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Manufacturing Revamp?

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV pre-production

GM spoke out a week ago about a national electric vehicle mandate that they were in favor of. Tesla has reported a bigger than expected profitable quarter and if you Bing or Google National electric vehicle mandate, the stories covering this is huge with more auto companies in favor than against. 

GM, Honda and the State of California have all as of 10-26-2018 officially pushed back on Trump and his administration in regards to the U.S. fuel economy standards. The short story of what you can read at the bottom in the links is that they are saying the federal government should embrace a zero emission vehicle sales mandate nationwide with a program start date of 2021. Honda took it a step forward and said a nominal steady increase should continue on all auto's and not a freeze. To quote Mark Reuss, GM's executive vice president of global product development, "We know that we can do better than the Trump proposal. We know that the industry can do better than that." GM states that a nationwide program would put 7 million long-range electric cars on the road and slash 375 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared with existing zero-emission mandates in this country.

For details read the automotive news story as if really digs into the details of what is being called Faulty Modeling by the current administration and EPA. The story does quote the free-market Institute for Energy Research who says the existing standards are too aggressive penalizing suburban and rural consumers who are concerned about driving range and reliability. Industry uncertainty is very clear with some taking a big wait and see like FCA on one end and then GM, Honda and California on the other end saying the current administrations plan for revoking California's rule-making authority is flawed  and should be scrapped.

To quote Reuss in regards to a national electric car program: "It will facilitate more makers to be able to really focus on development of electric vehicles more efficiently, and take the guesswork out of what we think may or may not happen. We're making bets on a lot of uncertainty, which is highly destructive to capital."

So what does this have to do with the title of "Fast Lane to EVs for GM? Some Think So!"

Green car report got a no comment from GM when asked about a number of changes going on including upcoming announcements in regards to the Hamtramck plant which currently builds the Volt and is under utilized. The potential spin-off of Cruise Automation and or Maven, their profitable third quarter report and more according to multiple sources they say.

To achieve the executive plan of Mary Barra of 20 new EVs by 2023 announced last fall GM is planning to make a series of manufacturing-location and development changes in motion to electrify it's fleet according to sources the story says. UAW and GM were in a give and take negotiations last year where the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala were all on the possible kill off list as large sedans have struggled to sell in the current market lately. Some of these we know will continue on.

GM has been cagey about the role of Plug-in hybrids with the slow selling of the Volt especially compared to the Toyota Prius Prime with a lower plug-in range, yet demand for the BOLT on the other hand has been very strong as GM has announced plans to expand production at the plant this year. GM's plan to unveil new long range electric CUVs also show that major changes in manufacturing will have to happen. GM is pushing ahead with a all new electric vehicle platform that will cover compact to full size electric long range auto's including family-sized crossovers. They have announced their all-new battery pack that will go into generation 2 EVs that will break the $100 / kWh barrier for lithium-ion packs allowing for a range of scale for both the China and US market along with the rest of the global market.

This all comes on GM showing off their eCOPO Camaro that has an 800 volt battery pack very similar it would seem to the 800 volt pack that Porsche is using. This supports 700HP / 600 lb-ft of torque motors. Fast Charging that is 80% range in 15 min. it would appear that GM is embracing the future of automotive driving. Remember the Buick Enspire EV that has a 370 mile range battery pack, AWD with 550 HP with a 0 to 60 in 4 seconds.

#1BuickEnspire.jpg

Then keep in mind while these are for China only, it would not be totally out of line for GM to change their mind and bring the Buick Velite 6 plug-in hybrid and long-range electric auto to the US after manufacturing starts in China. The Velite name used in China for all Hybrid and electric Buicks is currently on the Volt 2.0 platform, but the Velite 6 will be based on GMs new Modular compact to full size platform according to the Fool story. Buick Velite plug-in Hybrid will have a 435 mile range with battery pack / generator combo as it will use the new high-performance ternary lithium-ion battery pack built in the new GM battery plant in Shanghai. GM currently will not say much more about the new generation battery packs only they will release more info at a later date, possibly at an American auto show.

#2BuickVelite6.jpg

#4BatteryPack.jpg

#3BuickVelite6.jpg

Long story short, Motley Fool has a rare Double Down buy on GM stock with 20 new EV models for the global and US market, GM is showing true forward thinking that should place them well above other auto OEMs.

GM has a $10,000 award for naming of their new $1,000 electric bike they are putting into production for sale across the U.S.

GM_eBIke-003 (1).jpg

GM_eBike-002.jpg

According to GM the person responsible for naming this new foldable eBike will win $10,000 and all one needs to do is go to https://ebikebrandchallenge.com/call-for-entries to enter. You have till November 26th to enter. Nine finalist will win $1,000 each also. With the largest bike market being China, this totally makes sense for GM to get into and the U.S. as well as other markets will benefit from a bike that is assisted with electric drive to go nice and fast.

So with so much electrification going on, why would one not expect GM to do a massive change in their manufacturing of auto's as they move to embrace a 36 month revolutionary role out or electric vehicles, bikes and who knows what else.

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Shocking, 31 reads of the story, no posts and after almost 22hrs, not a single sarcastic remark or down vote from @ocnblu I think he must be slipping! :duck:

@A Horse With No Name @Robert Hall What do you guys think?

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I haven't read it..been out enjoying the fall weather and shopping for appliances this weekend.  But I will read it.

 

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Correction : "Tesla has reported an unexpected profitable quarter." ;)

- - - - -
I have a suspicion that support of an 'EV sales mandate' is simply to push volume and help OEMs achieve economies of scale. Many of the OEMs have invested hugely in the tech and the returns, after the order of a decade, is usually nothing. After all, a single profitable quarter from Tesla does not make a successful or viable company- they have 10s of billions in losses behind that one quarter (I believe they actually have posted 3 profitable quarters, tho never in close proximity to each other).

But the question looms huge : mandating a sales volume number does nothing to mandate a vehicle SALE. This is the very same issue facing municipalities/countries talking about an ICE ban. Talk and standards are one thing, but to date you cannot force people to buy something.

 

Edited by balthazar
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image.png

I submitted the following for GM's new eBike naming contest. Hey I would be happy with a $1,000, but if I win $10,000 that would be awesome.

éclat

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"E-clat" or is it "EK-lat"?

As soon as you have to ponder pronunciation, I think there's a better choice out there- no offense.

EDIT :: it's "aye-CLA". Ugh.

Edited by balthazar
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15 minutes ago, balthazar said:

"E-clat" or is it "EK-lat"?

As soon as you have to ponder pronunciation, I think there's a better choice out there- no offense.

EDIT :: it's "aye-CLA". Ugh.

I go by e-clat, sound nice for an electric bike. Would like to test one for a ride. Be interesting to see how fast you can go.

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eclat is an existing brand in BMX bike aftermarket, it looks like.   Wasn't it also a '70s Lotus (the fastback version of the Elite?).

As far as the original post, some interesting ideas.  I do think a national standard/initiative would be good.  Having a different set of standards in different states isn't good, it should be standardized for all states, IMO. 

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GM is calling for Leadership in Zero Emissions Vehicles in the 21st century.

https://www.gm.com/masthead-story/its-time-for-american-leadership-in-zero-emissions-vehicles.html

Nice video, clearly GM is wanting to buck the trends of the oil companies and lead the auto industry into the future.

To quote: We have a historic opportunity to make personal mobility safer, better and more sustainable. GM is calling for a National Zero Emission Vehicle program to move our country towards an all-electric, zero emissions future. Our ideas will conserve energy, reduce emissions and preserve the freedom that drives American innovation and industrial strength.

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Better to lead than follow, or worse, have your corporate head in the sand...

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