New Chevrolet Volt Ads Attack Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius

New Chevrolet Volt Ads Attack Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius  
Compared to the 2016 Chevy Volt, a Nissan Leaf could leave you stranded, and it’s at least far from range-anxiety free. Similarly, the 2016 Toyota Prius uses 1990s tech in its NiMh battery.
These assertions are not ours, but, but the gist of new attack advertisements Chevrolet has in store to wake public up to the new 53-mile EV range, Volt. The ads are set to debut online this fall, and also on TV.
“We’re going to go head-to-head with Leaf and Prius,” said Chevrolet’s global chief marketing officer, Tim Mahoney in a report by Ad Age. “The ads allow Chevrolet to talk in one way and they allow Chevrolet’s personality to come through. We’re going to be taking more risks.”
This revelation was given to journalists in San Francisco as the automaker has begun shipping first units to California and 10 other states following California emissions rules, and where Mahoney says it has sold the best.
2016 will be a small model year, the rest if the U.S. will get a 2017 model year beginning next spring, but meanwhile the offensive is on.
The Volt, launched its first generation in 2011 and was nearly hidden in plain sight. The car came on te heels of a bankruptcy, bailout, restructuring, and the Volt was a poster child for Republican election hopefuls because Obama backed it.
Chevrolet caught lots of criticism for not marketing it effectively nationwide, and even seemed to tuck its tail between its legs, revealing in January 2014 it has stopped advertising Volt outside California and tech fairs where public could comprehend its value.
Despite that, the Volt was, when objectively examined, really disruptive and now ads themselves will be disruptive for generation two in a mildly confrontational sort of way.
This psychology will include a scene with Leaf drivers stuck between floors in an elevator, an unnerving encounter, to get the point crosswise of an EV being stuck. Getting caught out of juice in a world oriented toward gasoline is no fun – especially when recharging takes a while for the Leaf unless you run out coincidentally at one of the few level 3 quick chargers out there.
What was not reported is the new 2016 Leaf will offer as much as 106 miles range – no doubt to counter the upgraded Volt as Leaf sales have start to fade compared to last year.
And the new Prius will son be shown in a higher-efficienct “eco” version which may have li-ion battery pioneered since 2012 in the plug-in Prius – and it will have superior fuel economy.
But the extended-range electric Volt is unique with skill to run on electricity then seamlessly switch to its 1.5-liter gas engine for hybrid mode.
Those who get it, well, they get it. But Chevrolet is trying to get past a public with apparent Volt blindness to see whether it can beat analysts predictions on tepid sales.
Mahoney said the attack ad thought is part of a “shattering perceptions” strategy that has increased brand perception by 3 percent.
The base Volt starts at $33,995, in this area $1,115 less than last year while delivering significantly longer EV range, and better mileage in gas operation at 42 mpg.
Ad Age

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Chevrolet To Delay Volt Production To Next Spring as 2017 Model Year For 39 States

Chevrolet To Delay Volt Production To Next Spring as 2017 Model Year For 39 States A rumor that Chevrolet was pushing back its nationwide production schedule for the next-generation Volt, and nixing 2016 model years altogether for 39 states has been verified.
Chevrolet will as scheduled continue an ordering process for 2016 model year Volts that started in California in May, and later with 10 more ZEV states, but the Volt will change over to 2017 ahead of schedule next spring and at that point it will be existing to the rest of the country.
This was verified following an interview and a brief statement by the automaker describing the change of plans.
“Chevrolet has a shortened model year for the 2016 Chevy Volt that will have a limited distribution arrangement,” said GM media rep Kevin Kelly reading a set statement. “The 2016 Volt will be sold in our strongest EREV markets. The 2017 Chevrolet Volt will start production ahead of schedule this spring and will be available throughout the country.”
SEE ALSO: Has GM Postponed Nationwide Next-Gen Chevy Volt Production To Spring 2016?
Not said in the statement is that 2016 model year had been originally plotted for the full nation beginning November, but the production for the 39 non-ZEV states has been pushed to February 20167, according to info full to Chevy dealers, and obtained by Rawvehicle.com.
On Saturday Rawvehicle.com posted news of a rumor – explaining it was a rumor – and only one other publication also ran with it, as it was based on images represented as full by Chevy dealers. We did so based on communications also with the head moderator at GM-Volt.com who is well connected, and he was now saying the photo appeared like it could be authentic. Turns out it was.
So, the Volt will be a 2017 by ahead of schedule spring. Whether this means Development, April, or what month, GM could not confirm in an interview today.
This tale started when certain known Volt-supporting dealers expressed disappointment on Facebook over small supplies of 2016s this fall, and a delay for most of the country to next year. Initially GM-Volt.com’s head moderator dismissed the tale as unreliable, but this image changed things, and it does lend credibility to the belief that GM has quietly revised its plans for reasons known only to itself. Click image to enlarge.
Why the changes in plans are being made has not been fully divulged. GM rep Kevin Kelly could only confirm that the 2017 model year will have one new color from the Disney Tomorrowland feature of the Volt, Citron Green Metallic. And, adaptive cruise control and Android Auto will also be made available for 2017 model year Volts.
The go, while not without precedent, is unusual, and there are potential pros and cons.
A con, obviously, is many buyers outside the select ZEV states will have to wait perhaps a quarter year or longer to get the Volt. A pro might be owners will get nearly one year’s worth of model equity as a bonus. That is, they will have a 2017 model ahead of schedule in 2016. Hypothetically, someone could return a car after a one-year lease and it would still remain as current model year.
Those are two possible ways to look at things. If we learn more on Chevrolet’s thought, we can report that later.

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Interview: Running the First US Retail Hydrogen Station Is An ‘Epic Effort’

Interview: Running the First US Retail Hydrogen Station Is An ‘Epic Effort’ In peacefulness for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to breed, infrastructure has to breed, and recently we spoke with one of the key public on the ground stump.
According to Michael Dray, technical operations manager for California State L.A. Hydrogen Research and Fueling Gift, progress has been made since Jan. 8 when the station became the nation’s first to start selling the gas by the kilogram, but it hasn’t all been charming sailing.
“Challenging” is how he summarized the year thus far. Dray has been on site since May 2014, when the station first opened and started pumping initially only automakers testing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).
These include Audi, Honda, Hyundai, General Motors, Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen, but now its customers include private passenger cars.
The Difficulty Of Being First
“These stations are delicate” and “complicated,” said Dray. “Once in a while you’re going to get a hiccup, just like you get in your software on your personal computer.”
These “hiccups” have kept Dray – along with staff and students at Cal State – busy.
“At this station for the past year we’ve been debugging – fixing and reengineering. It’s labor-intensive,” he clarified.
These problems aren’t special to Dray’s location. Other hydrogen stations that have come online since the Cal State gift opened are working through similar scenarios.
The capabilities of the Cal State L.A. Hydrogen Refueling Station. Source: Dr. David BlekhmanCalifornia State University, Los Angeles.
“Sometimes folks get frustrated,” Dray said. “They go to one station and find it’s clogged, they go to another one and it’s broke, too. You can waste a lot of time in L.A traffic going from one station to the other.”
While some of these issues might be able to be fixed remotely, Dray clarified that many bugs need someone onsite to diagnose, and then to get the system back online. Until these issues are solved, the hands-on nature of hydrogen stations will prevent them from being open without supervision, like an after-hours gas station.
“I reckon every person want to see it getting quicker, but at the same time, it’s challenging,” said Dray. “It’s really challenging. It’s an epic effort. We approach it that way, and we’ve got to just take it one day at a time.”
Making Forward Progress
In malevolence of the snags, Dray said headway has beyond doubt been made at his hydrogen station. The process is still in the ahead of schedule stages, observed Dray, and drivers need to remember that.
“We’ve had probably 600 fuelings in the past year without fail,” Dray noted in this area the Cal State station.
Of that estimate, the station has collected zero revenue directly from customers. Even though it’s called a retail station, customers still aren’t pulling in to pay for a hydrogen fill-up. That’s because the lease-only FCVs now available in California – the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell and Honda FCX Clarity include fuel with the lease, and the same will be right of the for-sale or lease Toyota Mirai in October.
Fueling events at the Cal State L.A. Hydrogen Refueling Gift. Source: Dr. David BlekhmanCalifornia State University, Los Angeles.
Transferring Knowledge To Other Stations
We questioned Dray if his gift was sharing what it was learning with other stations around the country.
“Absolutely,” he answered. “We meet and discuss these issues. We’re still a relatively small convergence.”
SEE ALSO: Automakers Recommend Best Locations To Build Hydrogen Refueling Stations In California
Hydrogen refueling on a retail level is still such a new segment, that competition amongst stations isn’t a factor. Instead, according to Dray, government officials, station managers and other organizations are working together as a assemble to make the entire infrastructure successful.
One of the matters the assemble is working on is taking steps to duplicate the refueling process crosswise retail stations. For example, Dray noted that there’s a “divergence” on how different stations will be long-suffering payments for fuel, with no standardized system in place.
What Lies Ahead
Several specific areas still need to be addressed to strengthen the retail station infrastructure, said Dray. One, of course, is that more FCVs need to be place on the roads.
“Aptly now most stations are underutilized. Our station, for example, is in succession at 15 percent room because there aren’t enough cars deployed yet,” he clarified.
Troubleshooting problems will continue as station managers work to overcome reliability issues with the software and other components.
SEE ALSO: Surveys Say 77 Percent of Canadians Believe Hydrogen Has A Bright Future
And a solid workforce also needs to be built up. Dray listed a generous range of personnel needed for the stations, beginning with engineers to design the facilities all the way through to trained managers to run them. Now, Dray said there is even a shortage of contractors to get other retail facilities built.
But how long will it take before FCV owners know that each time they need fuel, they can fill up conveniently and reliably?
“That’s the huge inquiry,” answered Dray. “I can only answer it from my perspective on the ground. I reckon that there’s going to be forward progress. But I reckon it’s going to take longer than most folks want to see.
“You’re talking in this area switching over automotive technology. It takes time. It takes money. It takes patience. Look how long it took to build the gas infrastructure.”
“I reckon [reliability] is going to be an issue for some time,” he said of what he described as a massive undertaking. “Public need to know now before they buy that this is cutting edge technology.”

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Is The 2016 Volt Worth Buying?

Is The 2016 Volt Worth Buying? As orders are being taken now in California, Chevrolet hopes its 2016 Volt due in a couple months will prove to be a superior fuel and money saver for more public.
Since the first-generation model was launched in December 2010, the Volt has had a polarizing effect on public – or ducked under the radar – for too-many nuanced reasons to elaborate here, but those who “get it” mainly like it.
The outgoing 2015 Volt had an electric range of 38 rated miles and the new one is pegged at 53. Less-often published is the EPA rates it for 57 all-electric miles in the city, and 49 all-electric miles highway.
SEE ALSO: Complete Chevy Volt Choice List
Efficiency on electricity has has now been bumped from 98 MPGe combined to 106 MPGe. Fuel economy on gas only has increased from 37 mpg to 42 combined – 43 city, 42 highway –and the new range-extending engine runs on cheaper regular fuel. Read more

July Nissan Leaf Sales Drop In Lockstep With Declining Production

July Nissan Leaf Sales Drop In Lockstep With Declining Production As production winds down for the 2015 Nissan Leaf in anticipation of a 2016 replacement, sales declined 45 percent from June’s 2,074 to July’s 1,174.
Nissan existing no commentary as to why it sees the sales declining, but it may not be as simple as consumer interest decreasing.
Certainly patrons are sitting back as the 2016 Leaf could be here as soon as October, and as the all-new 2016 Chevy Volt is delivered in October and the fourth generation 2016 Toyota Prius also is pending, but there may be more to it than that.
According to Michigan-based analyst Alan Baum, Nissan has tapered production at its Smyrna, Tenn. plant steadily this year.
Specifically, number of units produced are as follows: Jan. 3,339; Feb. 2,587; Mar. 2,139; Apr. 2,575; May 1,569; June 504.
As you can see while sales dropped by a sizable 900 units from June to July, production was slashed by 1,065 units.
What this means for actual supply in local markets is up in the air, and Nissan certainly is not out of cars, but the number of “days on hand” has decreased since January to a low last month. The number of “days on hand” is a calculated number, not an actual number of cars on hand, and refers to number of days until the automaker is all out of cars to sell.
This has dropped from 148 in January to 62 in June, and this could mean local availability at specific dealers of specific trims may be slowing sales. This is not clear, but at least certain is there are fewer cars than there were just a few months ago.
The Chevy Volt has also seen sales whither this year as it’s in an in-between time from 2015 to 2016 model year, and Prius sales are also down and have been for months. Volt supplies which are better known have not been the problem. There are between 4,000-6,000 Volts available which means no shortage, and patrons simply know for a fact the 2016 Volt is much improved and already orders are being accepted in California.
Of course myriad other factors come into play to to a degree clarify sales declines, not least being lower gas prices and perhaps even several negative articles in recent months alleging electrified vehicles’ green credibility is overstated.
SEE ALSO: 2016 Nissan Leaf Could Have Over 105 Miles Range
It’s a shaky market for these reasons and more, and eventually sales results are anyone’s guess when it gets aptly down to it, but also said is Nissan is preparing a higher-range Leaf for 2016. And, this is enough to make public take pause all by itself.
The automaker has not announced that it will indeed do so, but InsideEVs reported it’s very likely a 105 mile range Leaf may come to replace the 84 mile EPA rating of the 2015 model.
SEE ALSO: Nissan Testing 250-Plus-Mile Range Leaf Mule With New Battery Chemistry
If so, this would be a stop-gap measure until the 2017 Leaf arrives ahead of schedule in that year – and after a longer time interval than Chevrolet took to replace the Volt launched the same month as the Leaf in December 2010.
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan has said a 250-mile range Leaf mule is in testing in Japan for the 2017 Leaf, and Nissan does have a new battery chemistry.
Meanwhile the number of those who stepped up last month and took the present goods was cut significantly.

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Average Age For Cars in US Increases To 11.5 Years

Average Age For Cars in US Increases To 11.5 Years The average vehicle on U.S. roads is roughly 11.5 years ancient.
That means that the average car pouring beside you was bought groundbreaking new in 2004 (like the 2004 Town, seen above). According to IHS Automotive, overall vehicle registrations have grown by 2 percent compared to last year, and now sit at a record 257.9 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads.
Since IHS started tracking vehicle age in 2002, the average age has consistently gone up thanks to the ever better reliability of new vehicles. On average, new car buyers hold onto their cars for 6.5 years, while buyers of used vehicles tend to hold onto their cars for five years.
The report also shows that the roads are no longer dominated by ancient trucks, as the average age of cars has now caught up and sits on par with pickups.
Climbing new car sales will likely slow down the aging of our automotive fleet, which IHS predicts will hit an average of 11.7 years ancient by 2018.

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Suspended Chevy Bolt Trademark Application Back On Track

Suspended Chevy Bolt Trademark Application Back On Track The trademark application for the name “Bolt” intended for the Chevrolet electric car due to cost around $37,500 before tax credit and travel 200 miles on a charge was under suspension but is again in the clear.
As reported last week, the application has been suspended twice, the first time being not long after the Bolt’s January introduction in Detroit.
At issue was Yamaha already holds a trademark for “Bolt” for motorcycles and components and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) called things off until Yamaha and GM could settle an agreement allowing GM to proceed, and then along came another snag.
Specifically, Bolt Custom Trucks, a Fort Wayne, Ind.,-based company that builds custom sleeper cabs for tractor trailers, applied before GM to protect the same name.
Bolt Custom Trucks owner Brian Callan said in a phone interview with a reporter he wasn’t aware of his company’s pending application standing in the way of General Motors’ skill to trademark the name. Read more