jul.16, 2014

Tesla hopes to charge up a more mainstream audience when it launches the new Model III by 2017.

California battery-car start-up Tesla Motors has shown it can take on established premium-luxury brands with its Model S sedan, but the real test will come when it launches an all-new mainstream electric vehicle it’s planning to call the Model 3, or Model III, depending on which tweet you read.

CEO and founder Elon Musk has long made clear his plans to go down-market, the new sedan expected to come somewhere around $35,000 – or between one-half and one-third of the price of the bigger Model S, depending on equipment and range. That would position the new offering as a direct competitor to the likes of – appropriately enough, the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans.

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The Model 3 actually would be Tesla’s fourth model, following the original Roadster, the Model S and the upcoming Model X sport-utility vehicle set to debut next year. But it would be, by Tesla’s count, bring the debut of the brand’s third-generation battery technology.

And it would allow the maker to come close to its original plans for a somewhat inside joke. The smaller model was originally scheduled to be called the Model E – until, that is, Tesla was reminded by rival Ford Motor Co. that the Michigan maker owned that trademark.

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