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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Retrofit Powertrain Sales Grow for Wrightspeed

Retrofit Powertrain Sales Grow for Wrightspeed Wrightspeed’s aftermarket microturbine-powered plug-in series hybrid powertrain is quick momentum, with more orders and a new gift plotted in the immediate future.
The company’s main product is the Route, a retrofit Range-extended Electric Vehicle (REV) powertrain built for commercial vehicles. Typical applications include medium-duty trucks, such as delivery trucks, and heavy-duty purpose-built vehicles, like garbage trucks.
In the last year, Wrightspeed has received 42 orders to retrofit trucks with FedEx and recycling company Ratto Assemble. According to USA Today, founder Ian Wright now plans to relocate the company from its original 30,000 plant-square foot (opened five years ago in San Jose, Calif.) to an airplane hangar outside of Oakland that’s more than three-times the size. In the next three years, Wright predicts that the company will grow from 23 employees to more than 200.
SEE ALSO: Wrightspeed Combines Gas Turbine And Batteries For Huge Fuel Savings
The need for aftermarket powertrains already exists, clarified Wright, one of the ahead of schedule key employees at Tesla. Wright says his REV is an option that will save fleets money in the long run.
Proximal to the rear differential are two 250-horsepower motors (Wrightspeed logo).
“Of the 2.2 million medium-duty trucks in the U.S., in this area 10-percent of those get a new powertrain each year,” Wright told Exciting Electric Vehicles Magazine. “You can take out the diesel engine, the transmission, the rear axle, fuel system, instrument cluster, and replace the whole thing with our powertrain. When you’re done, then you’ve got basically an electric truck with a range extender generator, and in our case it’s a gas turbine, and the turbine will happily burn natural gas, or diesel or biodiesel. Suddenly, instead of getting eight or ten miles to the gallon, you’re getting 25 or 30, depending on your drive cycle.”
This isn’t the only company manufacturing hybrid powertrains for fleets. VIA Motors, who also retrofits less vital-class commercial vehicles with hybrid powertrains, operates under a different business plot. Its focus is less vital vehicles, buying pickups and vans direct from General Motors before installing an electric motor and battery stack, and then selling the vehicles directly to commercial clients.
SEE ALSO: VIA Motors Delivers First Plug-in Hybrid Fleet Trucks
Wright estimated that it costs under $200,000 to retrofit a garbage truck with his REV, which he said can be recouped in in this area four years.
“It makes the most economic sense to focus energies on a sector where you can displace the most fuel,” Wright noted. “When you switch a garbage truck to electric power, you’re saving in this area $60,000 in fuel and $30,000 in maintenance a year.”
Garbage trucks retrofitted with a Wrightspeed powertrain are not only more fuel efficient, but they’re also quieter.
“Most of that racket is the engine revving up to allow the truck’s hydraulics to compress the garbage, but that will drop drastically with our engines,” Wright said.
For a brief period, Wright worked at Tesla in the company’s ahead of schedule stages. He credits Tesla for educating the public in this area the possibilities of electrified vehicles, but says Wrightspeed has the potential to offer even more.
“What Tesla has achieved in stipulations of changing public’s perceptions in this area electric cars, from golf carts to vehicles that compete with Mercedes and Porsche, is beyond my wildest dreams,” said Wright. “That said, we’re going after high polluters, and in that sense our economic proposition could allow us to scale larger than Tesla.”
USA Today, Exciting Electric Vehicles Magazine

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Volt Attains Best Year-To-Date Sales In August

Volt Attains Best Year-To-Date Sales In August The Chevrolet Volt didn’t beat its all-time best, but its 2,511 units sold in August were a yearly high.
Its year-to-date total yet lags its tally the same time last year, yet lags 3,351 sales in August 2013.
In contrast, the Nissan Leaf saw a new all-time record in last month of 3,186 in a time period in which other automakers reported solid results as well.
As has long been documented, General Motors’ plug-in Chevy has suffered diverse politicized views and has not been understood so well by mainstream patrons, even if its owners generally like the car.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Volt Gets Larger 17.1-kWh Battery Read more

EV Residual Values Are A Challenge

EV Residual Values Are A Challenge A major challenge to the adoption of EVs has to do with their resale values once a specific vehicle reaches eight to 10 years, in huge part linked to inquiry marks pertaining to the endurance of batteries.
UK based vehicle auctioneers Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA) sent out a release putting forward the company’s views on the matter. These views will help many readers not familiar with the automotive business have a glimpse on the issue.
SVA said in the UK, sales of new electric cars are up 246 percent compared to this time last year, helped by improved charging infrastructure, the continued offer of £5,000 government contributions and a noted change in the public’s approach to range anxiety and environmental protection.
SVA also said generous corporates, particularly the energy providers, are now looking at embracing EVs as they grant an immediate answer to reducing in succession costs and emissions on a part of their fleet. Plus, if the popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow, it will grant a key to the age-ancient problem of utilizing excess night time electricity in power stations as public will charge their electric vehicles overnight to take advantage of cheaper tariffs.
But, added SVA, despite the growing feel-excellent factor in the new market, a lack of information released by manufacturers in this area electric vehicles in the used market is having an effect on resale values and dealers’ confidence in stocking used EVs.
SVA clarified in the UK, ahead of schedule adopters selling their cars are experiencing low residual values when selling or trading in their electric cars. Leasing companies who rely on residual value predictions to help them calculate a monthly contract lease rate are writing down EVs to zero at the end of a three or four year contract because of the second hand suspicions.
The main reason for this low resale value and dealer anxiety, stated SVA, is lack of information released by manufacturers in this area the cost of maintaining or replacing batteries when a car hits the market at between four and 10 years of age. Now buying new replacement batteries could cost £8,000- £10,000, a figure far in excess of the likely value of a used electric car.
With no specific small term battery loans or warranties available and manufacturers citing only “the battery will last the life of the car”, dealers are concerned they may injure relationships and reputations with customers should something go incorrect, added SVA. Why would they sell a four-year-ancient EV to a driver for £8,000 knowing they may have to waste another £8,000 on new batteries in the next few years?
Although the EV’s build quality isn’t in inquiry, like any battery, over time their charge storage room lessens through erratic use and quick charging, which results in a shorter possible range for cars. SVA believes manufacturers must launch a flexible leasing and warranty program for when batteries reach the end of their optimal life; offering a program where batteries can be replaced and leased for £40-100 a month would immediately give drivers concord of mind and boost new and used sales. Reconditioned batteries in line with the demand for older and cheaper used EVs should also be a consideration. But these won’t be available until market progression makes a demand for them.
“Residual Values (RV) are based on market confidence and by introducing flexible and affordable battery lease schemes in line with the price sort of the vehicle on the forecourt, we believe manufacturers will protect residual values and gain the final thread of confidence to make EVs a long-term success in this country,” said Alex Wright, managing director of Shoreham Vehicle Auctions. “Manufacturers must remember the importance of sustaining strong older RVs , because RVs are built from the ground. By looking after your 10 year RVs they will look after your eight to six and four to two. Shoreham Vehicle Auctions witness performances of used vehicles under the hammer on a daily bases and as such knows what buttons to press in peacefulness to keep RVs high and maintain a strong demand for specific vehicles.
The new electric car market is growing, but manufacturers must look to when these cars go into the second hand market and if they look after the needs of the used car buyer of seven to 10 year ancient models, then the longer term needs of buyers of three to five year ancient cars will look after themselves. Ensuring used buyers are given enough information and support will ensure the market continues to grow. The benefits of electric vehicles are plentiful and with customer perceptions changing for the excellent, manufacturers need to act quickly to ensure this level of positivity continues.”

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Federal Investigators Looking Into Tesla Fire This Week

Federal Investigators Looking Into Tesla Fire This Week The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) will review details and potential safety concerns surrounding the third Tesla Model S fire to occur in the past five weeks.
Yesterday – ironically not far from Nissan’s Leaf factory in Smyrna, Tenn. – a Model S driven eastbound on Interstate 24 is said to have struck a trailer hitch insincere on the road which hurt the undercarriage and initiated the blaze.
A similar type of accident occurred in Washington State ahead of schedule in October, and another fire happened following a collision in Mexico, but federal authorities do not investigate such incidents outside U.S. borders.
This third accident did but timely the federal agency to issue a statement.
“NHTSA will contact the local authorities who are looking into the incident to determine if there are vehicle safety implications that merit agency action,” said NHTSA.
This news follows a diverse third-quarter financial report on Monday that did not contest high expectations and which has sent TSLA stock tumbling from a high of over $171 to a low of $137.62 this morning after the report of the fire.
To date no Model S occupants have been injured by fire but being a new technology, and with Tesla’s stock flying high above fundamental valuation metrics, investors’ nerves have been rattled.
Tesla lecturer Liz Jarvis-Shean was quoted by the AP saying Tesla believes the car saved the driver’s life in Tennessee and Tesla has sent a team of investigators to learn more.
Photos of the burning car were posted on Jalopnik.
For their part, Tesla enthusiasts have already conceded in online discussions that the low-riding Model S may be vulnerable to some forms of waste. The car’s suspension system does lower the car additional for aerodynamic and ride control benefits.
Advice existing has included perhaps the addition of some kind of sturdy “cow catcher” in adjoin and down low to sweep away waste that is inadvertently struck by the low-slung car.
Tesla has made no statements on this at this ahead of schedule stage.
What has been said over and over by numerous sources is Tesla is under the microscope, as are all battery powered cars.
Many in the public do not know so much in this area them, and fires are considered newsworthy to a far higher degree than fires of gasoline-powered cars – which have long-since killed and maimed public for decades, and still do.
To date, no one has died in an EV fire. It may well happen some day, and it’s anyone’s guess how reactionary public will be, or how rational and level headed they alternatively might be.
At the second, reactions are underway.
Tesla’s stock 5 minutes before the market close is hovering around $139.91. After a long run-up of over 400 percent since last year, nervous investors and speculators are opting to sell.
Whether the cuts to Tesla’s market capitalization will continue through tomorrow and next week is an open inquiry, as is what will come of NHTSA’s inquiry.
In 2011 following a side-impression crash test with the Chevy Volt that led to a fire within a couple weeks following, daily headlines evoking the name of the car and “fire” did modest to help perceptions with the general public.
Tesla has but basked in far more positive press than had post-bankruptcy General Motors, so we’ll see whether this PR fire can be snuffed out sooner rather than later.

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