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Conventional Gas-Powered Cars Will Be in Minority by 2017

“No single technology will dominate,” says new study.

by on Dec.23, 2014

Even Cadillac may opt for an alternate approach when it launches its Gen-4 CTS-V.

With gas prices down to less than $2.00 at a growing number of pumps around the country, a growing number of American motorists have been flocking back to showrooms for pickups, SUVs and muscle cars. Yet, despite that sudden surge, the days of the classic V-8 and V-6 may be coming to an end.

In fact, a new study suggests that less than half of the vehicles that will be sold around the world by 2017 will be powered by conventional gasoline engines. Alternative fuels, electrified vehicles and more advanced internal combustion systems will make up the majority of the global mix, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

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And the pace of that transition will only accelerate in the years ahead. Even in the U.S., tough new fuel economy standards set to go into effect by 2025 will force major changes under the hood, industry insiders concur.

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Chevrolet Confirms New Spark EV Coming to LA

GM’s 1st battery car to share stage with other electrics.

by on Nov.14, 2012

An inside-out look at the new Chevrolet Spark EV.

Battery car proponents are getting charged up about the upcoming LA Auto Show. Chevrolet is the latest maker to confirm it will have some electrifying news to announce at the annual event – in the form of the new Spark EV.

The Chevy minicar will be General Motors’ first pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, since the much-heralded GM EV1 was pulled from the market after the 1999 model-year.

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“The Spark EV and next-generation of MyLink (Chevy’s new infotainment system) demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering the advanced technologies that today’s consumers will be eager to adopt and truly value,” said Chevrolet General Marketing Manager Chris Perry.

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GM Creates “Customer Advisory Board” For Volt

15 “advocates” and “enthusiasts” to give feedback after 3-month test drives.

by on Sep.29, 2010

Members of the new Chevy Volt Customer Advisory Board will get 3-month test drives then offer their feedback on the battery car.

It’s common for automakers to start fielding fleets of new models in the months before launch and ask company employees for feedback that might uncover problems or improve marketing efforts.  But with the launch of one of its most critical new products in decades, General Motors is turning to a panel of 15 consumers to test-drive the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

The 15 electric vehicle “advocates” and “enthusiasts” on the new “Customer Advisory Board” will each get a Volt to drive, starting next month.  The 3-month tests will continue through December, about when the first of Chevy’s extended-range electric vehicles begin to roll into dealers in a select group of initial launch markets.

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“We are eager to learn as much as we can from potential customers about their experience with the Volt.  We want to know their thoughts, impressions, and perceptions,” said the Volt’s marketing director, Tony DiSalle, in a release.

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Scion Rules Out Hybrids And EVs – At Least For Now

Despite youthful interest in green technology, Toyota brand maintaining emphasis on price.

by on Sep.16, 2010

Save the whales? Scion may be billing itself as environmentally-friendly, but don't expect it to use battery power anytime soon.

Who says today’s young buyers want to go green?  According to Scion, Toyota’s youth-oriented brand-within-a-brand, price trumps environmental leanings.

While the marque’s parent has become the top-seller of hybrids worldwide, with models like the Toyota Prius, Scion has “no plan” to get into the battery can market, the division’s General Manager Jack Hollis responded to a question from TheDetroitBureau.com.

Instead, the corporate strategy is to focus on keeping Scion prices down and letting Toyota come to market with the more expensive hybrid, plug-in and pure battery-electric offerings.

“We have no plan to expand into the hybrid side or to electrify” with products like the Nissan Leaf, Hollis said following the preview of the 2011 Scion tC coupe.

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That model underscores the division’s strategy, Hollis explained, which is to come to market with vehicles under $20,000 that emphasize style and the efficient use of conventional internal combustion engine power.

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No Gas Tax for Drive to Electrify, says Transportation Secretary

Government can't do it all alone, says Sec. LaHood.

by on Jan.11, 2010

There may be a new "partnership" between government and the auto industry, but don't expect the White House to fund the drive to electrify by raising gas prices, warned LaHood.

Stressing that the auto industry is an essentially part of a healthy American economy, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood nonetheless cautioned that the government can only work with the industry, not cover the cost of the massive transformation it’s not going through — particularly if that would require new gasoline taxes.

LaHood provided the opening remarks for the 2010 North American International Hall, held at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.  Outside the center, a group of protestors gathered to express their anger at the Obama Administration’s multi-billion dollar bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, last year.  But the Secretary defended that controversial decision.

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“This industry would not have a bright future, said LaHood, without the government’s assistance.  “It’s a good investment,” and besides, he added, the protestors should be told that, “General Motors is starting to pay back the money taxpayers loaned to them.

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GM Dedicates 1st U.S. Auto Lithium Battery Plant

Detroit facility could produce 70,000 LIon packs annually.

by on Aug.14, 2009

The GM Subsystem Manufacturing facility in suburban Detroit will be the first high-volume automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing site in the U.S.

The GM Subsystem Manufacturing facility in suburban Detroit will be the first high-volume automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing site in the U.S.

General Motors Corp. plans to have the capacity to build as many as 70,000 battery packs at its new battery assembly plant outside of Detroit.

Fritz Henderson, GM president and chief executive officer, said GM’s plans call for not only using the lithium ion battery packs in the Volt but also in other vehicles.

“We will start hiring relatively soon,” he said after unveiling GM’s plans for the renovated 160,000-square-foot space at I-75 and King Road in Brownstown Township. Henderson said GM’s timetable calls for prototype production to start the first part of 2010. Thus, GM is prepared to begin the hiring process, he said.

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The plant could eventually operate on three production shifts, building as many as 70,000 battery packs.

“Developing and producing advanced batteries is a key step in GM’s journey to become the leader in electric vehicles,” Henderson said. “The state-of-the-art battery manufacturing site reinforces our commitment to achieve the goal and to deliver clean fuel-efficient vehicles to our customers,” he said.

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