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Found 362 results

  1. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com New Chargepoint Express 100 has RPH of 100 miles - Wave of the Future? Chargepoint has released their newest charger for Home to Commercial use, the Express 100. This charger is a first in the industry with a rating of 100 miles RPH or Range Per Hour charging. The unit is a 24kW output fast charging unit capable of a 100 mile charge in an hour. The unit is compatible with all OEM EV autos. The slim design is a wall mount unit that can install anywhere. This unit has the ability to truly make road trips in an EV possible with current EVs today. Chargepoint Express 100 units are being installed along the Pacific Northwest Electric highway as well as all over the rest of the US. You can read more about the Express 100 here: http://www.chargepoint.com/express/cpe100 The Express 100 is a combo charging unit capable of working with older EV autos and requires the following electrical, 26.6kW, 400-480V 3 phase, 32A input line with 4 wire (L1, L2, L3, Earth) 3 phase using a dedicated 3-pole 40A non-GFCI circuit breaker. More technical specifications can be viewed here: http://www.chargepoint.com/files/datasheets/73-001069-01-1-DS-CPE100-00.pdf Chargepoint help you to maximize your investment by minimizing your cost with the help of their internal web site that directs you to your state and the incentives that are available to help pay for the charging stations. http://www.chargepoint.com/station-incentives Charge point has a great location finder for their chargers around the US open to the public and a smart phone application you can download from Google Play or the Apple App Store.
  2. Following in the footsteps of Tesla and Toyota, Ford announced last Friday that it would open up its portfolio of electric and hybrid vehicle patents to competitors to help accelerate the development of these vehicles. Now unlike Tesla and Toyota's programs, Ford is charging a licensing fee. “Innovation is our goal. The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers,” said Kevin Layden, director of Ford electrification programs. Ford says they have filed 650 electric vehicle patents and about 1,000 pending applications relating to hybrid and plug-in vehicles. Those interested in purchasing one of Ford's patents can either go through the blue oval's technology commercialization and licensing office or through the AutoHarvest Foundation - a nonprofit that Ford help found in 2012. A Ford spokesman tells Automotive News that pricing for the various patents range with “some in the hundreds and some in the thousands.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford Press Release is on Page 2 Ford Opens Portfolio of Patented Technologies to Competitors to Accelerate Industry-Wide Electrified Vehicle Development Ford is opening its portfolio of electrified vehicle technology patents to competitive automakers to accelerate industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles In 2014, Ford filed for 400-plus electrified vehicle patents – more than 20 percent of the total patents the company applied for last year Ford is set to hire an additional 200 electrified vehicle engineers this year as the team moves into a newly dedicated facility – Ford Engineering Laboratories – home to Henry Ford's first laboratories DEARBORN, Mich., May 28, 2015 – Ford Motor Company is offering competitors access to its electrified vehicle technology patents – a move to help accelerate industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles. In 2014, Ford filed more than 400 patents dedicated to electrified vehicle technologies. This is more than 20 percent of the patents the company filed – totaling more than 2,000 applications. "Innovation is our goal," said Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs. "The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers." Ford Motor Company is a leader in this area – offering six hybrid or fully electrified vehicles including Ford Focus Electric, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, Ford C-MAX Hybrid, Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. In total, Ford has more than 650 electrified vehicle patents and approximately 1,000 pending patent applications on electrified vehicle technologies. Ford's innovations have resulted in acclaimed electrified vehicles on the road today, but the company believes sharing its patented technologies will promote faster development of future inventions as all automakers look toward greater opportunities. "As an industry, we need to collaborate while we continue to challenge each other," said Layden. "By sharing ideas, companies can solve bigger challenges and help improve the industry." To access Ford's patents and published patent applications, interested parties can contact the company's technology commercialization and licensing office, or work through AutoHarvest – an automaker collaborative innovation and licensing marketplace. AutoHarvest allows members to showcase capabilities and technologies, then privately connect with fellow inventors to explore technology and business development opportunities of mutual interest. The patents would be available for a fee. "Ford helped launch AutoHarvest as a founding member to enable efficient and transparent technology licensing across the automotive industry and beyond," said Bill Coughlin, president and CEO, Ford Global Technologies, which manages intellectual property for Ford. As part of Ford's increased focus on new and innovative technologies, the automaker is set to hire an additional 200 electrified vehicle engineers this year as the team moves into a newly dedicated facility – Ford Engineering Laboratories – home to Henry Ford's first labs in Dearborn. Available Ford electrified vehicle patents Here are some of Ford's electrified vehicle patents available for competitors to purchase: Method and Apparatus for Battery Charge Balancing, patent No. US5764027: The patent covers passive cell balancing: discharging a cell through a resistor to lower the state of charge to match other cells. This innovation extends battery run time and overall life. This is the first invention to enable battery balancing at any time, instead of only while charging, and it enables the use of lithium-ion batteries in electrified vehicles. It was invented long before lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles became commonplace – truly ahead of its time. Temperature Dependent Regenerative Brake System for Electric Vehicle, patent No. US6275763: The technology works to maximize the amount of energy recaptured in a hybrid vehicle through regenerative braking. By improving the interplay between normal friction brakes and regenerative braking during stopping at certain air temperatures, a driver is able to recapture more energy than previously possible, helping the motorist drive farther on a charge. Driving Behavior Feedback Interface, patent No. US8880290: The patent provides a system and method for monitoring driver inputs such as braking and accelerating, and vehicle parameters including energy consumption to assess driving behavior. The feedback can be used to coach future driving behavior that may translate into better long-term driving habits and improve fuel economy. This technology also has enabled drivers of non-electrified vehicles, such as a Ford Focus, to develop better driving habits. View full article
  3. Following in the footsteps of Tesla and Toyota, Ford announced last Friday that it would open up its portfolio of electric and hybrid vehicle patents to competitors to help accelerate the development of these vehicles. Now unlike Tesla and Toyota's programs, Ford is charging a licensing fee. “Innovation is our goal. The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers,” said Kevin Layden, director of Ford electrification programs. Ford says they have filed 650 electric vehicle patents and about 1,000 pending applications relating to hybrid and plug-in vehicles. Those interested in purchasing one of Ford's patents can either go through the blue oval's technology commercialization and licensing office or through the AutoHarvest Foundation - a nonprofit that Ford help found in 2012. A Ford spokesman tells Automotive News that pricing for the various patents range with “some in the hundreds and some in the thousands.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford Press Release is on Page 2 Ford Opens Portfolio of Patented Technologies to Competitors to Accelerate Industry-Wide Electrified Vehicle Development Ford is opening its portfolio of electrified vehicle technology patents to competitive automakers to accelerate industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles In 2014, Ford filed for 400-plus electrified vehicle patents – more than 20 percent of the total patents the company applied for last year Ford is set to hire an additional 200 electrified vehicle engineers this year as the team moves into a newly dedicated facility – Ford Engineering Laboratories – home to Henry Ford's first laboratories DEARBORN, Mich., May 28, 2015 – Ford Motor Company is offering competitors access to its electrified vehicle technology patents – a move to help accelerate industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles. In 2014, Ford filed more than 400 patents dedicated to electrified vehicle technologies. This is more than 20 percent of the patents the company filed – totaling more than 2,000 applications. "Innovation is our goal," said Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs. "The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers." Ford Motor Company is a leader in this area – offering six hybrid or fully electrified vehicles including Ford Focus Electric, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, Ford C-MAX Hybrid, Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. In total, Ford has more than 650 electrified vehicle patents and approximately 1,000 pending patent applications on electrified vehicle technologies. Ford's innovations have resulted in acclaimed electrified vehicles on the road today, but the company believes sharing its patented technologies will promote faster development of future inventions as all automakers look toward greater opportunities. "As an industry, we need to collaborate while we continue to challenge each other," said Layden. "By sharing ideas, companies can solve bigger challenges and help improve the industry." To access Ford's patents and published patent applications, interested parties can contact the company's technology commercialization and licensing office, or work through AutoHarvest – an automaker collaborative innovation and licensing marketplace. AutoHarvest allows members to showcase capabilities and technologies, then privately connect with fellow inventors to explore technology and business development opportunities of mutual interest. The patents would be available for a fee. "Ford helped launch AutoHarvest as a founding member to enable efficient and transparent technology licensing across the automotive industry and beyond," said Bill Coughlin, president and CEO, Ford Global Technologies, which manages intellectual property for Ford. As part of Ford's increased focus on new and innovative technologies, the automaker is set to hire an additional 200 electrified vehicle engineers this year as the team moves into a newly dedicated facility – Ford Engineering Laboratories – home to Henry Ford's first labs in Dearborn. Available Ford electrified vehicle patents Here are some of Ford's electrified vehicle patents available for competitors to purchase: Method and Apparatus for Battery Charge Balancing, patent No. US5764027: The patent covers passive cell balancing: discharging a cell through a resistor to lower the state of charge to match other cells. This innovation extends battery run time and overall life. This is the first invention to enable battery balancing at any time, instead of only while charging, and it enables the use of lithium-ion batteries in electrified vehicles. It was invented long before lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles became commonplace – truly ahead of its time. Temperature Dependent Regenerative Brake System for Electric Vehicle, patent No. US6275763: The technology works to maximize the amount of energy recaptured in a hybrid vehicle through regenerative braking. By improving the interplay between normal friction brakes and regenerative braking during stopping at certain air temperatures, a driver is able to recapture more energy than previously possible, helping the motorist drive farther on a charge. Driving Behavior Feedback Interface, patent No. US8880290: The patent provides a system and method for monitoring driver inputs such as braking and accelerating, and vehicle parameters including energy consumption to assess driving behavior. The feedback can be used to coach future driving behavior that may translate into better long-term driving habits and improve fuel economy. This technology also has enabled drivers of non-electrified vehicles, such as a Ford Focus, to develop better driving habits.
  4. G. David Felt Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer www.CheersandGears.com Tesla Model S Has YOU COVERED! REALLY? Tesla sent out the following email this week about how they have you covered with electric charging stations all over North America. Yet while the Email touts their Range assurance and Trip Planner to have a successful pure EV road trip, I was asking myself is this really true? Tesla Email The Tesla has you Covered web page tends to state the following numbers. 90% of owners are within 175 miles of a supercharger station. 96% of owners within 175 miles of a supercharger or destination charger. Tesla states that while most cars do not improve over time, their auto's actually do by getting faster, smarter and better due to Tesla's over the air software updates. While I will take no issue with the updates adding features, improving the over all performance of their electric system, or even their new applications that all Tesla Owners received on the pushed update being Range Assurance which works in the back ground while you drive communicating with the Supercharger and destination chargers and keep you aware of which ones are available as well as which ones are in heavy use or inactive so that you do not drive out of range and have no charge. Tesla says this is how they take care of their customers through innovation and intelligence. Tesla states the following: Over the next 12 months, all of Europe and North America (excluding northern Alaska) will be covered, as well as China (apart from low population areas far inland), the Japan main islands and southern Australia. They believe it is their responsibility to guide you to the closest available charging station relative to your trip route which is where their new Trip Planner comes in telling you the best route to take to make sure you have charging capability even if it is not the most direct or fastest route. Tesla does go onto state that Supercharger stations take 20 to 30 min to full charge which goes well when you have driven 3 to 4 hrs and want to use the restroom, get a bite to eat or take a break and stretch your legs. Destination chargers take 4 to 12 hrs depending on type. Yet I found when reviewing their live map that many of the so called charging stations are either private slow chargers for customers only or expected future chargers by states or fed programs. This brings up how far do we let a company push their marketing agenda to sells auto's over reality of what is really available? Should Tesla also state which ones are a charge for fee versus just stating a charging system is available? Seems some resorts and businesses will let you charge for free while others you have to pay. Another question I have is people willing to go to small places they would usually not stop at only due to not having a charging system in a major city? Example of this is that Spokane Washington and Coeur d'Alene Idaho have charging systems in place at resorts for guests only and yet if you want a charge you have to stop in Ritzville to charge first before you make your Spokane destination if you are not staying at the lone single resort that has a charging system. A stop that is 61 miles before Spokane clearly reducing your EV Range or 93 miles before reaching Coeur d'Alene Idaho giving you about 50% battery left and very much minimizing the ability to sight see. What are your thoughts? Is Tesla right in marketing a charging map with various degrees of accuracy?
  5. Tesla isn't going to be the only automaker with an electric-only crossover. Audi announced this week they are planning to do an EV "sports activity vehicle" for early 2018. The announcement was made by Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s research and development boss during the brand's annual press conference. Hackenberg didn't go in much detail about the model, but did talk about certain items with Autocar. He revealed the model will use the MLB platform like the new Audi Q7 and feature design cues from the recent Audi Prologue concept car. Source: Audi, Autocar Image Source: Autocar Press Release is on Page 2 Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management at AUDI AG for Technical Development Speech to the Annual Press Conference 2015 Ladies and Gentlemen, 2014 was the year of technical milestones, tests and records. Think of the sportiest piloted car in the world, the Audi RS 7 concept, which lapped the Hockenheimring racetrack extremely dynamically without a driver – at up to 240 km/h. Another mega-success was our 13th victory in the world's most important endurance race. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro with diesel-hybrid drive triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 2014 – that was also 25 years of TDI technology. As strong evidence of the future viability of combustion engines, we showed the Audi RS 5 TDI concept – the fastest diesel ever timed on the Hockenheimring. For the first time, a high-performance model was powered by a fuel-efficient diesel engine with 283 kilowatts (385 horsepower). In terms of design, we laid down clear indications of a new direction last year. The Audi prologue is a signature car for our new design language. It combines esthetics with technology and is both progressive and highly emotive. Those are some examples of how we are shaping the mobility of the future with superior solutions. 2015 and after are years of technologies, products and customer enthusiasm. We will significantly accelerate our model initiative in 2015. Here are some highlights: The new Audi Q7* that we presented in Detroit in January is a benchmark for large premium SUVs – in terms of drivetrain, efficiency, weight, connectivity and space. Up to 325 kg lighter than its predecessor, CO2 champion in its class with just 149 g/km – that's efficiency in the top segment. At present, there is no other car in the world that offers more connectivity, infotainment and driver assistance. And it is the first automobile based on the second generation of our modular longitudinal platform (MLB 2). This applies to our second world premiere, too: The Audi Q7 e-tron quattro, that we presented in Geneva last week. It is the world's first plug-in hybrid with a diesel engine and quattro drive. It drives up to 56 kilometers purely on electric power and has best-in-class fuel consumption in the test cycle of just 1.7 liters per 100 km and it emits less than 50 grams of CO2 per km. It is therefore a clear demonstration of how we are consistently electrifying the drivetrains in our entire portfolio – and strengthening our overall efficiency. Also in Geneva, we presented three models of our new Audi R8 family – the Audi R8 V10*, the Audi R8 LMS for motorsport and the Audi R8 e-tron. That's "Vorsprung durch Technik" with full emphasis on sporty driving. The Audi R8, our sporty RS models, the sports-car icon Audi TT* and our traditionally excellent performance in motorsport all send the same message: Audi is about automotive sportiness, and quattro plays a substantial role. 35 years of quattro – that means: At present, we have more than 180 model versions with permanent all-wheel drive in all segments, from the Audi A1* small compact car to the Audi A8* large sedan. And more than six million quattro models sold since the first presentation in 1980. Audi is the leading premium all-wheel-drive brand and has the widest range of all-wheel-drive vehicles of all its direct competitors. Audi quattro continues to be our core technology. Our promise for the future: We will offer the unique sporty quattro driving experience also in the era of highly efficient and electric drive systems. Our automobiles will always carry the genuine Audi genes – sportiness, progressiveness and exclusiveness- and a lot of driving pleasure. And so, we enhance our development activities in innovative areas such as 1. Engines, efficiency and sustainability 2. Connectivity and piloted driving3. Design and lighting Since February 2014, Marc Lichte has been the Head of Audi design. With his team, he is working on a new design language that emphasizes our technology even more. We most recently gave a glimpse of this in Geneva: As you know, stylish station wagons have been called "Avant" at Audi for many years. The Audi prologue Avant continues this tradition with its dynamically stretched form. It is muscular and athletic and at the same time flowing and elegant. Already with the new Audi A4 and the Audi Q1, we will lay down new markers for emotive and precise design. The first products in Marc Lichte's design language will then be the new Audi A8, Audi A7 and Audi A6 models. From Marc Lichte now to lighting technology. In addition to its purely functional properties, light is a key feature of automobile esthetics. Our lighting innovations are leading. Exterior lighting is a car's signature. Interior lighting enhances the premium ambience. For the future of automobile lights we can say: They will get more dynamic and interactive, they will become a carrier of information. Information, communication and connectivity are dominant features of our lives already today. Our future is connected mobility. Connectivity in the car ensures that drivers and passengers experience more information, more safety and more comfort. Some examples: The Audi virtual cockpit, our fully digital combination instrument, premiered in 2014 in the new Audi TT. It's now going into the new Audi Q7 and Audi R8. Smartphones are now integrated through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They are charged inductively – very conveniently and wirelessly in the Audi phone box. Also to be found in the new Audi Q7: the Audi tablet for the passengers' infotainment. It is a proprietary development by Audi and is the first tablet with full automotive compatibility. That means it fulfills all temperature and crash requirements – these are features that you don't find with ordinary tablets. In the Audi prologue, we are presenting a revolutionary operating concept: The entire front of the dashboard is a large touch display. Architecture, display and operating concept form a harmonic whole. At CES 2015, we demonstrated the Audi mobile key. You can lock and unlock the car with your smartphone or smartwatch and you can let it drive into or out of the garage. Near-field communication and the latest encryption technology make sure this convenience function will meet all security standards. Audi is the pioneer of piloted driving. Since 2010, we have set one technical milestone after the other. The latest highlight: In January, we drove in piloted mode with journalists on public roads through two states of the US and generated great interest. Our technology is ready for series production. The new Audi A8, which we plan to launch in 2017, will be the first model to make the transition from assisted to piloted driving. It has a traffic-jam pilot on board and offers piloted parking. The new Audi A8 therefore represents a paradigm shift. The prerequisites for piloted driving are radar, laser and ultrasound sensors as well as cameras in and at the outside of the car. This is how we generate a precise picture of the traffic situation. We therefore create a stable, redundant system that masters all situations in road traffic. With the Audi prologue piloted driving, we are today letting you have a look at artificial intelligence in the future car. The Audi prologue continues to learn with every kilometer it drives and saves its knowledge in a data cloud. In the future, our cars will continually compare their data with that in the cloud. We are already testing piloted driving in Germany, the United States and Asia. In this way, we are learning a lot about the behavior of our cars, our drivers and other road users in real road traffic. Our objective is for Audi drivers and other road users to experience the increase in safety and comfort that connected mobility offers. Connected cars are not only safer, but also more efficient, as they adjust their driving style to the current traffic conditions. In this way, they support our vision of CO2-neutral mobility. We achieve the biggest reduction in CO2 emissions by fully utilizing the potential of our combustion engines. Here are two latest examples of how our engines will become more efficient: Number 1: We will equip TDI engines as standard with an electrically driven compressor (EAV). The Audi RS 5 TDI concept car was the first high-performance car in which we showed this development in 2014. With the electrically driven compressor, we were able to reduce CO2 emissions by up to seven grams of CO2 per kilometer while significantly increasing performance. Example number 2: The predictive efficiency assistant (PEA) is in use in the new Audi Q7 for the first time. It combines data from the navigation system and sensors to let the car drive in an anticipatory manner. In test drives, this reduced fuel consumption by about ten percent. We are working to meet worldwide market-specific CO2 limits also by optimizing the total vehicle, for example with system-integrative lightweight construction as in the new Audi Q7. Plug-in hybrids, natural gas and battery-electric drive systems have a key role to play in achieving CO2 targets. The Audi A3 e-tron* as a plug-in hybrid and the Audi A3 g-tron* powered by natural gas were successfully launched on the market in 2014. Both of them already have successors: the electrified Audi Q7 and the future Audi A4 g-tron based on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform (MLB 2). We plan to have a plug-in hybrid in every model series in the coming years. In 2014, we announced that we will produce our sportiest ambassador for electric mobility, the Audi R8 e-tron, to customer order in a tailor-made manufacturing process. The time has come. Its range is a good 450 kilometers in the fuel-consumption cycle. With its efficient drivetrain, the Audi R8 e-tron offers competitive and customer-focused long-range electric mobility. We have redesigned the battery's technology from its ground and achieved a new level of performance and energy density. Its fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery has a capacity of more than 90 kWh and is integrated into the Audi Space Frame structure of the car. We manufacture this battery at the Audi center of excellence for battery technology in the Ingolstadt area. This is a great proof for the engineering power of Audi. In addition, the Audi R8 e-tron continues to be our technology carrier for future electric cars. In early 2018, we will launch a battery-powered sports activity vehicle in the large premium segment with a range of more than 500 kilometers. It will have a new, very attractive design, which we are developing especially for the e-tron range and for battery-electric vehicles. This sports activity vehicle will be built on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform. From the very beginning, this tool for optimal drivetrain diversity implementation has been designed for a broad variety of concepts. As an alternative to battery-electric drivetrains and with regard to the future of the automobile, we presented our concept for fuel-cell technology in November 2014. On board of a fuel-cell powered car, electric energy is generated by a synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen. In our Audi A7 h-tron quattro technology carrier, we demonstrated the viability of this concept. And, this technology is ready for series development. Only four weeks ago, we acquired a number of strategically important patents from Ballard Power Systems, Inc., a global leader in fuel cell technology. This will further strengthen both our broad patent portfolio and our competitive advantage in terms of fuel cell technology development. I would like to close with some personal remarks. When I came back to Audi in July 2013, I committed myself to change. Jointly with the Technical Development team, I focused on pushing "Vorsprung durch Technik" with innovations in a more consistent manner. Also, I put a lot of emphasis on a new impetus for the design of our products. Today, we may say: We are doing the right things AND we are doing them with enthusiasm. We fuse technology and design in a fundamentally new design language. We are leading with pioneering technologies for high-tech combustion engines and alternative drive systems, lightweight construction, lighting, driver assistance, connectivity and data management, as well as for piloted driving. In this way, we are shaping the future of the automobile with convincing products, and we are offering our customers a sporty, connected, comfortable and efficient premium driving experience. We invest extensively in our global development network, strengthening our team with additional experts, and systematically applying the module strategy. Furthermore, development synergies across the brands in the Group offer great benefits. All of that contributes to an overall positive balance sheet of the Technical Development division. "Vorsprung durch Technik" – that applies more than ever. You may expect a lot from us – now and in the future. Thank you for your kind attention.
  6. Tesla isn't going to be the only automaker with an electric-only crossover. Audi announced this week they are planning to do an EV "sports activity vehicle" for early 2018. The announcement was made by Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s research and development boss during the brand's annual press conference. Hackenberg didn't go in much detail about the model, but did talk about certain items with Autocar. He revealed the model will use the MLB platform like the new Audi Q7 and feature design cues from the recent Audi Prologue concept car. Source: Audi, Autocar Image Source: Autocar Press Release is on Page 2 Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management at AUDI AG for Technical Development Speech to the Annual Press Conference 2015 Ladies and Gentlemen, 2014 was the year of technical milestones, tests and records. Think of the sportiest piloted car in the world, the Audi RS 7 concept, which lapped the Hockenheimring racetrack extremely dynamically without a driver – at up to 240 km/h. Another mega-success was our 13th victory in the world's most important endurance race. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro with diesel-hybrid drive triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 2014 – that was also 25 years of TDI technology. As strong evidence of the future viability of combustion engines, we showed the Audi RS 5 TDI concept – the fastest diesel ever timed on the Hockenheimring. For the first time, a high-performance model was powered by a fuel-efficient diesel engine with 283 kilowatts (385 horsepower). In terms of design, we laid down clear indications of a new direction last year. The Audi prologue is a signature car for our new design language. It combines esthetics with technology and is both progressive and highly emotive. Those are some examples of how we are shaping the mobility of the future with superior solutions. 2015 and after are years of technologies, products and customer enthusiasm. We will significantly accelerate our model initiative in 2015. Here are some highlights: The new Audi Q7* that we presented in Detroit in January is a benchmark for large premium SUVs – in terms of drivetrain, efficiency, weight, connectivity and space. Up to 325 kg lighter than its predecessor, CO2 champion in its class with just 149 g/km – that's efficiency in the top segment. At present, there is no other car in the world that offers more connectivity, infotainment and driver assistance. And it is the first automobile based on the second generation of our modular longitudinal platform (MLB 2). This applies to our second world premiere, too: The Audi Q7 e-tron quattro, that we presented in Geneva last week. It is the world's first plug-in hybrid with a diesel engine and quattro drive. It drives up to 56 kilometers purely on electric power and has best-in-class fuel consumption in the test cycle of just 1.7 liters per 100 km and it emits less than 50 grams of CO2 per km. It is therefore a clear demonstration of how we are consistently electrifying the drivetrains in our entire portfolio – and strengthening our overall efficiency. Also in Geneva, we presented three models of our new Audi R8 family – the Audi R8 V10*, the Audi R8 LMS for motorsport and the Audi R8 e-tron. That's "Vorsprung durch Technik" with full emphasis on sporty driving. The Audi R8, our sporty RS models, the sports-car icon Audi TT* and our traditionally excellent performance in motorsport all send the same message: Audi is about automotive sportiness, and quattro plays a substantial role. 35 years of quattro – that means: At present, we have more than 180 model versions with permanent all-wheel drive in all segments, from the Audi A1* small compact car to the Audi A8* large sedan. And more than six million quattro models sold since the first presentation in 1980. Audi is the leading premium all-wheel-drive brand and has the widest range of all-wheel-drive vehicles of all its direct competitors. Audi quattro continues to be our core technology. Our promise for the future: We will offer the unique sporty quattro driving experience also in the era of highly efficient and electric drive systems. Our automobiles will always carry the genuine Audi genes – sportiness, progressiveness and exclusiveness- and a lot of driving pleasure. And so, we enhance our development activities in innovative areas such as 1. Engines, efficiency and sustainability 2. Connectivity and piloted driving3. Design and lighting Since February 2014, Marc Lichte has been the Head of Audi design. With his team, he is working on a new design language that emphasizes our technology even more. We most recently gave a glimpse of this in Geneva: As you know, stylish station wagons have been called "Avant" at Audi for many years. The Audi prologue Avant continues this tradition with its dynamically stretched form. It is muscular and athletic and at the same time flowing and elegant. Already with the new Audi A4 and the Audi Q1, we will lay down new markers for emotive and precise design. The first products in Marc Lichte's design language will then be the new Audi A8, Audi A7 and Audi A6 models. From Marc Lichte now to lighting technology. In addition to its purely functional properties, light is a key feature of automobile esthetics. Our lighting innovations are leading. Exterior lighting is a car's signature. Interior lighting enhances the premium ambience. For the future of automobile lights we can say: They will get more dynamic and interactive, they will become a carrier of information. Information, communication and connectivity are dominant features of our lives already today. Our future is connected mobility. Connectivity in the car ensures that drivers and passengers experience more information, more safety and more comfort. Some examples: The Audi virtual cockpit, our fully digital combination instrument, premiered in 2014 in the new Audi TT. It's now going into the new Audi Q7 and Audi R8. Smartphones are now integrated through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They are charged inductively – very conveniently and wirelessly in the Audi phone box. Also to be found in the new Audi Q7: the Audi tablet for the passengers' infotainment. It is a proprietary development by Audi and is the first tablet with full automotive compatibility. That means it fulfills all temperature and crash requirements – these are features that you don't find with ordinary tablets. In the Audi prologue, we are presenting a revolutionary operating concept: The entire front of the dashboard is a large touch display. Architecture, display and operating concept form a harmonic whole. At CES 2015, we demonstrated the Audi mobile key. You can lock and unlock the car with your smartphone or smartwatch and you can let it drive into or out of the garage. Near-field communication and the latest encryption technology make sure this convenience function will meet all security standards. Audi is the pioneer of piloted driving. Since 2010, we have set one technical milestone after the other. The latest highlight: In January, we drove in piloted mode with journalists on public roads through two states of the US and generated great interest. Our technology is ready for series production. The new Audi A8, which we plan to launch in 2017, will be the first model to make the transition from assisted to piloted driving. It has a traffic-jam pilot on board and offers piloted parking. The new Audi A8 therefore represents a paradigm shift. The prerequisites for piloted driving are radar, laser and ultrasound sensors as well as cameras in and at the outside of the car. This is how we generate a precise picture of the traffic situation. We therefore create a stable, redundant system that masters all situations in road traffic. With the Audi prologue piloted driving, we are today letting you have a look at artificial intelligence in the future car. The Audi prologue continues to learn with every kilometer it drives and saves its knowledge in a data cloud. In the future, our cars will continually compare their data with that in the cloud. We are already testing piloted driving in Germany, the United States and Asia. In this way, we are learning a lot about the behavior of our cars, our drivers and other road users in real road traffic. Our objective is for Audi drivers and other road users to experience the increase in safety and comfort that connected mobility offers. Connected cars are not only safer, but also more efficient, as they adjust their driving style to the current traffic conditions. In this way, they support our vision of CO2-neutral mobility. We achieve the biggest reduction in CO2 emissions by fully utilizing the potential of our combustion engines. Here are two latest examples of how our engines will become more efficient: Number 1: We will equip TDI engines as standard with an electrically driven compressor (EAV). The Audi RS 5 TDI concept car was the first high-performance car in which we showed this development in 2014. With the electrically driven compressor, we were able to reduce CO2 emissions by up to seven grams of CO2 per kilometer while significantly increasing performance. Example number 2: The predictive efficiency assistant (PEA) is in use in the new Audi Q7 for the first time. It combines data from the navigation system and sensors to let the car drive in an anticipatory manner. In test drives, this reduced fuel consumption by about ten percent. We are working to meet worldwide market-specific CO2 limits also by optimizing the total vehicle, for example with system-integrative lightweight construction as in the new Audi Q7. Plug-in hybrids, natural gas and battery-electric drive systems have a key role to play in achieving CO2 targets. The Audi A3 e-tron* as a plug-in hybrid and the Audi A3 g-tron* powered by natural gas were successfully launched on the market in 2014. Both of them already have successors: the electrified Audi Q7 and the future Audi A4 g-tron based on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform (MLB 2). We plan to have a plug-in hybrid in every model series in the coming years. In 2014, we announced that we will produce our sportiest ambassador for electric mobility, the Audi R8 e-tron, to customer order in a tailor-made manufacturing process. The time has come. Its range is a good 450 kilometers in the fuel-consumption cycle. With its efficient drivetrain, the Audi R8 e-tron offers competitive and customer-focused long-range electric mobility. We have redesigned the battery's technology from its ground and achieved a new level of performance and energy density. Its fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery has a capacity of more than 90 kWh and is integrated into the Audi Space Frame structure of the car. We manufacture this battery at the Audi center of excellence for battery technology in the Ingolstadt area. This is a great proof for the engineering power of Audi. In addition, the Audi R8 e-tron continues to be our technology carrier for future electric cars. In early 2018, we will launch a battery-powered sports activity vehicle in the large premium segment with a range of more than 500 kilometers. It will have a new, very attractive design, which we are developing especially for the e-tron range and for battery-electric vehicles. This sports activity vehicle will be built on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform. From the very beginning, this tool for optimal drivetrain diversity implementation has been designed for a broad variety of concepts. As an alternative to battery-electric drivetrains and with regard to the future of the automobile, we presented our concept for fuel-cell technology in November 2014. On board of a fuel-cell powered car, electric energy is generated by a synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen. In our Audi A7 h-tron quattro technology carrier, we demonstrated the viability of this concept. And, this technology is ready for series development. Only four weeks ago, we acquired a number of strategically important patents from Ballard Power Systems, Inc., a global leader in fuel cell technology. This will further strengthen both our broad patent portfolio and our competitive advantage in terms of fuel cell technology development. I would like to close with some personal remarks. When I came back to Audi in July 2013, I committed myself to change. Jointly with the Technical Development team, I focused on pushing "Vorsprung durch Technik" with innovations in a more consistent manner. Also, I put a lot of emphasis on a new impetus for the design of our products. Today, we may say: We are doing the right things AND we are doing them with enthusiasm. We fuse technology and design in a fundamentally new design language. We are leading with pioneering technologies for high-tech combustion engines and alternative drive systems, lightweight construction, lighting, driver assistance, connectivity and data management, as well as for piloted driving. In this way, we are shaping the future of the automobile with convincing products, and we are offering our customers a sporty, connected, comfortable and efficient premium driving experience. We invest extensively in our global development network, strengthening our team with additional experts, and systematically applying the module strategy. Furthermore, development synergies across the brands in the Group offer great benefits. All of that contributes to an overall positive balance sheet of the Technical Development division. "Vorsprung durch Technik" – that applies more than ever. You may expect a lot from us – now and in the future. Thank you for your kind attention. View full article
  7. G. David Felt Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer www.CheersandGears.com BMW i8 Cool or Poor Engineering Choices? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTNKiTrX0Vk BMW Technicians go over the BMW i8 on how to open the doors and the hood in the You Tube Video above. This made me just go WOW as questions flooded my mind on how in my own opinion this is poorly engineered. In reading the posted comments, it would seem many think like I do. From the comments on BMW is starting to be like Apple, you have to pay them to do anything even basic like fill washer fluid to the most common broken item is the manual door release if your fob release fails to work or you need to get out in an emergency to the certified BMW technician who calls the door switches and hood latches the most flimsy he has ever seen. It even takes two people to open the hood to get access to basic items to refill and you have no way to hold it up unless you use two Phillip screw drivers in hing holes to hold the hood up. Do not think about pushing just anywhere to close the hood as you can crack or break the hood and if you do not have even pressure on both sides by the two people you end up with flex which will crack the hood. Just getting to the Hood release requires releasing manual pull cables one on each side of the door jam. Over all, I did not see one positive comment on this car from the posting and it really shows how crazy BMW is to think people will pay the type of money for this auto that is so poorly engineered. Watch The Video! Sound Off, what do you think of these items?
  8. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today, Chevrolet unveiled the all new 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The biggest news is the increase in EV range from 38 miles to 50 miles and an increased combined range of up to 420 miles on a full battery and full tank of fuel. Under the hood is a new 1.5 liter, direct injected 4-cylinder producing 101 horsepower. The battery pack has lost 20 lbs and the range extender has lost 100 lbs. The battery capacity has increased to 18.1 kWh though the number of battery cells has dropped from 288 to 192. The Volt now no longer requires premium fuel. There is a new 2-motor drive unit that produces 294 lb-ft of torque. Overall, the Voltec system is now 12% more efficient. Acceleration to 30 mph has improved from 3.2 seconds to 2.6 seconds. The system features a Regeneration on Demand control that allows the driver to increase the regeneration via a control on the back of the steering wheel. 2016 Chevrolet Volt interior, Click to enlarge Inside, Volt effectively maintains the 2+2 seating arrangement with the console on the floor between the two rear seats, though Chevy says you could put a third small person back there if they are willing to straddle the cupholder. The dashboard is completely redesigned. It has ditched the capacitive touch controls in favor of physical knobs and buttons. Chevy's Mylink system is displayed on an 8.0" diagonal touch screen. Chevy reduced the number of icons on the screen for easier use. The Volt will be built at GM's Hamtramck plant in Michigan with the batteries coming from Brownstown Michigan. The regeneration unit will initially be manufactured in Mexico before shifting to Flint Michigan. GM says that the Volt will be made of up to 70 percent US manufactured parts. The Volt comes out at a time when gas prices are plunging all over the U.S., not the best timing for a car that is sold on the premise of saving money on gas. However, the Volt may make a compelling argument as just a car that happens to save on fuel. The 2016 Volt hits the road this summer. Press Release on Page 2 You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroithere, or follow us onFacebook, Twitter,andGoogle+ Chevrolet Introduces All-New 2016 Volt New model features expressive, sleek design and delivers 50 miles of EV range DETROIT – Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2016 Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers 50 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. The Volt’s new, efficient propulsion system will offer a General Motors’-estimated total driving range of more than 400 miles and with regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups. “The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.” The 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s technology and range advancements are complemented by a design that blends sculpted, muscular proportions with aerodynamic efficiency, and an all-new interior with seating for five and improved functionality. Everything from charging the battery and checking the charge status, to the intuitiveness of instrument panel controls were designed for easier use. “According to independent surveyors, Volt owners are the most satisfied in the industry and they were our compass for developing the next-generation model,” said Batey. 2016 Volt highlights: New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation drive unit Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph acceleration Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds Regen on Demand™ feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a convenient paddle on the back of the steering wheel New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg (EPA estimate pending) Stronger body structure and quieter ride New braking system with improved capability and blended Regen feel New, five-passenger seating with available rear heated seats Location-based charging capability 120V portable cord sethas a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location Available illuminated charge port The 2016 Volt goes on sale in the second half of 2015. Sleeker, sportier design The 2016 Volt has an all-new, muscular design that incorporates Chevrolet performance vehicle DNA inspired cues refined in the wind tunnel. New features, including active grille shutters, help balance design with efficiency. Volt’s flowing, dynamic shape is inspired by the toned physiques of athletes and even the natural shapes of wind-swept sands, with carved body sides and fenders that blend into the hood. The front-end appearance retains the iconic Volt identity, with bright upper and lower grille pads. Greater attention to detail in the design cues, materials and colors also lends a more premium, contemporary aura to its appearance. It also retains the distinctive Volt signature on the upper front doors, carrying over one of the first-generation model’s identifiers. Inside, the new Volt includes seating for five. Fresh colors exude an inviting upscale aura – complemented by blue ambient lighting – while the controls are more intuitively placed and simpler to operate. The Volt retains its signature dual digital color displays with an eight-inch-diagonal reconfigurable screen in the instrument cluster to relay driver information. An additional eight-inch-diagonal touch screen in the center of the instrument panel controls the Chevrolet MyLink system. Fewer icons on the center dash make it easier to operate. Separate climate control knobs and buttons below the center display offer clear, convenient operation. New Voltec propulsion system An all-new, second-generation Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system is the power behind the 2016 Volt’s increased all-electric driving range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. It was engineered based on the driving behaviors of first-gen Volt owners. “Volt owners complete more than 80 percent of their trips without using a drop of gasoline and they tell us they love the electric driving experience. Putting that experience at the center of the new Voltec system’s development helped us improve range, while also making the new Volt more fun to drive,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. “We established a precedent when the original Voltec propulsion system debuted and this newest iteration sets the EV technology bar even higher.” The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics. GM’s industry-leading battery technology has been reengineered for the next-generation Volt. The 2016 Volt will use an 18.4 kWh battery system featuring revised cell chemistry developed in conjunction with LG Chem. While overall system storage capacity has increased, the number of cells have decreased from 288 to 192 as the result of a revised chemistry. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack is 21 pounds (9.8 kg) lighter. Like the battery system, the next-generation Volt’s two-motor drive unit delivers increased efficiency and performance along with reduced noise and vibration. The drive unit operates up to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system. Both motors operate together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver a 19 percent improvement in electric acceleration from zero to 30 mph (2.6 seconds) and a 7 percent improvement from zero to 60 mph (8.4 seconds). GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets. More convenient location-based charging Using real-world experiences of today’s Volt owners, Chevrolet made the charging system in the next-generation Volt more convenient for customers to recharge the battery – and to check the charge status. The new and enhanced features include: GPS location-based charging “Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for “home” charging and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at “home” based on GPS data,” said Farah, the chief engineer. “The new Volt will give owners greater flexibility for charging on their terms and make public charging easier.” This will allow owners to pre-set their 120V charging level (eight amps or 12 amps) and whether they wish to charge immediately, set a departure time for each day of the week, or set a departure time and a utility rate schedule to charge only at off-peak rates. These setting will only have to be programmed once and the Volt will default to them when the vehicle return to its home location. New, more intuitive charge status indicators The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. The new status system features a specially designed tone that indicates when charging has begun, with additional tones for delayed charging. It will even indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging but before entering the vehicle. With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. An available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark. Portable cord set enhancements A new 120V portable cord sethas a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location. The storage bin for the cord is now located on the left side of the Volt’s rear cargo area, above the load floor, for improved accessibility. Safety features The new Chevrolet Volt offers new standard and available safety features that work with an all-new body structure to provide crash-avoidance and passenger protection capability. Highlights include: Standard rear-vision camera Ten standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger knee air bags Available active safety features offering lane keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert with lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert with following distance indicator, front automatic braking, and advanced park assist with front and rear park assist (semi-automatic parallel parking) Expanded use of high-strength steel throughout the body structure improves strength and reduces weight More effective structural load paths in the frame, along with reinforced rocker panel structures and side structure reinforcements The new, active safety technologies and structural enhancements build on the Volt’s legacy of top safety performance, which include a 5-Star overall New Car Assessment Program rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the current model. Manufacturing GM is investing $435 million in the production of the next-generation Chevrolet Volt at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and at the Brownstown, (Mich.) Battery Assembly Plant, where its lithium-ion battery pack is produced. The new drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Mich., and the 1.5L engine will be manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of production, then shift to the Flint, Mich. engine plant. Since its introduction in late 2010, the Volt has established southeast Michigan as the hub of vehicle electrification development and manufacturing. The next-generation Volt will feature approximately 70 percent U.S. and Canadian components within its first year of production, a nearly 20-percent increase from the first generation. View full article
  9. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today, Chevrolet unveiled the all new 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The biggest news is the increase in EV range from 38 miles to 50 miles and an increased combined range of up to 420 miles on a full battery and full tank of fuel. Under the hood is a new 1.5 liter, direct injected 4-cylinder producing 101 horsepower. The battery pack has lost 20 lbs and the range extender has lost 100 lbs. The battery capacity has increased to 18.1 kWh though the number of battery cells has dropped from 288 to 192. The Volt now no longer requires premium fuel. There is a new 2-motor drive unit that produces 294 lb-ft of torque. Overall, the Voltec system is now 12% more efficient. Acceleration to 30 mph has improved from 3.2 seconds to 2.6 seconds. The system features a Regeneration on Demand control that allows the driver to increase the regeneration via a control on the back of the steering wheel. 2016 Chevrolet Volt interior, Click to enlarge Inside, Volt effectively maintains the 2+2 seating arrangement with the console on the floor between the two rear seats, though Chevy says you could put a third small person back there if they are willing to straddle the cupholder. The dashboard is completely redesigned. It has ditched the capacitive touch controls in favor of physical knobs and buttons. Chevy's Mylink system is displayed on an 8.0" diagonal touch screen. Chevy reduced the number of icons on the screen for easier use. The Volt will be built at GM's Hamtramck plant in Michigan with the batteries coming from Brownstown Michigan. The regeneration unit will initially be manufactured in Mexico before shifting to Flint Michigan. GM says that the Volt will be made of up to 70 percent US manufactured parts. The Volt comes out at a time when gas prices are plunging all over the U.S., not the best timing for a car that is sold on the premise of saving money on gas. However, the Volt may make a compelling argument as just a car that happens to save on fuel. The 2016 Volt hits the road this summer. Press Release on Page 2 You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroithere, or follow us onFacebook, Twitter,andGoogle+ Chevrolet Introduces All-New 2016 Volt New model features expressive, sleek design and delivers 50 miles of EV range DETROIT – Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2016 Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers 50 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. The Volt’s new, efficient propulsion system will offer a General Motors’-estimated total driving range of more than 400 miles and with regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups. “The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.” The 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s technology and range advancements are complemented by a design that blends sculpted, muscular proportions with aerodynamic efficiency, and an all-new interior with seating for five and improved functionality. Everything from charging the battery and checking the charge status, to the intuitiveness of instrument panel controls were designed for easier use. “According to independent surveyors, Volt owners are the most satisfied in the industry and they were our compass for developing the next-generation model,” said Batey. 2016 Volt highlights: New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation drive unit Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph acceleration Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds Regen on Demand™ feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a convenient paddle on the back of the steering wheel New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg (EPA estimate pending) Stronger body structure and quieter ride New braking system with improved capability and blended Regen feel New, five-passenger seating with available rear heated seats Location-based charging capability 120V portable cord sethas a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location Available illuminated charge port The 2016 Volt goes on sale in the second half of 2015. Sleeker, sportier design The 2016 Volt has an all-new, muscular design that incorporates Chevrolet performance vehicle DNA inspired cues refined in the wind tunnel. New features, including active grille shutters, help balance design with efficiency. Volt’s flowing, dynamic shape is inspired by the toned physiques of athletes and even the natural shapes of wind-swept sands, with carved body sides and fenders that blend into the hood. The front-end appearance retains the iconic Volt identity, with bright upper and lower grille pads. Greater attention to detail in the design cues, materials and colors also lends a more premium, contemporary aura to its appearance. It also retains the distinctive Volt signature on the upper front doors, carrying over one of the first-generation model’s identifiers. Inside, the new Volt includes seating for five. Fresh colors exude an inviting upscale aura – complemented by blue ambient lighting – while the controls are more intuitively placed and simpler to operate. The Volt retains its signature dual digital color displays with an eight-inch-diagonal reconfigurable screen in the instrument cluster to relay driver information. An additional eight-inch-diagonal touch screen in the center of the instrument panel controls the Chevrolet MyLink system. Fewer icons on the center dash make it easier to operate. Separate climate control knobs and buttons below the center display offer clear, convenient operation. New Voltec propulsion system An all-new, second-generation Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system is the power behind the 2016 Volt’s increased all-electric driving range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. It was engineered based on the driving behaviors of first-gen Volt owners. “Volt owners complete more than 80 percent of their trips without using a drop of gasoline and they tell us they love the electric driving experience. Putting that experience at the center of the new Voltec system’s development helped us improve range, while also making the new Volt more fun to drive,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. “We established a precedent when the original Voltec propulsion system debuted and this newest iteration sets the EV technology bar even higher.” The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics. GM’s industry-leading battery technology has been reengineered for the next-generation Volt. The 2016 Volt will use an 18.4 kWh battery system featuring revised cell chemistry developed in conjunction with LG Chem. While overall system storage capacity has increased, the number of cells have decreased from 288 to 192 as the result of a revised chemistry. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack is 21 pounds (9.8 kg) lighter. Like the battery system, the next-generation Volt’s two-motor drive unit delivers increased efficiency and performance along with reduced noise and vibration. The drive unit operates up to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system. Both motors operate together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver a 19 percent improvement in electric acceleration from zero to 30 mph (2.6 seconds) and a 7 percent improvement from zero to 60 mph (8.4 seconds). GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets. More convenient location-based charging Using real-world experiences of today’s Volt owners, Chevrolet made the charging system in the next-generation Volt more convenient for customers to recharge the battery – and to check the charge status. The new and enhanced features include: GPS location-based charging “Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for “home” charging and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at “home” based on GPS data,” said Farah, the chief engineer. “The new Volt will give owners greater flexibility for charging on their terms and make public charging easier.” This will allow owners to pre-set their 120V charging level (eight amps or 12 amps) and whether they wish to charge immediately, set a departure time for each day of the week, or set a departure time and a utility rate schedule to charge only at off-peak rates. These setting will only have to be programmed once and the Volt will default to them when the vehicle return to its home location. New, more intuitive charge status indicators The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. The new status system features a specially designed tone that indicates when charging has begun, with additional tones for delayed charging. It will even indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging but before entering the vehicle. With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. An available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark. Portable cord set enhancements A new 120V portable cord sethas a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location. The storage bin for the cord is now located on the left side of the Volt’s rear cargo area, above the load floor, for improved accessibility. Safety features The new Chevrolet Volt offers new standard and available safety features that work with an all-new body structure to provide crash-avoidance and passenger protection capability. Highlights include: Standard rear-vision camera Ten standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger knee air bags Available active safety features offering lane keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert with lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert with following distance indicator, front automatic braking, and advanced park assist with front and rear park assist (semi-automatic parallel parking) Expanded use of high-strength steel throughout the body structure improves strength and reduces weight More effective structural load paths in the frame, along with reinforced rocker panel structures and side structure reinforcements The new, active safety technologies and structural enhancements build on the Volt’s legacy of top safety performance, which include a 5-Star overall New Car Assessment Program rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the current model. Manufacturing GM is investing $435 million in the production of the next-generation Chevrolet Volt at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and at the Brownstown, (Mich.) Battery Assembly Plant, where its lithium-ion battery pack is produced. The new drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Mich., and the 1.5L engine will be manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of production, then shift to the Flint, Mich. engine plant. Since its introduction in late 2010, the Volt has established southeast Michigan as the hub of vehicle electrification development and manufacturing. The next-generation Volt will feature approximately 70 percent U.S. and Canadian components within its first year of production, a nearly 20-percent increase from the first generation.
  10. Mercedes-Benz is in the process of bringing out the new S-Class Coupe and working on a S-Class Plug-In Hybrid. But is there room for a pure electric S-Class? According to Dr Uwe Ernstberger, the head of Mercedes-Benz's large cars, it could happen. Ernstberger told Top Gear that a fully electric S-Class isn't a good fit for the time being, "a complete electric car will be done in the future." The big hurdle for this? The batteries. "We have to work on the capacities of the batteries to get a better package in the car. Because you do not want to lose all the comfort features of an S-Class for transporting a battery only," Ernstberger said. For now, those who want a bit of green in the S-Class will have to wait for the plug-in model, due out next year. Source: Top Gear William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. Mercedes-Benz is in the process of bringing out the new S-Class Coupe and working on a S-Class Plug-In Hybrid. But is there room for a pure electric S-Class? According to Dr Uwe Ernstberger, the head of Mercedes-Benz's large cars, it could happen. Ernstberger told Top Gear that a fully electric S-Class isn't a good fit for the time being, "a complete electric car will be done in the future." The big hurdle for this? The batteries. "We have to work on the capacities of the batteries to get a better package in the car. Because you do not want to lose all the comfort features of an S-Class for transporting a battery only," Ernstberger said. For now, those who want a bit of green in the S-Class will have to wait for the plug-in model, due out next year. Source: Top Gear William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  12. Only a couple of days after first reporting about Chevrolet showing off the Bolt concept at the Detroit Auto Show, the automaker has revealed it for all to see. The Bolt is GM's attempt at building an electric car with a 200 Mile range for the price of around $30,000. Styling is a mixture of Spark and the BMW i3 with a large area of glass, and a high beltline. The Bolt's body features barely any front or rear overhang which in turn helps out in interior space. Materials such as aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber help keep weight down and improve range. Inside is very spacious with a light color theme which only adds to that feeling. The dashboard has a flowing look and comes with a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen. Unfortunately, GM hasn't released details about the Bolt's electric powertrain or how long it takes for to charge on either 120V or 240V. “The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity. Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Source: Chevrolet You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Signals Brand’s EV Strategy Affordable, long-range concept builds on brand’s electrification leadership DETROIT – Chevrolet today made a significant statement on its commitment to electrification with the introduction of the Bolt EV concept – a vision for an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range starting around $30,000. “The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. “Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.” Leveraging the electrification prowess established by Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept is designed to offer long-range performance in all 50 states and many global markets. Drivers will be able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles such as daily commuting and spirited weekend cruising, for uncompromising electric driving. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging. “We have made tremendous strides in technologies that make it easier and more affordable for Chevrolet customers to integrate an all-electric vehicle in their daily lives,” said Barra. “The Bolt EV concept demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to electrification and the capabilities of our advanced EV technology.” The Bolt EV concept also pushes the envelope for crossover aesthetics. Its unique proportion, with practically no front or rear overhang, makes the most of interior space and was designed to create a roomy environment for four that feels expansive. Lightweight materials, including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and even woven mesh, complement the design, while driving down the curb weight to help maximize range. Aero-optimizing features such as vented rear fenders also help contribute to range. “Form and function have never meshed so well together,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet.” The Bolt EV concept’s airy interior ambience is enhanced with bold use of glass all around – as well as a full-length, frosted glass roof with unique, faceted design elements. A high beltline sweeps upward with the D-pillar, culminating in an integrated roof spoiler, for a lean, athletic stance. An advanced nano-composite rear hatch and wraparound rear window give the Bolt EV concept a distinctive appearance and flood the interior with more natural light. High-intensity, efficient light-emitting diode (LED) headlamp and taillamp elements are housed behind jewel-like faceted lenses in which translucent elements illuminate evenly to create the signature lighting effect. Airy, intuitive interior Inside, the Bolt EV concept has a large feel reinforced by generous headroom and legroom dimensions. A flat, flow-through floor adds to the roominess, while a contemporary, light color scheme adds to the feeling of an open, airy cabin and conveys warmth. The cabin’s airy, high-tech environment is reinforced with lightweight, slim-architecture seats mounted on exposed aluminum pedestals that create a floating effect. The minimalist center console “floats,” too, suspended from the front seats. “The Bolt EV concept’s interior is intended as a sanctuary, with materials and technologies that reinforce the airy ambience and help contribute to the vehicle’s overall efficiency,” said Welburn. “It also incorporates technology in a subtler and simpler manner, for a more soothing driving experience – particularly in busy, urban environments.” Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior layout incorporates easy-to-use technology designed to make the driving experience easier and more enjoyable. It wraps into the door panels and features a frosted and translucent appearance – and a subtle glow at night. The concept’s technological intuitiveness can be accessed via a smartphone with the concept Bolt EV Connect app, which is designed to: Allow a smartphone to perform as the key fob Allow ride-sharing management, including reservations, vehicle location, digital key and even payment processing via the smartphone Incorporate the concept automatic park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself – and when errands are completed, the Bolt EV concept can be summoned to return to the owner’s location. A large, color 10-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch screen, with interface features, complements the concept Bolt EV Connect app. It even allows the projection of all the application and other smartphone data onto the screen. View full article
  13. Only a couple of days after first reporting about Chevrolet showing off the Bolt concept at the Detroit Auto Show, the automaker has revealed it for all to see. The Bolt is GM's attempt at building an electric car with a 200 Mile range for the price of around $30,000. Styling is a mixture of Spark and the BMW i3 with a large area of glass, and a high beltline. The Bolt's body features barely any front or rear overhang which in turn helps out in interior space. Materials such as aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber help keep weight down and improve range. Inside is very spacious with a light color theme which only adds to that feeling. The dashboard has a flowing look and comes with a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen. Unfortunately, GM hasn't released details about the Bolt's electric powertrain or how long it takes for to charge on either 120V or 240V. “The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity. Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Source: Chevrolet You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Signals Brand’s EV Strategy Affordable, long-range concept builds on brand’s electrification leadership DETROIT – Chevrolet today made a significant statement on its commitment to electrification with the introduction of the Bolt EV concept – a vision for an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range starting around $30,000. “The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. “Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.” Leveraging the electrification prowess established by Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept is designed to offer long-range performance in all 50 states and many global markets. Drivers will be able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles such as daily commuting and spirited weekend cruising, for uncompromising electric driving. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging. “We have made tremendous strides in technologies that make it easier and more affordable for Chevrolet customers to integrate an all-electric vehicle in their daily lives,” said Barra. “The Bolt EV concept demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to electrification and the capabilities of our advanced EV technology.” The Bolt EV concept also pushes the envelope for crossover aesthetics. Its unique proportion, with practically no front or rear overhang, makes the most of interior space and was designed to create a roomy environment for four that feels expansive. Lightweight materials, including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and even woven mesh, complement the design, while driving down the curb weight to help maximize range. Aero-optimizing features such as vented rear fenders also help contribute to range. “Form and function have never meshed so well together,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet.” The Bolt EV concept’s airy interior ambience is enhanced with bold use of glass all around – as well as a full-length, frosted glass roof with unique, faceted design elements. A high beltline sweeps upward with the D-pillar, culminating in an integrated roof spoiler, for a lean, athletic stance. An advanced nano-composite rear hatch and wraparound rear window give the Bolt EV concept a distinctive appearance and flood the interior with more natural light. High-intensity, efficient light-emitting diode (LED) headlamp and taillamp elements are housed behind jewel-like faceted lenses in which translucent elements illuminate evenly to create the signature lighting effect. Airy, intuitive interior Inside, the Bolt EV concept has a large feel reinforced by generous headroom and legroom dimensions. A flat, flow-through floor adds to the roominess, while a contemporary, light color scheme adds to the feeling of an open, airy cabin and conveys warmth. The cabin’s airy, high-tech environment is reinforced with lightweight, slim-architecture seats mounted on exposed aluminum pedestals that create a floating effect. The minimalist center console “floats,” too, suspended from the front seats. “The Bolt EV concept’s interior is intended as a sanctuary, with materials and technologies that reinforce the airy ambience and help contribute to the vehicle’s overall efficiency,” said Welburn. “It also incorporates technology in a subtler and simpler manner, for a more soothing driving experience – particularly in busy, urban environments.” Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior layout incorporates easy-to-use technology designed to make the driving experience easier and more enjoyable. It wraps into the door panels and features a frosted and translucent appearance – and a subtle glow at night. The concept’s technological intuitiveness can be accessed via a smartphone with the concept Bolt EV Connect app, which is designed to: Allow a smartphone to perform as the key fob Allow ride-sharing management, including reservations, vehicle location, digital key and even payment processing via the smartphone Incorporate the concept automatic park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself – and when errands are completed, the Bolt EV concept can be summoned to return to the owner’s location. A large, color 10-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch screen, with interface features, complements the concept Bolt EV Connect app. It even allows the projection of all the application and other smartphone data onto the screen.
  14. Earlier this week, we reported on the rumor that the Opel Ampera was to go away once the next-generation Chevrolet Volt was introduced. Well it seems to be true. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann tweeted that the Ampera is on its way out. But another electric vehicle will take it place in the future. "After the eventual run-out of the current generation Ampera, we'll introduce a successor product in the electric vehicle segment. Our next electric vehicle will be part of our massive product offensive – with 27 new vehicles in the 2014-2018 time frame. We see eMobility as important part of the mobility of tomorrow and we will continue to drive down costs & deliver affordability," Neumann said on twitter. So what could this new EV be? Autoblog Green speculates it will not be the Chevrolet Spark EV, but something completely different. Stay tuned. Source: Autoblog Green William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  15. Earlier this week, we reported on the rumor that the Opel Ampera was to go away once the next-generation Chevrolet Volt was introduced. Well it seems to be true. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann tweeted that the Ampera is on its way out. But another electric vehicle will take it place in the future. "After the eventual run-out of the current generation Ampera, we'll introduce a successor product in the electric vehicle segment. Our next electric vehicle will be part of our massive product offensive – with 27 new vehicles in the 2014-2018 time frame. We see eMobility as important part of the mobility of tomorrow and we will continue to drive down costs & deliver affordability," Neumann said on twitter. So what could this new EV be? Autoblog Green speculates it will not be the Chevrolet Spark EV, but something completely different. Stay tuned. Source: Autoblog Green William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  16. G. David Felt Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer www.CheersandGears.com Toyota i-ROAD EV So in looking around at what other EV auto's were being talked about, I found Toyota has a 3 wheel bike that is enclosed called the i-ROAD. Powered by two 2kW 2.7HP motors using lithium-ion battery pack good for a range of 26 miles of inner city driving. EV.COM states that according to Toyota, the 2016 world wide version will have a 31 mile range based on an average speed of 18mph. The following video shows the i-ROAD in use around Toyota City. What are your thoughts, does the i-ROAD have a chance of making it in a global market?
  17. While the Chevrolet Volt has been doing ok in sales chart (ranging from 1,478 to 1,777 units since March), the same cannot be said for the Opel Ampera. When it launched in 2012 and took home the European Car Of The Year award, the model sold 5,200 units. But since then, the Ampera has been sinking like a rock. In 2013, dealers only moved 3,184 units, a massive drop of 40 percent. 2014 only looks to be worse as Opel has only sold 332 units through the end of May. Automotive News Europe reports that Opel will drop the Ampera once the next-generation Chevrolet Volt is launched, which is expected to happen in late 2015. An Opel spokesman declined to comment on this story when asked. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  18. While the Chevrolet Volt has been doing ok in sales chart (ranging from 1,478 to 1,777 units since March), the same cannot be said for the Opel Ampera. When it launched in 2012 and took home the European Car Of The Year award, the model sold 5,200 units. But since then, the Ampera has been sinking like a rock. In 2013, dealers only moved 3,184 units, a massive drop of 40 percent. 2014 only looks to be worse as Opel has only sold 332 units through the end of May. Automotive News Europe reports that Opel will drop the Ampera once the next-generation Chevrolet Volt is launched, which is expected to happen in late 2015. An Opel spokesman declined to comment on this story when asked. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  19. G. David Felt Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer www.CheersandGears.com It seems the dirty laundry of other car companies is coming to light as people dig into the history of the EV movement. GM joined the lawsuit with other automobile manufacturers and oil industry to successfully kill the early laws that California passed to promote electric vehicles. In turn, GM killed its EV1 project. All the bad publicity surrounded the death of the EV1 ignores so many other automobile manufacturers which also worked to kill off the EV movement of the nineties. As GM took the brunt of the heat for shredding all its EV1 autos, Honda also silently killed off its Honda EV Plus electric cars. Honda manufactured approximately 340 EV Plus vehicles between 1997 and 1999. Subsequently, all the manufactured EV Plus vehicles were shredded. Honda was the first auto manufacturer to use NiMH batteries compared to GM's use of Lead Acid batteries. The full story and write up is here on EV.com web site along with a very interesting video. You can move the video to 16:50 to see the EV Plus taken to be destroyed. http://ev.com/honda-ev-plus-shredded-like-gms-ev1/
  20. October 11, 2013 Drew Dowdell Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com Cadillac released pricing today for the upcoming ELR due to go on sale in January 2014 in major metropolitan areas nationwide. Base MSRP will start at $75,995 including the destination charge. Cadillac is anticipating IRS certification of a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. As the ELR shares propulsion technology with the Chevrolet Volt, additional tax credits or rebates may be available at the state level. Many of the technologies released in the 2014 Cadillac CTS and 2015 Cadillac Escalade appear in the ELR. The ELR will come standard with Cadillac CUE with Navigation, LED front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and the Safety Alert Seat. Exclusive to the ELR is a Regen-on-Demand feature that allows the driver to have greater control of battery regeneration using the momentum of the vehicle via the steering-wheel paddles. Click Picture to Enlarge While official EPA certification is not yet available, the Cadillac ELR's driving range is well over 300 miles. Using only battery power, the initial range is 35 miles before regeneration starts. EV range is dependent on terrain, driving style, and outside temperature. Cadillac Press Release on Page 2 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears Cadillac ELR Sales to Begin in January Nationwide distribution, pricing announced for electric luxury coupe DETROIT – Initial sales of the 2014 Cadillac ELR electrified luxury coupe will begin in January in all major U.S. metropolitan areas featuring provocative design and extended range electric vehicle technology. Designed for a new generation of technology-driven luxury buyers, the 2014 ELR has a starting price of $75,995, including a $995 destination charge but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees. Upon IRS certification of an anticipated federal tax credit, purchasers may be eligible for a tax credit from $0 to $7,500 depending on individual tax liability. Net pricing after tax credits could be as low as $68,495, including $995 destination. “The ELR is a unique blend of dramatic design with electric vehicle technology capable of total range in excess of 300 miles,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president Global Cadillac. “ELR is also unique in that it will be offered nationwide within a luxury customer experience, with proven benefits and care extending from the shopping process all the way through the ownership experience.” Dealers nationwide are specially trained and certified to sell and service the 2014 ELR. Backing up the dealership experience, prospective customers and buyers of the ELR can take advantage of their own ELR Concierge Representative. Trained in white-glove customer care, the Concierge Representative is an additional point of contact for information on battery care, home charging, service scheduling, news and updates by calling 855 4 CAD ELR (855-422-3357). As with all Cadillac models, the ELR comes standard with Cadillac Shield, a comprehensive suite of owner benefits including Remote Vehicle Diagnostics, a Premium Care Maintenance program and 24/7 roadside assistance. For added peace of mind, the ELR also comes with an extended battery and propulsion warranty of eight years or100,000 miles, whichever comes first, and a four-year or 50,000-mile, whichever comes first, bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. The ELR comes equipped with standard advanced technology features such as Cadillac CUE with Navigation accessible through a large, eight-inch, full-color capacitive-touch screen, light-emitting diode, or LED, front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, the Safety Alert Seat and the exclusive Regen on Demand™ feature, allowing the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the vehicle’s momentum via steering-wheel paddles. The ELR interior features handcrafted leather complemented by authentic wood grain and chrome trim. Powering the ELR is a combination of pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered electric generator. A T-shaped, 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels to make the most of weight distribution. The pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. ELR is capable of a total driving range in excess of 300 miles. Using only the energy stored in the battery, ELR’s initial range is about 35 highway miles, or 82 MPGe, of electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and ambient temperature. Official EPA estimates are not yet available. The ELR also offers unique driving features, including four driving modes – default Tour mode, the more-responsive Sport mode, a Mountain mode that maintains charge in hilly terrain and Hold mode, which allows drivers to select when to use battery power or the gas-powered generator. Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com. # # # CONTACT: Brian Corbett Cadillac Communications 586-612-6569 brian.corbett@cadillac.com View full article
  21. October 11, 2013 Drew Dowdell Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com Cadillac released pricing today for the upcoming ELR due to go on sale in January 2014 in major metropolitan areas nationwide. Base MSRP will start at $75,995 including the destination charge. Cadillac is anticipating IRS certification of a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. As the ELR shares propulsion technology with the Chevrolet Volt, additional tax credits or rebates may be available at the state level. Many of the technologies released in the 2014 Cadillac CTS and 2015 Cadillac Escalade appear in the ELR. The ELR will come standard with Cadillac CUE with Navigation, LED front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and the Safety Alert Seat. Exclusive to the ELR is a Regen-on-Demand feature that allows the driver to have greater control of battery regeneration using the momentum of the vehicle via the steering-wheel paddles. Click Picture to Enlarge While official EPA certification is not yet available, the Cadillac ELR's driving range is well over 300 miles. Using only battery power, the initial range is 35 miles before regeneration starts. EV range is dependent on terrain, driving style, and outside temperature. Cadillac Press Release on Page 2 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears Cadillac ELR Sales to Begin in January Nationwide distribution, pricing announced for electric luxury coupe DETROIT – Initial sales of the 2014 Cadillac ELR electrified luxury coupe will begin in January in all major U.S. metropolitan areas featuring provocative design and extended range electric vehicle technology. Designed for a new generation of technology-driven luxury buyers, the 2014 ELR has a starting price of $75,995, including a $995 destination charge but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees. Upon IRS certification of an anticipated federal tax credit, purchasers may be eligible for a tax credit from $0 to $7,500 depending on individual tax liability. Net pricing after tax credits could be as low as $68,495, including $995 destination. “The ELR is a unique blend of dramatic design with electric vehicle technology capable of total range in excess of 300 miles,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president Global Cadillac. “ELR is also unique in that it will be offered nationwide within a luxury customer experience, with proven benefits and care extending from the shopping process all the way through the ownership experience.” Dealers nationwide are specially trained and certified to sell and service the 2014 ELR. Backing up the dealership experience, prospective customers and buyers of the ELR can take advantage of their own ELR Concierge Representative. Trained in white-glove customer care, the Concierge Representative is an additional point of contact for information on battery care, home charging, service scheduling, news and updates by calling 855 4 CAD ELR (855-422-3357). As with all Cadillac models, the ELR comes standard with Cadillac Shield, a comprehensive suite of owner benefits including Remote Vehicle Diagnostics, a Premium Care Maintenance program and 24/7 roadside assistance. For added peace of mind, the ELR also comes with an extended battery and propulsion warranty of eight years or100,000 miles, whichever comes first, and a four-year or 50,000-mile, whichever comes first, bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. The ELR comes equipped with standard advanced technology features such as Cadillac CUE with Navigation accessible through a large, eight-inch, full-color capacitive-touch screen, light-emitting diode, or LED, front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, the Safety Alert Seat and the exclusive Regen on Demand™ feature, allowing the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the vehicle’s momentum via steering-wheel paddles. The ELR interior features handcrafted leather complemented by authentic wood grain and chrome trim. Powering the ELR is a combination of pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered electric generator. A T-shaped, 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels to make the most of weight distribution. The pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. ELR is capable of a total driving range in excess of 300 miles. Using only the energy stored in the battery, ELR’s initial range is about 35 highway miles, or 82 MPGe, of electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and ambient temperature. Official EPA estimates are not yet available. The ELR also offers unique driving features, including four driving modes – default Tour mode, the more-responsive Sport mode, a Mountain mode that maintains charge in hilly terrain and Hold mode, which allows drivers to select when to use battery power or the gas-powered generator. Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com. # # # CONTACT: Brian Corbett Cadillac Communications 586-612-6569 brian.corbett@cadillac.com
  22. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit.
  23. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit. View full article
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 21, 2013 Ferrari's Chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been one the biggest critics of electric vehicles. So it comes a no surprise that Montezemolo has said the Ferrari will be doing more hybrid vehicles. “I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids,” di Montezemolo said in a interview. di Montezemolo explained that the brand sees hybrid technology as a way to not only improve performance but to expand the brand’s reach. He quickly added that Ferrari would not expanding their lineup or number of vehicles built. Instead the company will be reducing the amount vehicles built. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 21, 2013 Ferrari's Chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been one the biggest critics of electric vehicles. So it comes a no surprise that Montezemolo has said the Ferrari will be doing more hybrid vehicles. “I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids,” di Montezemolo said in a interview. di Montezemolo explained that the brand sees hybrid technology as a way to not only improve performance but to expand the brand’s reach. He quickly added that Ferrari would not expanding their lineup or number of vehicles built. Instead the company will be reducing the amount vehicles built. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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