Chevy Bolt vs. Hyundai Ioniq: Which Has a Brighter Future?

Flexibility is a benefit enjoyed often by small companies, but rarely by large ones. Like a small boat, businesses still in early stages can maneuver quickly; they can alter business plans, tweak messaging, and otherwise pivot without having to worry about re-orienting a large workforce or undermining the public’s understanding of the brand. By contrast, large businesses operate more similarly to a container ship. Every move requires extensive planning, communication, and extreme foresight. Fine-tuning a product can take months, and changing direction entirely can take years. Continue reading >>>

Changing Model Years: North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists

2017 Genesis G90

The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public this weekend after three days of well-attended press events and unveilings. This week’s debuting AutoMobility LA conference also featured presentations from a wide variety of industry experts and CEOs addressing the futures of the auto business, driving, mobility, and ownership, and kicked off a competition among ten promising auto startups. The car business is never boring, and we know 2017 promises plenty of excitement, there and elsewhere.

The L.A. show effectively kicks off a new model year, but it also sort of wraps up the current one. On AutoMobiltity LA’s first morning, the field of 2017 North American Car and Truck of the Year nominees was narrowed from 30 to 9 finalists. Judged by a group of 60 journalists from magazine, TV, radio, newspaper, and online auto publishers in the U.S. and Canada, the NACTOY awards honor excellence in innovation, design, performance, safety, technology, driver satisfaction, and value.

Continue reading >>>

A Brief History of Batteries and Battery Tech

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

What comes to mind when you hear the term “car battery”? Fifteen years ago, the answer would have been quite obvious. But lately the idea of what a car battery entails has shifted away from that essential-but-oft-forgotten black box under the hood to state-of-the-art propulsion systems of the near future. When talking about batteries, we focus less on volts and more on kilowatt-hours and MPGe. We’ve mentioned batteries a lot lately, specifically in regards to the Chevrolet Bolt, GM’s potentially game-changing affordable all-electric vehicle. But when we talk about the Bolt’s 238 miles of battery range, how is that different from talking about the battery at the end of your jumper cables?

Continue reading >>>

Electric Boogaloo: EVs for the Average Car Shopper

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Automakers are on the verge of revving up their electric-vehicle production efforts. Global demand is certainly growing: countries around the world are planning markets in which 100% of vehicles sold will be completely emissions-free. Norway is probably the most prominent example, having declared a 2020 deadline for 100% EV and Fuel Cell adoption. Most auto manufacturers are therefore also moving in that direction, though their timetables aren’t quite as aggressive as Norway’s. Hyundai has promised 8 plug-in hybrids and 2 all-electric models in the next 4-5 years, Volkswagen AG has pledged to offer a plug-in version of every model in its lineup by 2025, and Honda wants fully electric cars to account for two-thirds of its total sales by 2030. So within 5, 10, or 15 years, buyers can expect most new cars being produced to be battery-powered.

Continue reading >>>

Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt? No Contest!

Tesla Model 3

Soon a $37,000, 200-mile electric vehicle will arrive on the market. The car could be the one that finally ushers in the era of the affordable, high-range, mass-produced electric car.

This car is well along in its development and will be available to purchase in the coming year.

The car’s designers made aerodynamics a top priority, so it slips effortlessly through the air. When in motion, wind flows around the vehicle from the headlamps to the rear wheels. The aluminum body and smooth proportions cut down on weight and drag to increase both range and acceleration. Plus, the bottom of the car is completely flat, since there aren’t any exhaust bits that need to be kept cool.

Yes, this car could be a game changer.

Oh, and Tesla is building one, too.

Continue reading >>>

Five Biggest Impacts from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show

Last week I wrote about seven Detroit Auto Show debuts to watch. The only one I got remotely wrong was the 2017 Chrysler Town & Country, but that was only because FCA pulled a fast one and changed that vehicle’s name to the Chrysler Pacifica.

Here are the five vehicles that made the biggest impact at the North American International Auto Show, which runs through Jan. 24 at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.

Continue reading >>>

Cars That Will Set 2016 on Fire

jaguar xe top

Welcome to 2016, friends.

If the Chinese did their calendar correctly, this would have been the year of the car. I mean, the year of the monkey is all well and good, but 2016 will be among the best in a long time as far as new car debuts go.

We’ll see the new Ford GT, as mentioned yesterday, in addition to a made-in-China Buick, as well as an untold number of surprises at upcoming auto shows.

There are a few cars, though, that aren’t available yet but should set the pace for excitement in 2016. Are you ready for these?

Continue reading >>>

Can Ford “Excite and Delight” With Electric Cars by 2020?

Ford_Focus_Electric

The odds are pretty good that you’ll purchase a plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle within the next four years.

Why am I so confident?

Here’s a short rundown of companies that have announced major plans for electric cars by 2020:

Tesla will be in production with the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 Porsche will be in production of the Mission E Concept Volvo expects to add plug-in hybrid vehicles to its entire range Audi says 25 percent of its range will eventually be electric Nissan wants to rule the EV mass market

And now, Ford is investing $4.5 billion into electric vehicles so it’ll have 13 EV models by, you guessed it, 2020.

Continue reading >>>

No Joke: Get Ready for the Chevy Bolt

The Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt

How could it be true? Why would Chevrolet, which currently builds the electric/gas hybrid Volt, introduce a new electric car and call it the Bolt?

It seems that one of the top automakers in the world will resort to rhyming names of cars that are in the same class.

Some automakers employ nomenclature that use alliteration to label a certain class of vehicle, such as Ford and its SUVs that begin with E (Explorer, Escape, and Expedition) and its cars that begin with F (Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta).

That’s a strategy that makes sense. Using rhymes, as Chevy is now learning, will lead to nothing more than mockery.

Continue reading >>>