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GM Inks Another Big Battery Car Deal

Following deal with A123, GM will also partner with LG Chem on battery car development.

by on Aug.25, 2011

GM CEO Dan Akerson and LG COO Juno Cho sign a new battery car development deal.

Even as skeptics question the market potential for the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, General Motors is charging into the battery world with the latest in a series of deals aimed at making it a leader in electric propulsion.

The maker will expand its current alliance with Korean battery supplier LG Chem, the two partners saying they will work together on the development of new electric vehicles.  Precisely what type of products they hope to bring to market remains to be seen, but GM has already announced it will launch more Volt-based plug-ins, including a new model for Cadillac.  And, using batteries from LG Chem’s rival, A123, the Detroit maker is expected to launch its first pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, in 2014, TheDetroitBureau.com reported earlier this month.  (For more on the A123 project, Click Here.)

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“Many solutions for tomorrow’s transportation needs may be available more quickly by building on our partnership strategy,” said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky. ”Consumers benefit by getting the latest fuel-saving technology faster if we work with the best suppliers and we save time and money in the development process.”

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Chevrolet to Increase Volt Production Capacity 50%

Promise comes as U.S. President Tours Volt’s Hamtramck Plant.

by on Jul.30, 2010

The first Volt moving down the line at the Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant.

General Motors today said that thanks to “strong public interest” in the Chevrolet Volt, it will increase production capacity of the four-seat series hybrid car from 30,000 units to 45,000 units in 2012.

The announcement came as U.S. President Barack Obama toured the Detroit-Hamtramck facility, where the Volt is being produced now for sale later this year.

“We are very proud to host the President of the United States at this plant, where the future of the American automobile industry is being built today by the men and women of General Motors,” said Edward E. Whitacre, Jr., the GM Chairman and CEO, who was approved by the Administration and took over as the failed company was emerging from bankruptcy.

U.S. taxpayers invested more than $60 billion in GM to allow it to survive and now own a majority stake in the privately held firm. It is a matter of much debate as to whether taxpayers will get all of their money back, but recent developments, including GM’s return to profitability, means some of the more than $50 billion spent will be returned if a public stock offering is successful.

Earlier this week, Chevrolet dealers began taking customer orders for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, following the release of retail and lease pricing. (See Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle Starts at $41,000, Gulp, about $8,000 More than the Nissan Leaf)

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Job Creation?

Taxpayers are providing massive subsidies to help overcome the objections of potential buyers for what are now and for the foreseeable future high cost, limited range electric vehicles, including tax credits of up to $7,500 per vehicle to purchasers, as well a variety of subsidized infrastructure changes. (See Taxpayers to Subsidize EVs and Charging Stations)

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Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle Starts at $41,000, Gulp, about $8,000 More than the Nissan Leaf

Lease payments for 36 months are $350; $2,500 due at signing.

by on Jul.27, 2010

Volt has a claimed total driving range of 340 miles.

In what will be the largest market test for expensive electric vehicles in the U.S. since General Motor’s Impact or EV1 of more than a decade ago, Chevrolet announced today that the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of the Volt starts at $41,000, including a freight charge of $720. The price is $33,500 if, big if, the buyer qualifies for a full federal income tax credit that ranges from $0 to $7,500.

This is roughly $8,000 more than the Nissan Leaf EV, which has a similar roll-out plan for the U.S. also starting late this year. The pricing is aggressive on GM’s part, and no doubt meant to recover something close the the Volt’s cost to produce, not including the  program cost which could easily run to $1 billion.

The four-seat Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle will also come with a standard, eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its lithium-ion battery pack – the best in the business thus far. (See GM Flings Warranty Gauntlet on Volt EV)

Nissan has not yet released its warranty details, but it has released pricing. Including the maximum $7,500 federal tax credit for which the Leaf is also eligible, the consumer’s after-tax net cost of a Leaf could be as low as $25,280. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $32,780. Leaf leasing begins at $349 per month.

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Stay Wired!

Taxpayers are providing massive subsidies to help overcome the objections of potential buyers for what are now and for the foreseeable future high cost, limited range electric vehicles, including tax credits of up to $7,500 per vehicle to purchasers, as well as a variety of subsidized infrastructure changes. (See Taxpayers to Subsidize EVs and Charging Stations)

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GM Flings Warranty Gauntlet on Volt EV

Chevrolet Volt battery backed for eight-years, 100,000 miles.

by on Jul.14, 2010

A 2007 concept car is about to become production reality.

The Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle will come with a standard, eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its lithium-ion battery pack when it goes on sale late this year – the best in the business thus far.

At current prices, the cost of a Volt battery pack is about $16,000, or the price of a new compact car, so the GM announcement is potentially significant – at least for the first owner of the car. (See Driving the Chevrolet Cruze)

The replacement cost of electric vehicle batteries is one of many concerns that have thus far kept EVs as mere low volume curiosities instead of the mainstream vehicles that proponents maintain they should become.

Nissan’s electric Leaf is also due to go on sale this December in Europe, Japan and the U.S. on a limited basis. Nissan has not yet released warranty details, but unlike GM, it has released Leaf pricing. Including the maximum $7,500 federal tax credit for which the Leaf is eligible, the consumer’s after-tax net cost of a Leaf could be as low as $25,280. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $32,780. Leaf leasing begins at $349 per month.

Fully Charged!

It has been widely speculated in the media that GM will ask $40,000 for a Volt, before taxpayer subsidies. However, that was before GM returned to profitability and started becoming more aggressive in its marketing.

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Buick to Add Plug-in Hybrid Crossover in 2010

Five-passenger CUV shares key components with Chevy Volt.

by on Aug.06, 2009

Buick will launch an all-new small crossover in 2010, and introduce a version with a plug-in hybrid powertrain a year later.

Buick will launch a small crossover in 2010, and a version with a plug-in hybrid powertrain a year later.

General Motors has revealed plans to add a new plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle, or PHEV, to its line-up, a 5-passenger Buick crossover that will go debut in 2011, a year after a conventionally-powered version of the CUV will be launched.

The as yet-unnamed Buick, which GM expects to be the first commercially available plug-in SUV, will share many of its underlying components with the much-touted Chevrolet Volt, though there will be distinct, underlying differences between the two products.

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“This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game,” proclaimed Tom Stephens, GM’s new “car czar,” during a speech at the Management Briefing Seminars, and auto industry confab, in Traverse City, Michigan.  “Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology,” he added, “so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover.”

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