The timing of the release of these tests with the recent publicized fatal accident on Tesla Autopilot is only coincidental, says Motor Trend. The popular car publications released an interesting report with in-depth comparisons between driver assist and semi-autonomous systems available in vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes, Hyundai and Cadillac.
While Motor Trends doesn’t out right declare a winner, the results of the most important tests clearly points toward Tesla’s Autopilot has the most convenient system, but the publication appears to have edited the piece in reaction to the recent fatal accident in a Model S on Autopilot. expand full story
I have been an aficionado of electric cars ever since Tesla came up with their production roadster. I am writing this review because I noticed a gap of reviews, especially long-term ones, for my car, which is rarer than a Tesla roadster. I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences with my ELR I have now driven over 25k miles in.
Feel free to jump down to the review of the car if you like, but a little of my background and decision-making is helpful, which is why I provided this section.
GM/Chevy detailed its next generation Volt today with some nice surprises though they are pretty vague in their assessment.
80% off all Volt customer trips are EV only.
New battery capacity will increase by 20% on a volume basis when compared to the original cell, while the number of cells decreases from 288 to 192. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack has decreased by almost 30 pounds (13 kg).
20 million battery cells have been produced for the more than 69,000 Chevrolet Volts on the road today with industry-leading quality levels of less than two problems per million cells produced
Many owners are exceeding the EPA-rated label of 35 miles of EV range per full charge, with about 15 percent surpassing 40 miles of range.
Current generation Volt owners have accumulated more than 600 million EV miles
2 motors replace 1 motor and 1 regen. The two-motor drive unit operates approximately 5 to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system.
1.5L range extender motor will be more efficient as well
GM will manufacture the Volt battery pack at its battery assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich.
Range estimates will be given at NA auto show in Detroit on January
So not too many specifics but one would think all of these updates would make the Volt an even more appealing package. More room in the back would have also come in handy. If we take the 20% more power in the battery pack combined with the weight reduction and more efficient motors at face value, the Volt may approach 50 miles on electricity.
The question now is who is going to buy the current version (Osborne effect)?
Press Release follows:
Next-Generation Chevrolet Volt Features All-New Voltec Propulsion System for More Efficiency
Debuting in 2015, new model will have increased EV range
Introduced with pricing today and shipments in January, the $75,000 ($68K after Fed Tax Cred) car will have almost identical specs as the Chevy Volt in 35 miles in EV mode and 300miles on gas. That’s actually worse than the Volt’s upgraded 40 EV miles – probably due to the slightly higher performing engine on the Caddy. It even appears to have the same T-shaped battery going through the middle of the car as the Volt which makes it barely capable of seating of 4 people. Trunk space is listed at a comical 10.5 cubic feet which is about a third of the Tesla Model Sbefore you consider the “Frunk”.
The ELR is a two door which probably lends itself better to the 2+2 seating that the 4-door Volt has currently.
As for performance gains, there is no listed horsepower but the 295 lb-ft compares favorably to the 273 lb-ft. torque listed or the Volt. But, as a sad comparison, the sub-$20,000 Chevy Spark 100% electric vehicle produces 400lb-ft of torque so that $75K Caddy is likely going to get smoked by a $20K hatchback with over twice the amount of EV battery made by the same company.
I’m in full agreement with Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific Inc., who on Friday tweeted: “A Volt with a Cadillac body and badge for Tesla Model S money? Is GM on crack?”
The Volt is a great car but GM isn’t going to have any kind of success taking it into the Tesla price category without significantly upgrading the batteries and motor and bringing some more innovation to the table. This is embarrassing.