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  1. General Motors took a huge gamble when they introduced the first-generation Chevrolet Volt for the 2011 model year. It was positioned as an alternative to a standard electric car by having a gas generator providing electric power once the battery was depleted. This different take on an electric vehicle solved the issue of range anxiety. But GM was too ambitious in terms of sales numbers. This lead to dealers being stockpiled with models because not many people were buying them. Within a year, GM made some key changes such as reducing the production amount and offering incentives that the Volt was finally able to make some headway in the market. Now we come to the second-generation Volt introduced last year. Chevrolet felt that the Volt needed to lose a bit of the concept car look to make it somewhat more appealing to buyers. But they also improved key components to make the Volt more efficient. Let’s see if these changes help or hurt it. The design of the first-generation Volt looked like someone’s prediction of what the vehicle of the future would look like. It stood out, but not in a good way. Thankfully, Chevrolet’s designers addressed this with the second-generation model. Yes, the 2016 Volt does have a similar profile to the outgoing model. But designers have smoothed out the shape and added some new lines. Take the front end for example. There are new grille inserts that are not only smaller, but have a pattern that mimics sheet metal. The back end features a reshaped tailgate with an integrated spoiler that not only improves the overall aerodynamics, but makes it look sleeker. Finishing off the design are a set of seventeen-inch alloy wheels and what Chevrolet calls Kinetic Blue that sets off the Volt’s design. The sore point of the first-generation Volt had to be the interior. It began with the material choices. For a vehicle that started near $40k, the cheap and shiny plastics were a big no-no. Then there was center stack full of capacitive-touch controls. The implementation wasn’t great as it would take you a few moments to find the one control to change the temperature or fan speed. The controls also didn’t respond when pressed, meaning you needed to hit them a couple of times before something happened. The back seat was only useable for small kids due to the small amount of head and legroom. Thankfully, most of these issues have been addressed. The interior has grown up with a handsome design for the dashboard and better quality materials used throughout. There is a fair amount of soft-touch plastics and faux metal trim used up front. Disappointingly, Chevrolet didn’t give the back any soft-touch materials. The rear door panels are plastered with hard plastics. For the price tag of just a hair over $40,000, this isn’t acceptable. The new dash also brings forth a simpler center stack layout with an eight-inch touchscreen and new controls for the automatic climate control. Our Volt tester featured heated leather seats for both the front and rear. Getting yourself comfortable up front is quite easy with manual adjustments for the seat and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel. The back seat is slightly larger with more head and legroom, but it is best reserved for those under 5’7”. I happen to be 5’8” and found my head touching the roof. Chevrolet has improved the Volt’s various bits of tech. The driver faces an eight-inch color screen that provides basic details such as battery charge, fuel gauge, and trip computer. You can customize the layout with various themes and efficiency gauges to coach you into being a more efficient driver. Another eight-inch screen resides in the center stack with the latest version of Chevrolet MyLink. The system seems to be getting better in terms of performance and reliability. The big news for 2016 is the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to MyLink. We tried out CarPlay and it was simple to setup: Plug in a compatible iPhone into the USB input and hit the CarPlay button, and you’ll be greeted with a screen that is similar to your iPhone’s home screen. You’ll have access to various things such as Siri, Apple Maps, your music, and other applications such as Audible and Spotify. Using CarPlay is very easy since it is like using an iPhone but with a larger screen. There are still some issues that need to be ironed out with CarPlay such as various applications freezing or not responding to various commands. We also found that the MyLink wouldn’t recognize our phone when plugged in. After restarting the Volt, the system would recognize it. The Volt’s powertrain has seen some major changes for the second-generation model. A set of electric motors produces 111 kW (about 149 horsepower) and 294 pound-feet for torque. A larger 18.4 kWh Lithium-Ion battery pack helps boost overall electric range. Finishing off the powertrain is a new 1.5L DOHC four-cylinder generator producing 101 horsepower. The improvements in the powertrain boost overall electric range from 35 to 53 miles and overall range stands at 420 miles. Pulling away from a stop, the Volt feels spritely as it gets up to speed at a surprising rate. This is due to the torque being available at zero rpm. Around town, the Volt zips around with only the gentle hum of the electric motor entering the cabin. Once the battery is depleted, the gas generator will kick on. The transition is seamless and the generator stays quiet for the most part. However, if you push the accelerator into the floor, the generator will make a lot of noise. Like the previous Volt, the 2016 model offers a set of different driving modes that changes how the powertrain behaves. Normal: Powertrain runs on electric power until the battery is depleted, then the gas generator kicks on. Sport: Improves throttle response. Mountain: Turns on the generator to provide battery charging when driving through mountainous or steep terrain. Hold: This mode preserves the battery charge by having the gas generator provide power for the electric motor. For when you are driving on the freeway and know you'll want to save your battery power for city driving later One other trick the 2016 Volt has up its sleeve is the Regen on Demand system. First used on the Cadillac ELR, the system uses a paddle behind the steering wheel allows a driver to control how much energy is being regenerated when driving via the electric motors. Think of Regen on Demand as putting the vehicle into a lower gear; the electric motors act as an engine brake to slow the vehicle down and recapture energy to charge the battery. In terms of range, we were able to go between 47 to 51 miles on a full charge. EPA fuel economy estimates say the 2016 Chevrolet Volt will return 106 MPGe when running on electric power only, and 42 MPG when gas generator kicks on. Our averages for the week landed around 112 MPGe and 43 MPG. Chevrolet says it will take about 4.5 hours to recharge a depleted battery when plugged into a 240V charger. When plugged into a 120V outlet, time increases about 13 hours. We found the 13 hours estimate to be right on the money as that is how long it took for our test Volt to fully recharge. When half of the battery charge was depleted, we found the charging time to be around 6 to 7 hours. In terms of ride, the 2016 Volt retains the smooth ride of the first-generation model. Bumps and other imperfections are ironed out to provide a comfortable ride. More impressive is how little outside noise comes into the cabin. When running on just electric power, very little wind and road noise comes inside. For handling, the Volt doesn’t embarrass itself. There isn’t any sign of body lean and the vehicle is able to change direction quickly. Steering feels responsive and heavy. No, the Volt would be replacing a sports car anytime soon. But compared to other plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, the Volt has to be one of the better driving models. Pricing for the Volt starts at $33,995 for the base LT and $37,820 for the up-level Premier. Our Premier tester featured a pricetag of $40,225 with two safety packages, navigation, and the Kinetic blue paint. For our money, the Premier is the way to go as it is the only trim that you can get blind-spot warning and lane change alert, both necessary features due to the Volt’s poor rear visibility. I wish these features were standard on the Premier and optional on the LT. In 2016, electric vehicles are still seen as a bit of novelty. Despite the number of improvements made in terms of batteries and infrastructure, there is still the issue of range. This is where the Volt stands on its own as it provides a fallback option. Use up all of the battery? No problem as the generator will kick and get you to your destination where you can plug in. Plus the changes made by Chevrolet not only make the Volt somewhat more useable and efficient, but it also looks quite handsome. There are some niggling issues that we hope get addressed in the near future. If you’re intrigued but don’t want to fully jump into the electric vehicle landscape, then the 2016 Chevrolet Volt is an excellent place to start at. Cheers: Improved electric only range, design that stands out in a good way, clever bits of powertrain tech. Jeers: Cheap materials are still here, MyLink still has some issues to work out, blind spot monitoring and lane change alert is optional on the Premier and not available on the LT (how does this make sense?!) Disclaimer: Chevrolet Provided the Volt, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Chevrolet Model: Volt Trim: Premier Engine: Voltec Electric Drive Unit, 1.5L Four-Cylinder (Range Extender) Driveline: Electric Transaxle, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 149 Torque @ RPM: 294 @ 0 Fuel Economy: EV/Gas Only - 106 MPGe/42 Curb Weight: 3,543 lbs Location of Manufacture: Detroit, MI Base Price: $37,520 As Tested Price: $40,225 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: Chevrolet MyLink Radio w/ Navigation - $495.00 Driver Confidence 1 Package - $495.00 Driver Confidence 2 Package - $495.00 Kinetic Blue Metallic - $395.00
  2. Imagine a future where the powertrain from the Chevrolet Volt is found under the hood of another automaker's vehicle. This might actually become reality if General Motors global powertrain chief Dan Nicholson gets his wish answered. Speaking to Automotive News, Nicholson said he was open to sharing the Volt's powertrain. "We want to be the partner of choice in propulsion system development in this complex and turbulent era we are approaching," said Nicholson. If this idea is given the green light, it would pay dividends for GM and the other automaker. For GM, giving the Volt powertrain to another automaker would drive costs down due to larger economies of scale. The other automaker wouldn't have to spend so much on research and development for a powertrain like the Volt. Whether this happens or not is a wait and see matter. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. Chevrolet has announced that the next-generation Volt will debut at the North American International Auto Show next year. This announcement came from Tim Mahoney, Chevy's global chief marketing officer at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefings. “Volt is the perfect example of the ingenuity that drives everything we do at Chevrolet. Volt fully delivers on the promises of Find New Roads and will continue to provide consumers with the transportation solutions they need and deserve in the future,” said Mahoney. We don't know much about the next-generation Volt, aside from the new model getting a more sleeker look. Source: General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Next Generation Volt to debut at 2015 NAIAS Will continue to be manufactured at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant ACME, Mich. – The next generation Chevrolet Volt will debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Global Chevrolet Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney said today. The 2016 Volt will build on the award-winning original's strong foundation of technology innovation. Volt sales were up 13 percent in July and more than 65,000 have been sold since it was introduced – making it the best-selling plug-in passenger car in the U.S. market. "Volt is the perfect example of the ingenuity that drives everything we do at Chevrolet," Mahoney said at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefings. "Volt fully delivers on the promises of Find New Roads and will continue to provide consumers with the transportation solutions they need and deserve in the future." Volt owners are driving more than 63 percent of their overall miles in electric vehicle mode, collectively logging more than 500 million gas-free miles since the Volt's retail debut in 2010. That has saved more than 25 million gallons of gasoline. While the driving range in EV mode can be affected by temperature, driving technique and terrain, the ease with which Volt drivers are avoiding gasoline use demonstrates the Volt's suitability for almost any lifestyle. Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive more than 970 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station less than once a month. The Volt has received multiple customer satisfaction awards from leading third-parties. According to a recent leading independent satisfaction survey, the Volt is the highest-rated compact car under $55,000. Owners are showing their satisfaction as well. For the past three years, a leading customer publication has reported survey results showing more than 90 percent of Volt owners said they would definitely buy a Volt again. The Volt continues to draw buyers from non-General Motors' products. In the 2013 calendar year, nearly seven of 10 new Volt buyers traded in a non-GM vehicle, the majority of which were Toyota Priuses. Among its accolades, the 2014 Volt has been recognized for its safety, most recently receiving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2014 Top Safety Pick+ designation for vehicles equipped with an available Forward Collision Alert system.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 2, 2013 Dealerships are used to to training sales and service professionals, and buying new tools when new models arrive. But for a small subset of Chevrolet dealers, the cost of selling the Volt and its pricey additional tool and equipment costs are causing them to stop selling the Volt. A new report from Automotive News says that a small number of dealers have decided to stop selling the Volt due to the specialized equipment costs and GM requiring a more significant investment in the near future, and slow sales not being able to recuperate those investments. Last year, 2,614 Chevrolet dealers were certified to sell the Volt (out of 3,079 dealerships). 70% of Volt sales came from 300 highest-volume dealers – leaving the remaining 2,314 dealerships to fight for the remaining 30 percent. "Going forward, the profitability would be really hard for us to justify the expense of the repair tools," said Allyn Barnard, owner of Jim Barnard Chevrolet in Churchville, New York. The dealer only sold five Volts last year. Other dealers are toughing it out. John Holt, owner of John Holt Chevrolet-Cadillac in Chickasha, Oklahoma says even though he has sold five Volts last year, he'll be sticking with the Volt partly due to the new Cadillac ELR coming out. "I've heard that a lot of the non-metro dealers have opted out" of the certified Volt program said Holt. "But with the new Cadillac coming, I figured I'd be foolish not to buy the damn $5,100 tool." Source: Automotive News (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.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 27, 2012 Remember the 2007 Volt concept? It was a muscular, bold, and imposing electric vehicle. Compare it to the production Volt and the two almost have nothing to share, aside from name, powertrain, and some design ideas. Recently at a event in San Francisco. John Cafaro, Director of Exterior Design for Chevrolet gave some indications and clues as to what to expect in the next-gen Volt. Cafaro mentioned how the guys at Chevrolet were impressed with what Opel did to the Ampera to make more aggressive. "We're going to do some things with the Volt down the road, make it a little more monochromatic, a little more road-hugging," Cafaro said. Cafaro also talked about how they're watching the competition when designing future models. "We've got one bullet in the chamber with the Volt. We're getting some feedback. We've already built a body of research. There are a lot of different camps. From a design perspective, people want an exciting vehicle. Now, what does exciting mean? A lot of zoom-y lines? Deep cut forms? A lot of muscular shapes? We are looking at all the different kinds of design DNA for how we proceed with this technology. Nothing is left off the table. No idea is a bad idea." Source: Autoblog Green 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.
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 23, 2012 General Motors has announced that it will be doing a software upgrade on 4,000 2013 Chevrolet Volts due to glitch which could cause the electric motor to shut down. Kevin Kelly, manager of Electric Vehicle and Hybrid Communications told GM-Volt.com that problem lies in the software when a Volt is in the delayed time and rate charge mode. "We are notifying 2013 model year Chevy Volt owners about a customer satisfaction issue. We have received a few reports from owners that their electric motor has temporarily stopped working, resulting from a software anomaly when their vehicle is in the delayed time and rate charge mode. We’re asking owners to bring their vehicles into their local Chevy dealer for a re-flash of the vehicle’s control system, which should take less than an hour. Until then, we’re recommending that customers switch to immediate or delayed time charging to avoid this inconvenience," said Kelly. When asked if this problem is in the 2011 or 2012 Chevrolet Volt, Kelly said this problem doesn't exist in those models since the data is only on the 2013 model. Source: GM-Volt.com 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.
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 16, 2012 Cadillac's long-awaited extended-range electric coupe, the ELR will begin rolling off the lines at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant beginning in late 2013. “The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology. People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design,” said GM's North America President Mark Reuss. GM is investing $35 Million into the plant to get it ready to build the ELR. Source: GM 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. Press Release is on Page 2 Cadillac ELR to be Built at Detroit-Hamtramck Plant gets $35 million investment for extended-range electric vehicle DETROIT – Preparations will soon be under way at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant to build the Cadillac ELR, a luxury coupe featuring extended-range electric technology, General Motors North America President Mark Reuss said Tuesday. “The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology,” Reuss said in a keynote address at the SAE Convergence Conference in Detroit. “People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design.” Production is scheduled to begin in late 2013. The addition of the ELR to Detroit-Hamtramck represents a $35 million investment and increases total product investment to $561 million since December 2009. It is the first two-door car built at the plant since the 1999 Cadillac Eldorado. "This investment reflects the corporation’s confidence that the highly skilled members of UAW Local 22 can successfully build one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the world,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union's GM Department. “The hard work and dedication of our members demonstrates that we can competitively manufacture products for the future right here in Detroit.” The ELR is the production version of Cadillac’s Converj, a concept vehicle revealed at the North American International Auto Show in 2009. The ELR will advance the design theme of the Converj while featuring an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium-ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It will use electricity as its primary power source to drive the car without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the battery’s energy is low, the ELR seamlessly switches to a gasoline-powered electric generator to allow hundreds of additional driving miles. The lithium-ion battery will be built at GM’s Brownstown Battery Assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich. Detroit-Hamtramck is the only U.S. automotive manufacturing plant that mass produces extended-range electric vehicles. The plant is home to the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera, and Holden Volt extended-range electric vehicles. Extended-range electric vehicles are exported to 21 countries from the plant.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 29, 2012 For a second time this year, General Motors is putting the brakes on Volt production. According to Automotive News, the company plans to shut down the Detroit-Hamtramck from September 17 until October 15. Why? Well there are two reasons as to this. A GM spokesman tells Motor Trend, "the plant will be idled to match inventory with production, as well as retooling to get ready for 2014 Impala production." The 'match inventory with production' most likely is in reference to the Chevrolet Volt. Through July, 10,666 Volts have been sold, which more than triple the 2,870 Volts sold last year. However, the 10,666 Volts is a far cry from CEO Dan Akerson's 45,000 goal for this year. Also, GM dealers are currently sitting on 6,500 units or an 84 day supply. Source: Motor Trend, Automotive News (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.
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 14, 2012 Almost two months ago, the vehicle line director for the Chevy Volt, Tony Posawatz announced his retirement. Posawatz worked at GM for more than 30 years at GM. Posawatz was one of the key people overseeing the Volt. Few people at the time expected him to jump back into the industry. Fast forward to today and Tony Posawatz is now the new CEO of Fisker Automotive. He takes over from current CEO, Tom Lasorda who only became Fisker's CEO back in February. "Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker. He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production. Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," said LaSorda in a press release. The announce of Posawatz as the new CEO comes a few days after a another Fisker Karma caught on fire. Fisker said in a statement the fire did not come from the lithium-ion battery pack or the routing of exhaust. Fisker also said that they're working together with investigators. That's not the only item on Poswatz's plate. He will be also overseeing the development of the Fisker Atlantic. 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. Press Release is on Page 2 FISKER AUTOMOTIVE STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP TEAM Carmaker Appoints New Chief Executive and Expands Global Management with Asia and Manufacturing roles • Tony Posawatz becomes CEO as Tom LaSorda finds successor • Joe Chao to lead expansion in China and Asia • Alberto Gonzalez named VP of Manufacturing Anaheim, California, USA – August 14, 2012: Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended range (EVer), today named Tony Posawatz, the former head of the Volt program at General Motors as its new Chief Executive Officer. A well-known automotive industry professional with more than 30 years of experience in product development, strategy, program management, manufacturing and quality at General Motors, Posawatz's last role was as GM's Vehicle Line Director and key leader of Global Electric Vehicle development, where he was responsible for the award-winning Chevrolet Volt – bringing the car from concept to production. "We are delighted to be adding an executive of Tony's caliber to the Fisker Automotive leadership team," said Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Henrik Fisker. "His depth of knowledge and experience in this innovative field of new technology means that he is one of the world's most experienced leaders in vehicle electrification technology and the plug-in ecosystem. In the long-term he will ensure that Fisker is well positioned to maximize the potential of not only the Karma sedan, but also bring the Fisker Atlantic smoothly to market." Posawatz has consistently been recognized as an industry leader in product innovation and electrified vehicles and served as Chairman of the Board for the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). In addition he led GM's initial efforts on hybrid programs and related technology development and was "employee number one" and founding member of the Chevrolet Volt program back in 2006. "Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker," said Tom LaSorda. "He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production. "Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," added LaSorda Said Henrik Fisker, "Ultimately, Fisker Automotive is all about products that challenge the way that we think about cars for the next generation. Tony's expertise will guarantee that Fisker leads the way with its second-generation powertrain technology for the Atlantic and other future Fisker products." Fisker Automotive is also pleased to announce the appointment of Joseph Chao as Executive Vice President and CEO of China and Asia. Chao brings more than 30 years of engineering, manufacturing and international business operations knowledge from GM, Chrysler and Daimler Chrysler where he served as President and CEO of Beijing Benz Ltd. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of SG Automotive in China and will now pave the way for Fisker's entry into the Chinese market later in 2012. "Joe is a seasoned veteran and someone that I have worked with for more than 20 years," said Tom LaSorda. "He has outstanding experience in China and will be a great leader to launch the Fisker brand in both China and the rest of Asia." Fisker is also pleased to announce the appointment of Alberto Gonzalez as Vice President of Manufacturing. Gonzalez also brings more than 30 years of global automotive manufacturing and assembly experience from Chrysler where he operated high-volume assembly plants in the US, Mexico and Canada. Adds Henrik Fisker, "With these new appointments, we are sending a strong signal about Fisker Automotive and our future plans to develop the next generation of powertrain technology, bring more new Fisker products to market and expand our global sales footprint. "Since the turn of the year we have strengthened our core executive leadership team with experienced industry professionals who will take Fisker to the next level. With Tony Posawatz as CEO, Jim Yost as CFO, Barny Koehler as Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Richard Beattie as Chief Commercial Officer and Joe Chao as CEO of China and Asia I believe we have an unbeatable team that can establish Fisker as a true global force and bring the highly anticipated Fisker Atlantic to market." Comments Fisker Automotive's lead Board Director and largest investor, Ray Lane: "Fisker Automotive continues to build an amazing portfolio of talent that will truly establish the company as the leader in next-generation automotive technology. Tony's vast experience in this field makes him the perfect candidate to lead us into this exciting new future. To have such a globally recognized product leader is a huge coup for the company."
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 3, 2012 2011 was a tumultuous year for the Chevrolet Volt: sales didn't meet the high expectations set by General Motors, dealers had problems trying to get them off their lot, and then there was the battery fires which prompted a recall and a congressional hearing. 2012 so far is turning out to be a much better year for the Volt. Currently, the Volt is outselling Chevrolet's other halo car, the Corvette. (7,057 Volts vs. 5,547 Corvettes) and is on track to hit 20,000 units before the end of the year. It seemed like a perfect time to revisit the Volt and wonder if it could reach the 20,000 mark. Has anything changed since the last time the Volt visited the C&G Garage? The big news for the 2012 Volt was a price drop to $39,995 (includes a $850 destination charge). To accomplish that, Chevrolet removed some of the standard features for the 2011 model and made them options. If you want your 2012 Volt to be like the 2011 model, you will have to pony up some more money. Also, the 2012 Volt comes with option of Chevrolet's MyLink Infotainment which adds the ability of playing Pandora and Stitcher internet radio. Other than that, the Volt is pretty much the same. Next: The Exterior & Interior So, the exterior is the same? Since its last visit to the Cheers and Gears garage in February 2011, the Volt's exterior hasn't changed much. The front end features a fascia that is integrated well into the hood and front fenders to help improve aerodynamics. Also, the front end features a closed shield grill and projector headlights that extend into the front fenders. The side profile shows off the Volt's aerodynamic shape very well and features a chrome strip running underneath the windows. The Volt's back end is tall and has a squared off shape that is hidden by a spoiler. And the Interior? Also unchanged. Stepping into the Volt for the first time feels like you have entered the future. The Volt's instrument cluster says farewell to analog gauges and uses a large LCD screen to display all of the necessary information clearly. The center stack is mostly comprised of capacitive-touch controls that are simple to use, except in direct sunlight where its difficult to figure out which button does what. Sitting on top of the stack is a LCD touchscreen that handles climate, audio, economy information, and the optional navigation system. One thing that could upset buyers about the Volt are some of the materials used for the dash. The center stack and certain parts of the interior use hard plastics. Even though the plastics are nicely grained and help cut down on weight, some buyers would expect better quality materials for the price. As for interior space, the Volt has enough headroom for both front and rear seat passengers. Legroom does come at premium, especially for the back seat passengers due to the placement of the battery. Next: Powertrain, Fuel Economy, Charging, and Verdict. What about the powertrain? How does it drive? The Volt comes equipped with an electric motor delivering 111 kW (149 HP) and 368 lb-ft of torque. The electric power comes from a large 5.5 ft., 435 lb., t-shaped 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is mounted in the middle of the vehicle. The final piece of the Volt's powertrain is a 84 HP 1.4L engine acting as a generator once you deplete the battery, giving you an extra 300 miles. Driving the Volt is like driving any other vehicle, albeit with barely any engine noise. Acceleration is very surprising due to low end torque of the electric motor. Getting up to speed on freeway onramps or leaving a stoplight was no problem for the Volt. The transition from the Volt running on electric power alone, to using the gas engine is very seamless. The only giveaways that the transition has happened are the battery gauge changing to a gas gauge in the gauge screen and the slight hum from the 1.4L engine. The Volt's handling is very planted, likely due to the placement of the 435 lb. battery. But it's also tuned for comfort, floating along the rough surfaces that dot the Detroit area. If you're expecting a quiet ride, you'll get it under 50 MPH. Over 50 MPH and you'll be able to make out road noise, especially in the back. Steering also follows the comfort route, feeling light and somewhat "numb". Fuel Economy? The EPA rates the Volt at 95 City/93 Highway/94 Combined on EV power and 35 City/40 Highway/37 Combined when the gasoline engine kicks on. My average for the time I had the Volt was around 50 MPG. I'm betting the average would be higher if I had not taken a 100 Mile round-trip on the freeway and the battery only having a 20 Mile charge. Once the battery was depleted and the gas engine kicked in, the averaged dropped from 50 MPG to the low to mid 40's. If you want the max fuel economy out of your Volt, stay within the 40 Mile EV range. How long did it take to charge the battery? Chevrolet says to charge a depleted Volt battery takes about four hours with the 240V charger or ten to twelve hours when using the 120V charger. I matched the ten to twelve hours charge time for a depleted battery. As for when the battery is about halfway used, charging time is about five to six hours. And the verdict? The Volt appears to have survived its first year with some minor bumps and bruises. The press about the fires and poor sales seem to be going away. In its place are the positives of the Volt; the quietness of the powertrain, extended range provided by the gas engine, and driving like a normal car. Some will balk at the high price and not getting that many luxuries. But with the Volt, you're buying it for the technologies. If you want luxuries, there's the Cadillac ELR coming in 2014. The Chevrolet Volt solves one of the biggest problems plaguing electric vehicles; range anxiety. And people are beginning to take notice. Can it reach 20,000 sales? The answer looks to be yes. Before I end this review, I need to make a note about electric vehicles in general. At this present time, electric vehicles aren't quite ready for primetime, but they're getting close. The problems are still price and battery capacity. The Volt might be the best comprise for an electric car, but it still falls into the price problem as other EVs. Electric vehicles are for small audience, despite almost everyone wanting one. If you really have your heart set on an electric vehicle, be prepared to ask some difficult questions and doing some homework on your driving habits. Because that could make difference owning an electric or making an expensive mistake. Disclaimer: General Motors provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gas. Year - 2012 Make - Chevrolet Model - Volt Trim - N/A Engine - 1.4L Four-Cylinder, Voltec Electric Drive System Driveline - Front Wheel Drive, Automatic Horsepower @ RPM - 149 HP Torque @ RPM - 368 @ 0 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 95 City/93 Highway/94 Combined (EV Power), 35 City/40 Highway/37 Combined (Range Extender) Curb Weight - 3781 lbs Location of Manufacture - Detroit, Michigan Base Price - $39,145.00 As Tested Price - $44,970.00 (Includes $850.00 Destination Charge) 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. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 6, 2013 Despite piling on incentives to move Chevrolet Volts off dealer lots a couple months ago, sales rose to a meager 0.1 percent to 11,643 vehicles through July. Add in the fact that the Nissan Leaf dropped it price earlier and is currently experiencing a rise in sales and the inevitable was bound to happen. Today, General Motors announced a $5,000 price cut to the 2014 Volt. That means the starting price is now $34,995 (including $810 in destination). Factor in the $7,500 federal tax credit and you're looking at a price of $27,495. “The lower price and cost savings from driving on electricity provide Volt owners an unmatched balance of technology, capability and cost of ownership. The 2014 Volt will offer the same impressive list of features, but for $5,000 less," said Don Johnson, Chevy’s US VP of sales. Source: General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2014 Chevrolet Volt Now Offers Even Greater Value Pricing for the 2014 model will start at $34,995 2013-08-06 DETROIT – The Chevrolet Volt, already recognized for having the most satisfied owners will soon come with another people pleaser: a lower price. The 2014 model will start at $34,995, including an $810 destination fee (excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees). If consumers include federal tax credits ranging from $0-$7,500 (depending on individual tax liability), pricing could start at $27,495. Individual tax situations differ, so consult a tax professional prior to claiming any credits to confirm eligibility for vehicle tax benefits. “The lower price and cost savings from driving on electricity provide Volt owners an unmatched balance of technology, capability and cost of ownership,” said Don Johnson, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet sales and service. “The 2014 Volt will offer the same impressive list of features, but for $5,000 less. “We have made great strides in reducing costs as we gain experience with electric vehicles and their components,” Johnson said. “In fact, the Volt has seen an increase in battery range and the addition of creature comforts, such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and MyLink, since its launch in 2010.” Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive 900 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station about once a month. The 2014 Volt will continue to provide owners with impressive fuel economy of 98 MPGe (electric) and 35 city/40 highway on gasoline power without any need to change their daily driving habits while saving $900 in annual fuel costs. Today’s Volt owners have logged 364 million miles, including 225 million electric miles. The Volt’s lower price also changes the comparative set of vehicles on popular auto information sites like kbb.com, Edmunds.com and cars.com, where visitors to these sites can search for a new vehicle by type and/or prices. The Volt’s lower price will broaden its exposure to price-sensitive prospective buyers using these sites to search for a plug-in electric vehicle or a gas-powered alternative sedan. The Volt continues to be the best selling plug-in vehicle in America and is attracting new buyers to the Chevrolet brand. More than 70 percent of Volt buyers are new to General Motors. Not surprisingly, the Toyota Prius is the most frequently traded-in vehicle for a Volt. California continues to be Volt’s largest market. The 2014 Volt will continue to offer a low emissions package that earns the Volt a coveted “sticker” for single-occupancy HOV lane access in California and New York. The Chevrolet Volt allows gas-free driving for an EPA-estimated 38 miles (61 km), depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. The range-extending engine gives the Volt up to 380 total miles (615 km) of total driving range. The 2014 Volt will start to be available in dealer showrooms late this summer. Chevrolet will introduce two new colors – Ashen Gray Metallic and Brownstowne Metallic for the 2014 model year – and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 11, 2013 At the moment, Chevrolet is currently sitting on a 140-day supply of Volts, more than double the amount supply analysts say is healthy. How is General Motors going to cut down the supply? By piling on incentives! Chevrolet spokeswoman Michelle Malcho tells The Detroit News the company will be offering $4,000 off on 2013 Volts and $5,000 off on 2012 models. Alternatively, you can do a 36-month lease on a Volt for $269 with $2,399 down at signing or can be purchased with zero percent financing for 48 months and receive $3,000 off. Total Volt sales for the year stand 7,157 units, an increase of 1.4 percent. However, the past three months have seen Volt sales drop when compared to the same time last year. Source: The Detroit News 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.
  13. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 20, 2013 Edmunds has learned from industry sources that General Motors is considering a three-cylinder engine for the Cadillac ELR and Chevrolet Volt. The reason for the three-cylinder is to help reduce fuel consumption and vehicle weight, something CEO Dan Akerson mentioned during a speech at a Houston energy conference a couple weeks ago. The proposed idea would have the 1.4L four-cylinder that is used in the Volt and ELR to be replaced by either a 1.0 or 1.2L three-cylinder engine that is currently being developed by GM and its partners in China. If given the green light, the engine would appear in the Volt refresh which is due in 2015, followed by the ELR in 2016. When reached for comment, GM declined. Source: Edmunds 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.
  14. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 28, 2013 Before the Chevrolet Volt was launched, General Motor executives were making some very bold claims on production numbers, throwing numbers like 60,000 or 45,000 Volts a year. Since going into production, GM has sold 7,671 Volts in 2011 and 23,461 in 2012. Combine the Opel and Vauxhall Ampera and then you're looking around 30,000 plug-in vehicles. Now for 2013, General Motors looks to be boosting their production number, albeit more realistic. Bloomberg reports that General Motors is planning to boost production of their plug-in vehicles to 36,000, a 20% increase. This information comes from two sources familiar with the matter. 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.
  15. Today, Chevrolet and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have released the numbers for the 2016 Volt and they are noticeably better than the outgoing model. The EPA rates the Volt at 106 Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe) combined when operating solely on electricity, and 42 MPG combined when the gas engine is running. To put this into perspective, the current Volt gets 98 MPGe when running on electricity and 39 MPG combined when the gas engine is running. Overall electric range has seen a big jump as well with the 2016 Volt. The EPA says the model will deliver 53 Miles of range on electric power alone. That is a huge increase compared to the 39 Miles of total electric range on the current Volt. “We listened to our customers. They were very clear when they told us that they wanted more range, and a fun driving experience behind the wheel. We are confident that the 2016 Volt delivers both,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer for the Volt. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 The Results Are In: More Range for the 2016 Volt EPA-estimated pure electric range is 53 miles DETROIT – The 2016 Volt is engineered to offer customers more of what they want: range, range and more range. The Volt’s all-new second-generation Voltec extended-range electric propulsion system delivers 53 miles of pure EV range, based on EPA testing. That is nearly a 40-percent improvement over the first-generation Volt. Chevrolet expects many next-generation Volt owners will use power solely from their batteries for more than 90 percent of trips. Today, Volt owners use battery power on 80 percent of their trips. This means the average Volt owner could expect to travel well over 1,000 miles between gas fill ups, if they charge regularly. For the first 53 miles, the Volt can drive gas and tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its new 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, rated at a combined 106 MPGe, or gasoline equivalent. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range for a total of 420 miles on a full tank. “We listened to our customers,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer, “They were very clear when they told us that they wanted more range, and a fun driving experience behind the wheel. We are confident that the 2016 Volt delivers both.” The next-generation Volt’s new 1.5L range-extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 42 MPG. Data shows that drivers of the first-generation Volt achieved, and often exceeded, the published EPA-estimated mileage. Chevrolet expects the same label-exceeding result with the next-generation Volt.
  16. Over the weekend, Chevrolet announced the pricing for the 2016 Volt before it goes on sale later this year. Pricing for new model will begin at $33,995 (includes a $825 destination charge). Chevrolet is quick to point out the 2016 Volt is almost $1,200 less that current Volt on sale. Add in Federal and State incentives and you could drive away with a Volt for as low as $24,995. Aside from the price cut, the 2016 Volt sees an increase in overall electric range (50 vs. 31 miles) and a improvement for the gas engine's fuel economy (41 MPG vs. 37 MPG). "The next generation Chevrolet Volt delivers more technology, the ability to drive further between gas fill ups and now with even more value to our customers. It's what our loyal Volt owners told us they wanted," said Steve Majoros, Director, Chevrolet Marketing. "We are confident we will continue to attract new customers to Volt with the vehicle's product improvements and attractive price." Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Announces 2016 Volt Pricing Next Gen delivers more technology at new price as low as $26,495 DETROIT – The Chevrolet Volt is poised to continue to bring new owners to the electric plug-in family. Pricing will be as low as $26,495 after the full federal tax credit of $7,500. (Federal tax credit can range from $0 up to $7,500.) In California, the vehicle’s largest market, residents of the state will be able to purchase the all-new Volt for as low as $24,995 after state and federal incentives. The 2016 model will start at $33,995 MSRP, including an $825 destination fee (excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees). This is almost $1,200 less than the current-generation Volt. “The next-generation Chevrolet Volt delivers more technology, the ability to drive further between gas fill-ups and now with even more value to our customers. It’s what our loyal Volt owners told us they wanted,” said Steve Majoros, director, Chevrolet Marketing. “We are confident we will continue to attract new customers to Volt with the vehicle’s product improvements and attractive price.” The Volt continues to be a success with the brand, with nearly 70 percent of Volt owners trading in a non-GM product or adding to their household fleet in 2014, the highest of any Chevy nameplate. The number one trade-in for the Volt is the Toyota Prius. To date, more than 75,000 first-generation Volt owners have driven hundreds of millions of EV miles. Volt owners who charge regularly can expect to drive an estimated 1,000 miles or more between fill-ups, based on GM testing. The 2016 Volt will provide owners with impressive fuel economy of a GM-estimated 102 MPGe (electric) and 41 combined mpg on gasoline power. The new Volt will offer a GM-estimated 50 miles of all-electric driving range on a single charge, a 31-percent improvement over the first-generation Volt. This means new Volt owners should anticipate that approximately 90 percent of trips in a new Volt will be driven all-electrically.
  17. General Motors will be putting a halt on production of the current Volt starting next month. According to The Detroit News, General Motors will put the Detroit-Hamtramck on a six-week break to not only get the plant ready to build the next-generation Volt, but also reduce the amount of Volts sitting on dealer lots. “First-generation Volt will stop building at the very end of May to get ready for model change,” said GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho. According to Wards Auto data, Chevrolet dealers currently have a 210-day supply of Volts. A 60-day supply of a vehicle is considered healthy. Through the month of March, GM has only moved 1,784 Volts, a 48 percent drop when compared to same time last year. Source: The Detroit News
  18. General Motors has issued a recall for 64,000 Chevrolet Volts from the 2011-13 model years to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in a enclosed space when a driver forgets to shut off the vehicle. Automotive News reports that if a driver leaves their Volt running in the electric mode, the vehicle will drain the battery and cause the gas engine to kick on. "If the gas engine runs for a long period of time within an enclosed space, such as a garage, carbon monoxide could build up," GM said in a statement. GM says they are aware of two people who had carbon monoxide exposure from the Volt. At the moment, the Volt has a chime that come on if a driver exits the vehicle and leaves it running. GM will issue a software update that will limit the Volt's idling time when left in the 'On' position. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  19. The Chevrolet Bolt concept will be heading into production in late 2016, with sales beginning in 2017. But there is the question of whether or not the 'Bolt' name will go on the production model or not. The name is confusing as it sounds similar to the Chevrolet Volt. "Some people think it's confusing. "People are having some fun with it. It is generating awareness, which is good. It's so conversational," said Alan Batey, president of GM North America to the Detroit Free Press. Batey did say that there is a debate going on General Motors of whether to keep the Bolt name or go with something else. "We're still in the decision phase. It could go either way," said Batey. Whether or not the Bolt name changes, Batey said there will be a clear difference between the Bolt and Volt. Source: Detroit Free Press
  20. 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.
  21. On Monday, Chevrolet will be unveiling the next generation Chevrolet Volt. That car's powertrain will have the familiar Volt setup of an on-board regenerator. In addition to that, Chevrolet will be unveiling a concept car called the Bolt that can travel up to 200 miles on a single charge and has an initial price point of $30,000. Though the Bolt is a concept, it is set to go into production for the 2017 model year, so we could see it on the road in as little as 18 months. Chevrolet already builds a pure electric version of the Chevrolet Spark. It starts at around $20,000, has a range of 82 miles, and more pound-ft of torque than some full-size pickups, but it is currently only sold in California and Oregon for the sake of complying with those states' zero-emissions laws. The Bolt will be different though; General Motors is planning on offering the Bolt nationwide and globally with a particular eye on China with its smog problems. For domestic consumption at least, the Bolt will be built in the US at one of GM's existing plants. The $30,000 price point is no accident either. General Motors is targeting two prime targets, the Nissan Leaf which starts at $29,010 and has a 100 mile range, and the coming Tesla Model 3 which is said to be aiming for a $35,000 price point with a 200 mile range. If GM can meet both its price point and range target, the Bolt could become the Goldilocks electric vehicle offering both anxiety-free range and attainable price point. The speculation out there says that the Bolt will be a crossover hatchback, but beyond that, technical details are scarce. The Bolt will be revealed at a press conference that starts at 7:35am on Monday, January 12th. We will be on hand to bring you updates and pictures from the show floor. *Chevrolet Spark EV charge port shown in picture above courtesy of General Motors. You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Source: Green Car Reports and The Verge
  22. With one week to go before the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the pictures will really start rolling out now. Today we got a much clearer look at the 2016 Chevrolet Volt due to be fully revealed next week. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today, the 2016 Volt peeked its nose through the curtain to give us a better look at it's face. The upcoming Volt will have powertrain improvements rumored to give the EV a 12% gain in electric only range, some of that will come from a more interactive regeneration mode that is currently available on the Cadillac ELR. The regeneration mode is controlled through paddles on the steering wheel. Recently Mark Reuss Vice President of GM Global Platform Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain and Andrew Farah, Volt Chief Engineer took the 2016 Volt out for a spin to discuss the Volt regeneration mode feature. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXCKarf7s9Y The 2016 Chevrolet Volt officially debuts on Monday, January 12th at 7:35am at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. We will be on hand to bring you all the latest news and developments from the show. You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Source: GM Media
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 2, 2013 Dealerships are used to to training sales and service professionals, and buying new tools when new models arrive. But for a small subset of Chevrolet dealers, the cost of selling the Volt and its pricey additional tool and equipment costs are causing them to stop selling the Volt. A new report from Automotive News says that a small number of dealers have decided to stop selling the Volt due to the specialized equipment costs and GM requiring a more significant investment in the near future, and slow sales not being able to recuperate those investments. Last year, 2,614 Chevrolet dealers were certified to sell the Volt (out of 3,079 dealerships). 70% of Volt sales came from 300 highest-volume dealers – leaving the remaining 2,314 dealerships to fight for the remaining 30 percent. "Going forward, the profitability would be really hard for us to justify the expense of the repair tools," said Allyn Barnard, owner of Jim Barnard Chevrolet in Churchville, New York. The dealer only sold five Volts last year. Other dealers are toughing it out. John Holt, owner of John Holt Chevrolet-Cadillac in Chickasha, Oklahoma says even though he has sold five Volts last year, he'll be sticking with the Volt partly due to the new Cadillac ELR coming out. "I've heard that a lot of the non-metro dealers have opted out" of the certified Volt program said Holt. "But with the new Cadillac coming, I figured I'd be foolish not to buy the damn $5,100 tool." Source: Automotive News (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
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 16, 2012 Cadillac's long-awaited extended-range electric coupe, the ELR will begin rolling off the lines at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant beginning in late 2013. “The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology. People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design,” said GM's North America President Mark Reuss. GM is investing $35 Million into the plant to get it ready to build the ELR. Source: GM 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. Press Release is on Page 2 Cadillac ELR to be Built at Detroit-Hamtramck Plant gets $35 million investment for extended-range electric vehicle DETROIT – Preparations will soon be under way at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant to build the Cadillac ELR, a luxury coupe featuring extended-range electric technology, General Motors North America President Mark Reuss said Tuesday. “The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology,” Reuss said in a keynote address at the SAE Convergence Conference in Detroit. “People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design.” Production is scheduled to begin in late 2013. The addition of the ELR to Detroit-Hamtramck represents a $35 million investment and increases total product investment to $561 million since December 2009. It is the first two-door car built at the plant since the 1999 Cadillac Eldorado. "This investment reflects the corporation’s confidence that the highly skilled members of UAW Local 22 can successfully build one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the world,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union's GM Department. “The hard work and dedication of our members demonstrates that we can competitively manufacture products for the future right here in Detroit.” The ELR is the production version of Cadillac’s Converj, a concept vehicle revealed at the North American International Auto Show in 2009. The ELR will advance the design theme of the Converj while featuring an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium-ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It will use electricity as its primary power source to drive the car without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the battery’s energy is low, the ELR seamlessly switches to a gasoline-powered electric generator to allow hundreds of additional driving miles. The lithium-ion battery will be built at GM’s Brownstown Battery Assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich. Detroit-Hamtramck is the only U.S. automotive manufacturing plant that mass produces extended-range electric vehicles. The plant is home to the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera, and Holden Volt extended-range electric vehicles. Extended-range electric vehicles are exported to 21 countries from the plant. View full article
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 27, 2012 Remember the 2007 Volt concept? It was a muscular, bold, and imposing electric vehicle. Compare it to the production Volt and the two almost have nothing to share, aside from name, powertrain, and some design ideas. Recently at a event in San Francisco. John Cafaro, Director of Exterior Design for Chevrolet gave some indications and clues as to what to expect in the next-gen Volt. Cafaro mentioned how the guys at Chevrolet were impressed with what Opel did to the Ampera to make more aggressive. "We're going to do some things with the Volt down the road, make it a little more monochromatic, a little more road-hugging," Cafaro said. Cafaro also talked about how they're watching the competition when designing future models. "We've got one bullet in the chamber with the Volt. We're getting some feedback. We've already built a body of research. There are a lot of different camps. From a design perspective, people want an exciting vehicle. Now, what does exciting mean? A lot of zoom-y lines? Deep cut forms? A lot of muscular shapes? We are looking at all the different kinds of design DNA for how we proceed with this technology. Nothing is left off the table. No idea is a bad idea." Source: Autoblog Green 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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