Tag Archives: Volt

GM Takes a big step forward, Ford a few steps backwards

Today and tomorrow are the press preview days at the North American International Auto Show. First up on the block was GM/Chevy with a big announcement: the new Volt 2.0 and a “Bolt” concept car:
Bolt
This is huge: Chevy showing a 200 mile BEV for around $30,000. If GM can get this guy to production before Tesla’s Model 3 then GM will own the BEV market (and before the Leaf 2.0 which is also rumored to have at least 150 miles of range). Announcing these new vehicles at a time of record low gas prices does show that GM, at least, does get it. GM does understand that EVs are the future (or at least that the future is going to include all sorts of alternatively powered cars, not just ICE).

In contrast, what did Ford show off today? Performance vehicles: The new F-150 Raptor, a race ready Mustang GT350R, and it reintroduced the GT halo car. Granted both the GT and the F-150 will be powered by an Ecoboost V6 instead of a V8 (much to many gear-heads disappointment). Also granted that Ford does have a full stable of vehicles and customers (probably more ICE customers than BEV customers anyway! LOL) but its been a long time since the Blue Oval has released any encouraging electrification news (There have been no substantial changes to any of their plugins for a good 3 years now–FFE, C-Max Energie, and Fusion Energie).

Realistically, looking at the timing of my lease, if I were to hope to get anything new it would have to be announced this winter as anything announced next winter would go into production long after my lease is up. I can still hope Ford will announce something EV related at the Geneva auto show in March. That show, however, is for the global market and anything announced there would not be sold in North America within the lease time period either. Which leaves me with a huge question mark come next year: What will my next car be (reasonably sure it will be a plugin)?

Michigan EV Show & Rally

Today was the Michigan EV Show & Rally (mentioned in a prior posting). This is an EV show given by a local community college. I went to this show about 3 years ago. At that time there wasn’t many production EVs available (I think the Volt had just been released at the time). The show resembled Maker Faire more than it did an EV show with all the custom conversions.

Today’s show was a lot different, there were may production EVs on display (and the mix resembled the mix of EVs that I see every day on the road here in Southeastern Michigan). They were handing out this chart showing available EVs (it looks a little dated).

As far as the vehicles that were there:
Volts:
Volts
and more Volts:
Volts
Oh wait, there is a Leaf in there and waay in the back is an i3.
In fact there were two i3s there both were unsold and presented by a local BMW dealer (although the dealer’s location is at least 50 miles from the college–I strongly suspect that the two pickups with car hauler trailers in the parking lot was how the i3s got to the show):
i3
i3
i3 on the left at one of the College’s four Chargepoint stations (C-Max Energi on the right; there was 3 C-Max Energi’s there).
Ok but wait: Wasn’t there an FFE there? Well yes: mine but mine wasn’t on display–was there one on display?
Can you spot the FFE?
Well yeah its really easy to see the FFE, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (which is kind of goofy here: The show was mostly for EVs–at least the plugin variety. Lincoln doesn’t have a plugin yet).
What else was there? This cool converted S-10 pickup:
S-10 EV
A couple of full size hybrid pickups (presented by power companies interestingly enough)(Yes that is a Cadillac ELR in the background):
Dodge Hybrid
Chevy
Here is the aforementioned Cadillac ELR:
Chevy
Leafs were also plentiful:
Chevy

Like I said: The mix matched my daily observation of EVs on the road here in Southeastern Michigan: Many Volts, a few Leafs, one FFE, a few C-Max Energi’s, one Lincoln MKZ, a couple of i3s (although I haven’t yet seen one on the road). Strangely enough there wasn’t any Tesla’s there (either Roadster or Model S–I was there pretty early–I arrived just as it opened at 9am and cars were still showing up so it is possible that a Model S and/or Roadster showed up later).