Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production

Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – front exterior

CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit.

GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”

Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000.

The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging.

“We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.”

Start of production and additional details will be announced later.

$200-million investment

GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact,  and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies.

“As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.”

Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes.

“This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.”

Orion Assembly is the first GM facility to receive the Clean Corporate Citizen designation by the State of Michigan, and the Pontiac plant has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry three times.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

From GM News…..

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Fresh Face: Chevrolet Introduces Restyled 2016 Equinox

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ Front 7/8

Premium cues, new safety features enhance Chevy’s record-selling compact SUV

CHICAGO – Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Equinox – a contemporized version of the popular compact SUV. Updates include new styling with premium accents, new wheel designs and new available safety features, as well as a larger color touchscreen radio and a standard rear-vision camera for entry-level models.

The enhanced Equinox goes on sale this fall, building on five years of record sales in the highly competitive compact SUV segment and strengthening Chevrolet’s broad sport utility lineup, which includes the Traverse, the all-new Trax small SUV and the redesigned 2015 Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs.

“Chevrolet Equinox is a pillar of the compact SUV segment, thanks to a value rooted in great style, efficiency, safety and connectivity,” said Alan Batey, president, GM North America. “The enhancements to the 2016 Equinox make a versatile vehicle an even better choice, and demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering the broadest lineup of SUVs in the industry.”

Equinox sales in the U.S. increased to 242,242 in 2014 – the fifth consecutive year of record sales since the second-generation launched as a 2010 model.

It also held more than 9 percent of the compact SUV market, which surged 17.4 percent in 2014 and accounted for 15.5 percent of the total vehicle market – eclipsing midsize cars for the first time to become the auto industry’s largest segment.

The roster of new and updated features available on the 2016 Equinox includes:

  • New trim lineup: L, LS, LT and LTZ, a streamlining of the model lineup that eliminates the 1LT and 2LT trims.
  • New front fascia and chrome-accented dual-port grille design – including specific chrome trim on LT and LTZ grilles
  • New, premium projector-beam headlamps on all models helps make the Equinox more visible at night
  • New daytime running lamps on LT and LTZ, with reflector-style lamps on L and LS, and light-emitting diode, (LED) lamps on LT and LTZ that create a distinctive, upscale lighting signature
  • New fog lamps on LTZ
  • New, Chevy-signature dual-element taillamps, revised license plate applique and revised lower rear fascia on all models, with chrome trim on LTZ lower fascia
  • New 17-inch aluminum wheels on LT and new 18-inch aluminum wheels on LTZ
  • New available 17-inch wheel optional on LS model
  • New chrome exhaust outlets on V-6 models
  • Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on LT and LTZ
  • Standard seven-inch-diagonal Color Touch radio (including Bluetooth phone connectivity) and rear-vision camera on L and LS models
  • Revised instrument panel “center stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics
  • New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter with Electronic Range Selector mode buttons relocated to the top of the shifter handle
  • Enhanced interior fabrics in L and LS designed for a premium look and feel
  • New Saddle Up interior color
  • New universal tablet holders available through dealers from Chevrolet Accessories. They mount on the rear of the front seats to provide convenient access for rear-seat passengers.

“The new face of the Equinox is highlighted by a more expressive execution of chrome accents and premium lighting,” said John Cafaro, executive director of design, global Chevrolet cars. “The result is a modern exterior that’s matched inside with premium features on all trim levels, complementing the Equinox’s enhanced technology and functionality.”

A compact SUV with big features

The 2016 Equinox seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on LS, LT and LTZ models. Its roomy interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.7 cubic feet (1,803 liters) with the rear seat folded.

The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available with LT and LTZ models and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg) – capability unmatched by four-cylinder-only competitors.

Chevrolet MyLink is standard on LT and LTZ models, while OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotpot is offered on all trim levels. Equinox was the first in the segment to offer 4G LTE and it provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first).

In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Equinox also offers Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages.

Equinox fast facts

  • Chevrolet’s second-best selling vehicle in North America, after Silverado
  • Equinox claimed 9.3 percent of the U.S. compact SUV market in 2014
  • First generation debuted as a 2005 model
  • Second generation introduced as a 2010 model
  • Second generation sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled more than 1 million through the end of 2014
  • More than 1.4 million Equinox vehicles of both generations are on the road.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

From GM News

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala

2015 bi-fuel CNG Chevrolet Impala

DETROIT – Trash to fuel, the stuff of the 1980s sci-fi comedy movie trilogy “Back to the Future,” is now a reality. The 2015 Bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala – not a tricked-out DeLorean – really can run on leftovers, table scraps and, oh, yeah, grains from brewing beer.

Cleveland-based quasar energy group uses organic waste to produce a renewable energy source known as biogas, which is then converted into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) – one of two fuels that can power the 2015 Chevrolet Bi-fuel Impala.

Biogas is the raw mixture of gases given off by the breakdown of organic materials kept in an oxygen-less environment. The resulting methane gas is then processed, removing all carbon dioxide and impurities to make Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). When compressed, RNG is a direct replacement for CNG.

Since biogas can be made from most organic materials, quasar insources raw materials, otherwise considered waste, from a variety of industries. For instance, its Columbus, Ohio Renewable Energy Facility processes up to 25,000 wet tons of biosolids from the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities for wastewater.

Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, contributes food waste for CNG-production after it’s been macerated in an industrial-sized InSinkErator Grind2Energy garbage disposal. And don’t forget beer: Anheuser-Busch’s Columbus brewery provides an organic by-product to quasar for conversion to methane gas.

“If you can buy renewable fuel at $1.95 per gallon while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, everybody wins,” said Mel Kurtz, president of quasar energy group.   “quasar’s Columbus facility can produce 1.3 million gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG each year.”

That’s enough to fill the CNG tanks of 163,000 Bi-fuel Impalas at least once.

2015 bi-fuel CNG Chevrolet Impala

Though CNG fueling stations are prevalent in states like California and Oklahoma, infrastructure in some states is scarce.

“To avoid feelings of range anxiety common in owners of CNG-only vehicles, we made the Impala bi-fuel, allowing our customers to drive on CNG when available and on gasoline when it’s not,” said Nichole Kraatz, Impala chief engineer.

The CNG tank mounted in the trunk has the equivalent capacity of 7.8 gallons of gasoline, which is expected to offer approximately 150 city miles of range on compressed natural gas based on GM testing. With gasoline and compressed natural gas combined, expected range is 500 city miles based on GM testing. EPA estimates are not yet available.

Impala’s bi-fuel system seamlessly switches to gasoline power when the CNG tank is depleted. Drivers who wish to change fuels while driving can do so by simply pushing a button. A light on the instrument panel indicates when CNG is being used, and there is no interruption in the vehicle’s performance.

Operating on CNG can result in an average fuel savings of nearly $1.13 per gasoline-gallon-equivalent based on a national average of $3.24 per gallon of gasoline as reported by AAA and $2.11 per gge of CNG, reported by CNGnow. Also, CNG vehicles typically have 20 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered cars, according to the California Air Resources Board.

The Bi-fuel Impala is factory-built so its CNG fuel system is validated by GM and covered by GM’s three-year/36,000-mile (whichever comes first) new vehicle limited bumper-to-bumper warranty and five-year/100,000-mile (whichever comes first) limited powertrain warranty. The Bi-fuel Impala is the only bifuel-capable sedan on the market to offer a factory warranty.

When the Bi-fuel Impala goes on sale later this year, it will have a starting price of $38,210.

Editors’ Note: Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price includes destination freight charge but excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment.

About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

About quasar energy group

quasar is a Cleveland, Ohio based renewable energy company that designs, builds, owns and operates anaerobic digestion systems. quasar has thirteen operational anaerobic digestion facilities throughout the United States with several more under construction or in the planning stage.  qng (quasar natural gas) is derived from the anaerobic digestion of regional organic waste streams and is available to the public at quasar stations in Columbus, Zanesville and Wooster, Ohio.

Quasar Contact:
Caroline Henry
Quasar Vice President, Marketing
216-409-6713
chenry@quasareg.com

Silverado HD Strong Arms the Competition

DETROIT – How tough are heavy-duty trucks? A recent frame-twisting test found that the use of roll-formed steel in its bed allowed the tailgate of the 2015 Silverado 2500HD pickup to be lowered on uneven terrain while greater twisting of one competitor’s frame kept its tailgate from being lowered.

AMCI Testing, a third-party research firm hired by Chevrolet, recently subjected the 2015 Silverado 2500HD and a Ford F-250 Super Duty to a rigorous frame twist test, in which the truck was driven onto two staggered ramps, where the wheels on one side of the truck hit the ramp before the other, placing a large amount of torque on the frame. Measurements were then taken for the distance of displacement of the cab body and the bed, determining the amount of twist to which the frame is subjected.

AMCI found that during the test, the Silverado HD’s frame allowed 0.26 inches of twist, while the F-250 Super Duty allowed 0.94 inches of twist, 262 percent more than the Silverado. The twist was so great on the Ford that when under stress, the tailgate could not able to be lowered, while the Silverado’s available EZ-Lift and Lower Tailgate operated normally. You can see the test here.

“The use of high-strength steel in the Silverado HD is what allows the Silverado to handle even the toughest of jobs,” said Jeff Luke, General Motors’ executive chief engineer for full-size trucks. “Paired with a fully boxed frame, high-strength steel is what makes the Silverado come from the family of the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road.”

Roll-formed steel in the Silverado HD vs. the stamped steel bed of most competitors involves using a higher-grade steel that’s stronger, lighter and more durable. The fully boxed frame provides a rigid foundation.

The Silverado’s body is also constructed using similar high-strength steel. Approximately 67 percent of the cab is constructed with high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels. They’re used in the A-pillars, B-pillars, rockers and roof rails, as well strategic sections on the interior structure.

Ultra-high-strength steel is used in areas of the rocker panels and underbody to help improve crash performance. The Silverado uses more high-strength and ultrahigh-strength steel than any competitor’s full-size pickup truck, according to market research firm Ducker Worldwide.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

From GM News….

GM Finally Gets Some Good News—And It’s About Safety

Inside A Chevrolet Dealership Ahead Of Domestic Vehicle Sales DataThe GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox received top marks in a new safety test, which must have GM executives smiling even as the company remains under investigation for a faulty ignition defect that went ignored for a decade

General Motors got some much needed good news Tuesday that two of its SUVs received top scores on a new crash test.

The GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox were the only two cars in the SUV category to get the top mark in an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) test, which had cars’ front corners crash into trees and other vehicles at 40 miles an hour. The Honda Pilot received the lowest score.

These positive safety stats offer a brief ray of light for the auto giant, which has been under intense scrutiny over the recall of 2.6 million cars over a faulty ignition switch. The company is under investigation by Congress and the Justice Department after it emerged that it took GM 10 years to issue the recall for a fault which has been linked to more than a dozen deaths.

But the future looks slightly brighter. “When it comes to midsize SUVs, General Motors is showing the way forward,” the IIHS said its safety test summary.

GM Providing Ease for Aging Drivers

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Advanced vehicle technologies and design assists elderly driving population

2014-05-14

  • Active safety features on GM vehicles help avoid crashes for all ages
  • GM engineers focus on passenger spaciousness and comfort
  • OnStar provides aging drivers with peace of mind

DETROIT – Active safety technologies, simple access to OnStar services and more spacious cabins are among the approaches General Motors is taking to serving aging drivers.

As a sponsor of the North American Conference on Elderly Mobility, GM this week is sharing its numerous active safety features which can be helpful to older drivers who can have longer reaction times, limited perceptual abilities and reduced dexterity

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points to several studies which have shown that higher levels of physical, cognitive or visual impairment among older drivers are associated with increased risk of being involved in a crash. Many older drivers also take medications, which can impair driving ability at any age but can be especially problematic for an older person.

Technologies like Rearview Back-up Camera, Front Park Assist, Rear Park assist, Side Blind Zone Indicators, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Automatic Braking and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are among the active safety and driver assistance technologies that are particularly helpful to the aging population.

“The safety of all our customers is our utmost concern,” said Gay Kent, director, GM global vehicle safety and a presenter at the conference. “The great thing about many of our active safety technologies is that some, like the vibrating haptic seat, provide intuitive, non-visual cues to avoid startling the driver and prevent information overload or confusion.”

GM engineers and designers also are addressing passenger spaciousness and comfort. Focus areas include foot room and making it easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle.

Sitting in the back rows of a vehicle and swinging a foot through the open door can be a challenge for elderly people whose range of motion can be limited. To make it easier to enter and exit its crossovers and SUVs, GM designers optimized the spacing between the front seat and second and third rows.

“We have hosted many customer clinics to assess customer preference and requirements,” Kent said. “The information we gain through this research drives our teams’ design decisions as we work to incorporate their feedback. We have been able to increase the ease with which our customers enter and exit our seats over the last decade.”

Along with active safety and design modifications that provide benefit to all passengers including the aging population, GM’s OnStar technology provides elderly drivers the peace of mind they need while traveling. Services such as Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Roadside Assistance, Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Medical Dispatch and Remote Door Unlock, coupled with access to a live advisor at the touch of a button, can make all drivers feel more confident while on the road.

“Advanced safety technologies  such as those found in GM vehicles, make our roads safer for everyone by sensing potential hazards and warning the driver to take appropriate actions to help prevent a crash from occurring,” said Jim Santilli, executive director, Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan. “With elderly drivers generally experiencing decreased visual performance and reaction time, these advanced safety technologies are especially beneficial to this age group. Vehicles with these technologies will help us with our goal to move closer Toward Zero Deaths.”

GM Fuel Cell Fleet Tops 3 Million Miles

GM’s fleet of hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles, launched in 2007 as part of Project Driveway, have accumulated more than 3 million miles of real-world driving with a fleet of 119-vehicles. (Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors)

GM’s fleet of hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles, launched in 2007 as part of Project Driveway, have accumulated more than 3 million miles of real-world driving with a fleet of 119-vehicles. (Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors)

DETROIT – General Motors’ fleet of fuel cell vehicles recently passed 3 million miles of hydrogen-powered, real-world driving. Some individual vehicles have accumulated more than 120,000 miles. By GM’s estimate, using hydrogen to power these vehicles, the fleet has avoided 157,894 gallons of gasoline consumption.

This specially equipped fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles are part of GM’s 119-vehicle Project Driveway program, which launched in 2007. Since then, more than 5,000 drivers have provided feedback on the functionality and drivability of fuel cell technology.

“Hydrogen fuel cell technology is an important part of GM’s advanced propulsion portfolio and we continue to make substantial progress in furthering this technology,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s global fuel cell engineering activities. “These vehicles have operated through seven full winters and a wide range of environmental conditions, proving that fuel cells can meet the demands of real-world drivers.”

Last year, GM announced two fuel cell-related collaborations. In July, 2013, GM and Honda announced a long-term collaboration to co-develop next-generation fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems, aiming for potential commercialization in the 2020 time frame. In addition, GM and Honda are working together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure, which is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles.

Also last year GM opened a new state-of-the-art Fuel Cell Development Laboratory at GM Powertrain World Headquarters in Pontiac, Mich. In September, 2013 GM and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) jointly announced an expansion of their relationship for testing automotive fuel cell technology.

GM is an acknowledged leader in fuel cell technology. According to The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM ranked No. 1 in total fuel cell patents granted in 2013, and continues to lead all companies in total fuel cell patents granted since 2002.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found athttp://www.gm.com