2019 Chevrolet Volt Gets Improved Charging System And Other Range-Extending Tech
First making the scene in 2010, the compact five-door Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid entered its second generation in 2016 and is now set to receive a bit of a refresh for the 2019 model year. Headlining the list of updates is a new and improved charging system, which is said to offer twice the range-per-hour as the outgoing system.
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The Chevy Bolt Is Here for the Long Haul; Won’t See a Refresh Until 2025
The Chevrolet Bolt EV is a five-door all-electric hatch bubble released just a few years ago for the 2017 model year. Now, rumor has it GM has a new-gen in the works, but apparently, it won’t see the light of day for at least another seven years.
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Genovation GXE, the Electric Corvette, Gets More Power for its Pre-Production Debut at CES
Will wonders ever cease? It certainly doesn’t seem like it. Remember that electric Corvette from Genovation Cars that hit 200 mph in 2016 before being show off at Pebble Beach? Well, it will make another public appearance at the 2018 CES show in January, but this time with 800 horsepower and more than 700 pound-feet of torque on tap – figures that promise to push it to the 220-mph mark and all without the use of any dino juice… Oh, what a time to be alive.
Based on the C7 Corvette that’s about to be retired to make way for a new generation, the GXE was originally rated at just 492 kilowatts or around 660 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of twist. Those aren’t bad figures for an electric beast, that’s for sure. We’re not sure how Genovation did it, but it’s managed to provide the world with updated specs that now include an extra 140 ponies and at least 100 more pound-feet of torque. Those figures are pretty staggering, but even more so, when you consider the Corvette ZR1 delivers just 755 ponies and 715 pound-feet. Of course, this news also comes with more goodies too, including an updated specs sheet that promises a 60-mph sprint in less than three seconds and a top speed that peaks more than 220 mph.
There is a downfall, however, as that GXE Electric Vette won’t get you very far and you better not expect a fun day at the track. Despite the fact that battery technology is on the up and up, this baby only gets 130 miles or so from its 60-kWh battery pack, and there’s no word on charging time, either. So, when you shell out the $750,000 for one of those 75 models being created don’t expect to do a whole lot with it outside of some occasional playing or trotting back and forth around town.
Maven Gig Sounds Cool but Proves People Are Idiots for Using It
The concept of ride sharing and the basis for Maven is pretty sweet. Do you live in a big city and need your own whip for a day? Maven’s got you. Are you a college student that needs to take a trip off campus for the day? Well, you’re covered too. It’s not a bad setup. Use an app to choose a car, then use your phone to unlock the car, start the engine, and take your trip – as long as you return the car in the same condition in which you received it, it’s a pretty viable option if you really just need a car for the day. Now, Maven has launched a new program called “Maven Gig.” This program works by allowing you to rent a vehicle for a week at a time, and you can even use it for your side gigs – that means freelance jobs like food delivery services and even Uber. And, it has just added the Chevy Bolt as the initial offering for this program. So, what’s the catch? Well, if you use it more than once in a great while, you’re an idiot.
Seriously, I’m not trying to be rude, but the pricing for a week’s rental for a Chevy Bolt EV comes out to be $229. That’s really not bad if you’re in a jam because your car is broken down or otherwise indisposed of at the moment. But, if it’s something that you use frequently, you’re just spending way too much money. If you do the math, that computes to an average of $992 a month or $11,908 a year. That’s for the use of a car that you can buy, at the time of this writing, for $29,995 after a federal tax credit. In fairness, that weekly rental charge of $229 includes insurance, maintenance, and unlimited miles. We haven’t sat down and computed what it would cost to buy a Bolt EV and insure it at the same time, but something tells us that it’s not going to set you back nearly $1,000 to do so.
Chevy Bolt Accused of Going Rogue, But the Story is Questionable
With the introduction of autonomous technology, the concept of cars going rogue is a real fear for some. Tesla, for instance, has felt the backlash of a few complaints that its Model S did the unthinkable, only to prove otherwise in most cases. But, this is the first time we’re hearing about the Chevy Bolt EV doing anything out of the ordinary. According to on Bolt EV owner, his Bolt managed to shift itself out of park and smash into a shelving unit behind it, ultimately causing some kind of damage. Apparently, he was out of town (with proof,) and his wife says she didn’t do it. The owner, who goes by socalif on gm-volt.com, posted the story just a few days ago. Here’s what he said:
“Here is a strange one, but seriously happened. I was out of town (the only driver of the Bolt) I get a call saying there was a crash in the garage. BOTH keys were out of the vehicle, car self-locked and shut down in park from the previous night. Wife heard a crash, goes to the garage and sees that the car backed up and ran into a work bench pushing in a wall. Granted, hard to believe, but both keys out of the car, she was in the house (no other drivers here), I was 40 miles away, and somehow the car moved???? Insurance called, dealership notified, GM messaged.”
Other forum members have mixed opinions on the story, with some thinking that it’s possible and others saying it’s a lie. Some hold firm that the wife is at fault. Either way, after messaging GM directly, the owner says they have contacted him and want to set up a time to inspect the vehicle and what happened. Surely, GM will get to the bottom of it, so we’ll get the full story eventually. There is a good reason that some members are skeptical of the story, however, so keep reading to find out.
EVs Could Put a Big Damper on the Used Car Market
Have you ever noticed how your cell phone or iPod doesn’t hold a charge quite as long as it used to? The same thing can be said for any rechargeable battery – like the one used to start your gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle, or even rechargeable batteries used for TV and video game remotes. It’s something nobody really pays attention too, but all rechargeable batteries suffer from capacity degradation over time whether they are regularly charged or not. So what does this have to do with the used car market? Well, as EVs become more popular and start becoming more commonplace, they’ll start to be treated the same way we treat fuel-powered vehicles now: drive them for a few years, then trade it in for something new. But, unlike cars with an internal combustion engine, there will be no such thing as an EV that drives and performs like new after seven or eight years of use.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying all ICE engines will run or perform like new after 100,000 miles and consistent use of a six to eight year period, but it does happen if they are well maintained. Back to the point, the batteries that serve as the lifeblood of EVs, like any other lithium battery, are subject to degradation. Take the Chevy Bolt EV, for instance. Chevy recently published the 2017 owner’s manual for the world to see. Hidden away in the warranty information (page 322) there is a little clause that says:
“Like all batteries, the amount of energy that the high voltage “propulsion” battery can store will decrease with time and miles driven. Depending on use, the battery may degrade as little as 10 percent to as much as 40 percent of capacity over the warranty period. If there are questions pertaining to battery capacity, a dealer service technician could determine if the vehicle is within parameters.”
That means that anyone looking to buy a used Bolt EV in, say, five years won’t likely find one with the full 238 miles of range. In fact, at eight years, Chevy says a loss of up to 40 percent is “acceptable,” which would drop that range down to as little as 142 miles – that’s Nissan Leaf territory. Maybe you’re thinking that you could use that battery degradation as a bargaining point for a lower selling price, then replace the battery. If you are, I like the way you think, but don’t jump on board with that idea just yet. At launch, the secured cost of a lithium-ion battery pack for a Chevy Bolt is $145 per kWh. That comes to a cost of $8,700 for a brand new battery. GM estimates that the price will be down to around $100 per kWh by 2022 when all of these little EVs will be flooding the used market, but even then, it will still cost you an extra $6,000 to replace the battery and get the full 238 miles of charge.
So, what could this really mean for the used car market? Keep reading to find out.
2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZH2
Nearly a month ago, we told you about General Motors’ partnership with the U.S. Military’s Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center to build and test a fuel cell vehicle for use in military operations. Well, GM has debuted its hydrogen-powered pickup and it’s called the Colorado ZH2.
As you can imagine, the truck is based on the Chevrolet Colorado. The ZH2 nomenclature is a play off the Colorado’s (or more historically, the S-10’s) off-road package, the ZR2. With its R swapped for an H, this hydrogen-powered truck is designed to test the capabilities and limits of a fuel-cell vehicle in off-road, wartime-style environments.
“Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further,” said Paul Rogers, director of TARDEC. “Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further.”
The speed Rogers is referring to is the time TARDEC gave GM to come up with this truck. From contract to concept, the project has happened in less than a year. That’s nearly light speed when it comes to government operations. From this point, the Colorado ZH2 will undergo a year’s worth of evaluation and demanding rigors to determine if hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have a future on the battlefield.
So what’s the big deal about fuel cell technology, you might ask? This propulsion system is nearly silent in operation, it offers a reduced thermal signature, has high torque thanks to its electric drive, offers low fuel consumption, and even creates water, which can be utilized in the field by soldiers.
There’s plenty to talk about here, so keep reading for the full run-down.
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Chevy Bolt Puts Nissan Leaf to Shame; Comes with 238-Mile Range
In early 2015, Chevrolet unveiled the Bolt EV Concept and promised it would become the first affordable electric car with more than 200 miles of range. Less than two years have passed since then and its seems that GM will keep its promise and deliver a production Bolt with an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles. That’s a whopping 131 miles more than the Nissan Leaf, a popular offering on the EV market, and the best mileage you’ll be able to get on an affordable car for the 2017 model year.
Speaking of pricing, Chevy says the Bolt is expected to cost less than $37,500. That’s before the available federal tax credit of $7,500, meaning some buyers will be able to take one home for less than $30,000. That’s significantly more expensive than the Volt and Spark EV, which can be had for as low as $25,750 and $18,495, respectively, but neither can provide the Bolt’s 200-mile range. While the Volt can travel for only 53 miles on electricity alone, the Spark EV is rated at 82 miles. The only EV that can deliver something similar is the Tesla Model S, but the base model, which is rated at 210 miles, starts from $66,000 before incentives.
This makes the Bolt quite an attractive package, at least until Tesla begins production of the Model 3 in late 2017.
As for Chevy’s electric hatchback, it will arrive in showroom in late 2016. However, the Bolt will be sold in select dealerships only, meaning you might not be able to buy it at the nearest Chevrolet showroom. Stay tuned for more info as the Bolt makes its way onto the production line.
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Affordable EV Showdown – Tesla Model 3 vs. Chevrolet Bolt
Across the globe, all-electric car sales are on the rise. Automakers are pouring money into development and laying the groundwork for a future where battery-driven automobiles rule the market, and while internal combustion is still number one when it comes to industry success, the battle for EV supremacy is starting to heat up. The new frontline can be found in the pockets of consumers looking for relatively affordable electrified conveyance, and two major players are gearing up for an all-out assault – the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV. Both offer impressive distance-per-charge at a reasonable price point. But the question is this – which one is better?
For now, details on the yet-to-be-released Model 3 are still in flux, but given what we know so far, these two titans of the EV world should stack up nicely for a head-to-head showdown.
For this comparison, we’ll take a look at a variety of vehicle characteristics, including gadgets and technology, performance and range, cargo space and practicality, style and aesthetics, and comfort and interior, plus we’ll give you a few alternatives if neither car is what you’re looking for.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
2016 Chevrolet Camaro Eco Super Sport (ESS)
General Motors, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Argonne National Laboratory have been teamed up for some time now to host a competition known as EcoCAR that challenges teams from a number of North American Universities to make a specific vehicle more economical and better for the environment without sacrificing performance, overall usefulness of the vehicle, or consumer appeal. Back in 2008, the first EcoCAR challenge kicked off, in which teams worked with a Saturn Vue. The second challenge, known as EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future, ran from 2011 to 2014, with teams focused on modifying a Chevy Malibu. Now, EcoCAR3: Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition is underway, and it looks to be the best EcoCAR challenge so far.
The current challenge kicked off in 2014, and what makes it even better is for this competition, is the car in question is the Chevy Camaro. Like the previous challenges, the main goal is to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. After nearly two years of work, the EcoEagle team from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has created the Chevy Camaro Eco Super Sport. The team has been working on the 2016 Camaro since December of 2015 and is ready to show up at the General Motors Desert Proving Ground in Yuma Arizona this coming May.
The Eco Super Sport Uses a combination of a gasoline powered engine, two electric motors, and a battery pack, and according to the most recent press release, is aimed as a competitor against the Tesla Model 3. That’s a pretty bold statement from a group of college engineering students. But before you judge, let’s take a closer look at the Eco Super Sport and see if it actually lives up to the hype.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Camaro Eco Super Sport (ESS).
There are certain world records that have more weight to them than others. Chalk that up to a number of different factors, including importance, popularity, and difficulty. I honestly don’t know where this particular record ranks, but seeing a Genovation GXE all-electric Chevrolet Corvette set the top speed record for a street legal electric car definitely ranks right up there.
The new owner of this International Mile Racing Association (IMRA) record is Performance Power Racing’s very own Johnny Bohmer. With the car’s project manager and EV Drive co-founder Bob Simpson riding shotgun, Bohmer successfully shot the GXE all-electric ‘Vette to a top speed of 186.6 mph on the tarmac of the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The setting of the record-setting run is awesome enough in it of itself, but for Bohmer to do that with another person inside the car is the real impressive feat. That certainly opens up the possibilities of the GXE Corvette to have a higher top speed once only the driver on board.
That’s worth keeping tabs on, especially with the car’s builders saying that it would do more speed runs in the future. No dates or places were given, but I suspect that this is one record that can be easily eclipsed by the same car and the same driver given the right driving conditions.
As for the record-setting Corvette, let’s just say that it’s about as unique an aftermarket-tuned Corvette as you can find today. It’s powered by an electric motor that spits out over 700 horsepower and more than 600 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers allow it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds and apparently, reach top speeds above 186 mph. And as unique as this Corvette is, Genovation is actually open to building similar GXE models to anybody who can give them $330,000, or $290,000 together with a donor ‘Vette.
In preparation for the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt, the last of the first-generation Volts was produced this week at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. As much publicity that surrounded the Volt when it first went into production in 2010 (shown above), the final car – a white 2015 Chevy Volt – rolled off the line with little fanfare.
Over its five years of production, Chevrolet sold 76,136 Volts (through April), and that doesn’t include export versions of the car like the Opel Ampera for Europe and the Holden Volt for Australia. The Volt’s sales peaked in 2012 with Chevy selling 23,461 Volts, but last year just 18,805 units were sold.
The first-gen Chevy Volt was a true innovator with its range-extended electric drivetrain that allowed 38 miles of all-electric driving with the added benefit of a gasoline engine that provided an extra 350 miles of range. Similar powertrain technologies have since been used by other automakers, including the BMW i cars.
Chevrolet has not said when production of the more advanced second-gen Volt will commence, but the car will be in dealerships sometime during the second half of this year. Even though production of the Chevrolet Volt is off-line, the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly still builds the Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Impala.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Volt.
In the upcoming sci-fi mystery adventure film Tomorrowland, a cynical old scientist and bright teenager must team up to unravel an enigma that catapults the duo through time and space. The movie harkens back to a period when hope for the future was laden with thoughts of jet packs, automatic convenience and an abundance for all. As part of that optimism, Chevrolet has announced a partnership with Disney to help promote the new Volt, framed as the automaker’s bid for a brighter tomorrow.
“Tomorrowland is a place where nothing is impossible, which is something that Chevrolet believes can exist in the here and now,” said Tim Mahoney, Vice President, Global Chevrolet, in a press release. “The Chevrolet spirit reflects the hopes and possibilities of tomorrow in real instruments of change for today like the next-generation Chevrolet Volt.”
The promo will see a TV spot and digital adverts beginning in early May.
As a reminder, Chevy’s idea of a brighter future for today involves 50 miles of emission-free driving and 1,000 miles between gas fill-ups. The Volt has seen extensive revisions for 2016, including an updated exterior, a reorganized interior space, and a lighter, more efficient drivetrain.
Tomorrowland is scheduled for theatrical release May 22nd, starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson.
Continue reading to learn more about Chevrolet’s new "Tomorrowland" movie.
At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet revealed the Bolt EV Concept as a "vision for an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle" that could offer more than 200 miles of range. Chevy claimed that the compact, which showcased a number of high-tech features, could cost from around $30,000 if put into production. Now, Ford is reportedly working on a similar product, with a concept car rumored to break cover at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
That’s the word from AutoGuide, which claims Ford’s answer to the Bolt would be a brand-new, dedicated model and not just an electric vehicle based on a product that already exists in the brand’s current lineup. The source goes on to add that it will offer a similar range to the Bolt, but, other than that, there are no details. With the Chevrolet Bolt likely to arrive in dealerships in 2017, AutoGuide’s report doesn’t seem far-fetched, but, until there is some sort of official confirmation from the Blue Oval, I’m taking this information with a grain of salt.
Continue reading to learn more about Ford’s competitor for the Chevrolet Bolt.
Amidst all of the performance cars that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet was also bolstering its green-car cred with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Volt and the 2015 Chevrolet Bolt Concept. The new Volt will go on sale later this year, but there was no word as to what plans Chevy had in store for the diminutive all-electric concept. It now seems that Reuters has dug up some potentially interesting details about the car’s future.
According to information obtained by two suppliers, the report says that the Bolt will go into production in October 2016 for the 2017 model year, and it will be built at GM’s Orion assembly plant, where Chevy hopes to produce between 25,000 to 30,000 units per year. This “underused small-car plant north of Detroit” currently builds the compact Buick Verano and the subcompact Chevrolet Sonic, and the addition of the Bolt will help improve the production capacity, which has fallen off as the demand for small cars plummeted along with gas prices. From the report, the Bolt will ride on the Gamma II platform shared with the Sonic, Buick Encore and Chevy Trax.
Perhaps equally big news, GM might also have plans to introduce an Opel version of the Bolt for European sales in a similar move to what it did for the Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera.
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General Motors appears to be interested in adding to its green car lineup with a new compact crossover called the Bolt EV. While still just a concept, the Bolt would slot in neatly alongside the new 2016 Volt and Spark EV, both of which are already humming their way up and down public roads. The Bolt is designed as a way forward in Chevy’s ambition to provide an affordable, long-range, all-electric vehicle, with a roughly $30,000 starting price and more than 200 miles stated as objectives for the first two adjectives of that description, respectively.
“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 in a press release. Price and range are two of the most important factors when it comes to widespread EV adoption, so GM clearly has the right idea going for them.
At first glance, the Bolt appears well rounded, both physically and metaphorically. The exterior body looks optimized to reduce drag, while the interior is pleasantly equipped and laid out. It’s a design that’s somewhat reminiscent of the BMW i3, albeit with a dollop of futuristic, concept-ish gloss smeared across it.
If GM wants to be a leader in the world of electrics and hybrids, this would certainly be a step in the right direction. Chevy has yet to confirm any intentions to put the Bolt into production, but rumors are circulating that it could go on sale in the U.S. and limited overseas markets in 2017.
In the meantime, we’ll just have to pick apart the new Volt hybrid for some domestic green car goodness. Maybe we’ll even see yet another foray into the world of EVs from GM. Here’s our pitch: an electric bus for new-age hippies. We’ll call it the Ohm.
Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept.
With just days until the second generation of the Volt will be unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Chevrolet has taken the liberty of adding more fuel to the Volt fire by recently registering the "Crossvolt" name for "automobiles application." No matter how speculative it sounds, this could mean that the the Volt will probably get a bigger brother and thus form an plug-in hybrid sub-brand in the nearby future.
The original "Crossvolt" trademark application was actually filed back in 2011, one year after the 2010 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 concept car had been unveiled, but it was apparently abandoned in November 2014. A few days ago, another similar application was published for opposition, meaning that the original plan of adding a plug-in hybrid crossover or MPV to the lineup still stands.
With the second generation of the Volt to be unveiled in Detroit on January 12, 2015, the "Crossvolt" trademark re-filing could very well mean that a new iteration of the MPV5 concept car could be present alongside the volt. Alternatively, this might mean that we are actually about to see a production version of the Crossvolt at the show.
Some of you probably remember that a hybrid mule of the Euro-spec Chevrolet Orlando was spied last year testing with a group of Chevrolet Volts and a Ford Fusion hybrid in the U.S., which in theory could signify that underneath it may have been the upcoming Crossvolt, but nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet.
Whether the model is nearing a launch in production guise or concept form remains to be seen, but what is known for sure is that Chevrolet is more than prepared to use the "Crossvolt" name on an upcoming vehicle.
Click past the jump to read more about the "Crossvolt" moniker.