General Motors Has Invested HUGE in the Future of EV Production
The Chevy Camaro’s Last Stand May Involve Cadillac DNA and A Blackwing Heart
Chevrolet may be preparing a number of changes to the flagship Camaro ZL1 for the 2023 model year. According to MotorTrend’s sources, Chevy is planning on releasing a new Camaro model that will have the 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 seen in the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing.
Not Sure How to Proceed in Today’s Market, GM Announces Merger With Ford
As long as we can remember, GM and Ford have been hardcore rivals. But, since Mary Barra took over GM, the company has been struggling. Just last January, Mary Barra was caught off guard when asked about GM’s future, and her comments regarding where the brand is heading instilled everyone with fear: “Well, what I would say is we’ve been very clear. We believe in an all EV future. We have invested heavily in fuel cells as well, but beyond that, I don’t have anything specific to say. But I think if you look at where… our very strong statements are believing in all EV future… stay tuned.” This was barely even a coherent sentence, and it triggered some to believe that Barra is completely out of touch with the brand and what the next steps should be. Obviously, the answer is to build electric vehicles – one’s that don’t rely on fuel cells and those that are probably of the truck variety. Right around the same time Barra was fumbling for answers regarding GM’s electric future, Ford made the announcement that it was planning to electrify the F-Series, and that’s what leads us to our latest news: An insider from GM has told us that GM and Ford have been in secret talks discussing a merger of the two companies, and the first step in that is Ford building an all-electric Check Silverado atop the same chassis that will underpin the electric F-150. We never thought we’d see the day and Henry Ford is undoubtedly doing backflips in his grave, but GM is in serious trouble, and this is the brand’s only way out, it seems.
GM Has a Compact, Unibody Pickup in the Works and We’re Worried
The Chevrolet Montana is getting replaced by a bigger, more practical compact truck that will sit on the Global Emerging Markets (GEM) platform and also share elements with the next-generation Tracker. It will be a direct competitor to the Fiat Toro and the Renault Duster Oroch in South America, but we may never see it sold in the United States.
There seems to be growing interest in compact, crossover-based, trucks, at least in Latin America where the Montana has been on sale since 2003. Its, as-of-yet unnamed, replacement will be on sale by 2020 and will follow suit on a trend kick-started by Renault and Fiat, among others. Both now offer four-door pick-up trucks and Chevrolet’s new unibody offering will boast the same number of doors. Is this a niche worth exploiting on the North-American market? We don’t know, and it’s also unlikely for GM to sell a GEM-based car here.
GM and Delta America’s Working on a EV Charging System That Provides 180 Miles in 10 Minutes
We all know how amazing electric vehicles have become lately, with every mainstream manufacturer trying to include at least one or two EVs in their line-up. But there’s one glaring disadvantage that is perhaps the biggest reason for gas-powered vehicles to not have gone extinct yet – the time it takes to recharge batteries. In the case of combustion-powered vehicles, you can get set to travel for the next 200 miles in a matter of a minute, but that’s not possible in case of EVs – until now. General Motors is in collaboration with Delta America to develop a technology that can overcome this drawback, and it blows Tesla’s technology out of the water!
Now GM and Marketers Want to Force Feed Advertisements Via Your Car Windows
The Emissions Drama Continues; GM Accused Of Installing Defeat Devices
Earlier today, we reported how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was accused of installing defeat devices in roughly 100,000 diesel vehicles to help circumvent emissions standards, a scheme similar to what Volkswagen did in the infamous dieselgate scandal. Now, it’s looking like General Motors is next in line to feel the heat, as a new lawsuit alleges the automaker cheated on more than 700,000 diesel Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. This latest allegation makes GM the sixth automaker accused of using cheater software since the dieselgate scandal broke in 2015. Affected vehicles include Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras between the 2011 and 2016 model years. The lawsuit is currently seeking class-action status, and was filed in U.S. District Count in Detroit in part by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, the same firm involved in the VW dieselgate suit.
The lawsuit against GM alleges the damage created by the cheating GM vehicles could even exceed those of the cheating VW’s, with two to five times the legal limit of harmful emissions produced. GM was quick to respond with a statement, saying “These claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves. The Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations.”
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Throwback Video: Where is This Cool Window Technology?
Car technology has been evolving like crazy in recent years. We have electric cars like the Tesla Model S that can go hundreds of miles on a single charge, infotainment systems that offer similar services to that of your phone, Wi-Fi hotspots available in most mainstream models, and let’s not forget about gesture and voice controls that are starting to become available in less luxurious models. TV screens that were once limited to expensive and complicated aftermarket installs have been replaced by removable tablets that they whole vehicle can enjoy. The list really goes on, but what about the technology that hasn’t made it into cars yet? One such example is this crazy window technology that could transform the way we stay entertained in the back seat on road trips.
A few years back, graduate students from Bezalel Acadamy was challenged by General Motors to come up with new conceptual experiences for rear seat passengers. What they came up with was the “Windows of Opportunity” project. In the video you’re about to watch, there is a big bulky projector displaying manipulatable images on the glass of a car door. I won’t go into full details, but it offers up the ability to draw on the window and can project an image from just about anywhere else on earth. It’s all about augmented reality really, but also offers the ability to leave social messages for other people on the road or play a game like hangman or Fruit Ninja, for instance.
When you think about it, a technology like this could be brought to the market today with micro projectors mounted inside the vehicle. But, it could also lead to a new type of transparent display that allows for touch input too, all while allowing a window to be rolled down and concealed within the door. Sure, it leaves the possibility for expensive repairs should something go haywire, but at the same time, it’s pretty freaking cool. The question is, however, where is this technology at? We’ve seen all kinds of other cool technology, and with autonomous cars on the horizon, it could make for a fun way to play games with the family between stops on road trips. Would this be a cool technology to have, or would you rather keep things simple? Check out the video, then let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Next OnStar System to Use IBM Artificial Intelligence to Annoy Drivers with Targeted Offers and Services
GM’s OnStar system is evolving and the latest iteration, dubbed OnStar Go, is set to make it into 2017 model year vehicles. The system will build upon the services already available in today’s models, including features like diagnostics, security monitoring, hands-free calling, and navigation services, among others. But, OnStar Go will also utilize IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence technology to “optimize the driver’s time in the vehicle.” What that really means is that GM and IBM have partnered up to bring targeted offers and services to anyone who owns a GM vehicle.
These “targeted offers and services” will be available at no charge as part of the free and basic five-year OnStar plan included with the purchase of every new vehicle that is properly equipped and has a 4G wireless connection. So far, these customized offers will come from companies like Exxon Mobil, iHeartRadio, Glympse, Parkopedia, and Mastercard. GM and IBM will reportedly share revenue generated from these offers with the aforementioned partners. The offers presented to drivers will be tailored to them based on their habits, location, and other factors like current weather conditions.
“IBM and GM are changing the whole notion of where valuable, daily rituals occur. The combination of IBM Watson and industry-leading OnStar connectivity will enable vehicles with intelligent branded skills and services to empower drivers and passengers,” said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM iX. “Simply put, OnStar Go with IBM Watson transforms time wasted in the car into time well spent.”
As an example of how the system will work, if the vehicle is running low on fuel, the system will recognize this and locate the nearest Exxon Mobil gas station. It will then, make it make it on the navigation screen and direct drivers in the proper direction. Apparently, users will also be able to make authorized payments from inside the vehicle has well.
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The Era of Small Engines in Europe Could be Coming to an End
The war on emissions has been on-going with automakers continuously pressed to lower emissions output from their vehicles year after year. Over in Europe, the strategy to meet stringent emissions regulations has resulted in the downsizing of engines and the addition of turbochargers to make up for the power deficit. As such, the average engine size in Europe is anywhere between 1.3- and 1.9-liters. The shrinking of engines has worked well for emissions tests in Europe up until now, but according to Reuters, new on-the-road emissions testing has shown that smaller engines actually fail to meet the latest standards. This being the case, automakers are being forced to rethink their strategy, and those smaller engines could be on the chopping block.
So how bad is it? Well, real-world testing has shown that most of the smaller engines currently in use – like GM’s 1.2-liter diesel and VW’s 1.4-liter, three-pot diesel – can produce NOx levels up to 15 times the current legal standard when driven at higher loads. Smaller gasoline engines of similar size lose
efficiency and “spew fine particles and carbon monoxide.” Renault’s 0.9-liter H4Bt engine injects excess fuel to prevent overheating, which has been found to produce massive levels of unburned hydrocarbons, fine particles, and CO2. So, what can automakers do to meet the tougher emissions regulations that must be adhered to by 2019?
Automakers have largely remained silent as to what their strategy will be going forward. But, sources have indicated that Volkswagen, Renault, and General Motors are all preparing to upsize some of their best-selling smaller engines while others will be retired altogether. All three have declined to comment on specific plans so far, but Alain Rapos – the Head of Powertrain for Renault-Nissan – said, “The techniques we’ve used to reduce engine capacities will no longer allow us to meet emissions standards. We’re reaching the limits of downsizing.”
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GM Aims to use 100-Percent Renewable Energy by 2050
General Motors has pledged to use electricity produced entirely from renewable energy sources by 2050. The announcement comes in response to growing calls to become more sensitive to state of the environment. As part of its commitment to reaching its goal, GM also signed up to join the RE100, a collaborative, global initiative of influential businesses that are committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity, working to increase the demand for renewable energy. Included in the organization are some heavy-hitters from other business sectors, including Coca-Cola, Google, Bloomberg, Nike, and a familiar face in the auto industry, BMW.
A big part of General Motors’ plan is to completely use renewable energy, including wind, sun, and landfill gas, in powering its 350 operations in 59 countries all over the world. Considering that the automaker’s timetable is still 34 years from now, it’s hard to imagine what the auto industry is going to look like, let alone what the regulations are going to be in that time. If anything, GM is giving itself plenty of time to make the transition, although with the years it still has to reach that goal, there’s no telling what the automaker is transitioning itself into.
To be fair, the automaker has made some positive gains in getting to its goal. A GM PR representative recently told Autoblog that 3.8 percent of the automaker’s electricity will come from renewable energy. That already includes saving around $5 million a year from using renewable energy as part of a previous goal to promote the use of 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020. The automaker’s two new wind projects, which are expected to open later this year, would also help accomplish that 2020 goal as they are being prepared to help power four of the automaker’s manufacturing operations.
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GM Claims Plaintiffs are Fabricating Evidence in Texas Lawsuit Over Faulty Ignition Switch
With Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal taking up all the headlines, it was pretty easy for GM’s ignition switch problem to be overshadowed. Well, now that all the hype over VW has started to subdue a bit, GM is back in the headlines again. This time, however, it isn’t for another death or another new lawsuit, but because it is trying to get the judge to dismiss the first civil case being brought against it in Texas over the ignition switch issue.
Five years ago, Zachary Stevens was driving his 2007 Saturn Sky when he crashed into another vehicle, subsequently killing its driver. Stevens had manslaughter charges brought against him, but after claiming that the ignition switch rotation caused him to crash, and GM initiated a voluntary recall, the charge was ultimately dropped. As such, Stevens proceeded to file a civil lawsuit against GM, claiming it was at fault for the accident.
In GM’s initial filing, it claims that Stevens initially said he was driving with just a few items attached to his key, but the key shown to jurors more recently included a few more items like a gym membership car and an Eiffel Tower Souvenir. On top of that, GM is also claiming that the key itself did not, in fact, belong to the vehicle that was involved in the accident – claiming that Steven’s has “fabricated evidence” and that the alleged misstatements have “hamstrung the search for the truth.”
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