General Motors President Comments On 2016 Chevrolet Volt, Bolt & Future Of Spark EV


Chevy Spark EV

Chevy Spark EV

General Motors President of North America, Alan Batey, was in attendance at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show where he announced that the Chevrolet Bolt was production-bound.

In addition to that announcement, Batey discussed the 2016 Chevy Volt and the even the Spark EV.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Batey stated that the 2016 Volt addresses “the biggest consumer concern,” which he says is range anxiety and he added that with its 200-mile range, the Bolt addresses the range anxiety issue too.

Moving to the Bolt, Batey reconfirmed that it’ll be offered nationwide, but stated “we have not said where we will sell it outside the U.S. yet.”

As for the Spark EV, it’s not dead yet.  Batey told the Detroit Free Press that, at least for the time being, the Spark EV will remain in Chevrolet’s lineup.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Categories: Chevrolet

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42 Comments on "General Motors President Comments On 2016 Chevrolet Volt, Bolt & Future Of Spark EV"

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One of the first posts and I am going OT right off the bat…
Someone mentioned yesterday that there is an increasing number of curbside chargers in CA where you parallel park and then you have to stretch the cord all the way around the front of a Volt to plug it in on the drivers side whereas with a Leaf you can plug it in the front without exposing yourself to traffic.
Are there very many of these type of chargers? I have never seen one on the east coast so at first I was thinking it was just a Leaf fan hating on the Volt but who knows, it may have some merit. I like the drivers side port because plugging and unplugging take about 3 seconds, but if curbside chargers become common, I don’t know if port location will be as much of a no-brainer.

Yes, there are quite a few. The ones I’ve encountered are in Harrisburg, PA, Baltimore, in DC and a couple in Silver Spring, MD

Interesting. I live in Northern Virginia and I haven’t run into one of them yet. If they get popular, I could see charge ports migrating to the front of newer electric cars. I have to back into my home/condo parking spot due to the way the garage is laid out, so for me a front charge port would be a bit of a pain.

I like my Volt port right where it is, by the driver’s door. I’ve yet to come across curbside charging. If this ever really did become an issue, what about ports on both sides? I’m leery about putting at the front or back because cords may not reach when you are forced to park a certain way. You’d have to put them at both ends there as well.

I’ve owned a Volt and now own a Leaf. By having a charge port on the side the Volt doesn’t require a second cover to keep road rains debris out of the charge ports. The port is also protected from front bumper mishaps.

My guess is that GM will stick with it’s driver side location.

Yes, there are quite a few. The ones I’ve encountered are in Harrisburg, PA, Baltimore, in DC and a couple in Silver Spring, MD.

This is one huge point where Nissan hit upon awesome and Tesla and GM did not. And Kia wasn’t stupid with Soul EV, they saw the branding and ergonomic necessity of bow charging and they followed Nissan’s lead. If I could force Tesla and GM to copy cat Nissan and Kia on this, I would.

Anderlan, a front port might work well for you but it would suck for me and for a huge portion of the car buying public. I usually back my cars in and with the spot I have for my Volt I HAVE to back it in. Having the port where it is on the Volt is a great compromise because it is almost always super simple to plug in. Front ports would be a pain fairly frequently.
BUT, if curbside charge points become common, I could see the desire to have a second charge port on the passenger side or a single front port, which would suck.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

I see less than 1% of the cars backed in …

In the 13 months I have owned my Leaf, it has never been a problem to access the front charge ports. I would dislike having to back into my home garage.

I know of several parking garages that prohibit backing into a spot, even at their EV spots.

EVs should have plugs on both sides. It’s only a few wires and a socket.

+1 Either both sides or front and back.

This would also save you when a port is damaged.

Yes, common in Europe. Think the Bolt has its plugs placed on the rear right fender.

Brian, Bolt is the same as the Volt, drivers side front quarter panel.

I have seen curbside chargers in downtown San Jose but have not had the opportunity to use them. Speaking for myself only, I haven’t seen many public charging stations that are convenient for me. 99% of my charging is done at home.

Have you seen any outside of San Jose? I haven’t seen any in Sac. I also haven’t seen any in San Francisco, Oakland or Berkeley the few times I’ve been there in the last year.

“Someone mentioned yesterday that there is an increasing number of curbside chargers in CA where you parallel park…”

I live in California and I have yet to see a single one of these. I keep hearing talk about installing them but have yet to actually see one. My impression is that cities, municipalities and companies have largely stopped adding chargers once they reach a certain level. What that “level” is, I couldn’t say.

In san jose, at least, they need to cover the standard parking lot spaces first. We are dramatically underserved. For example, the majority of the major shopping centers in Silicon Valley don’t have any charging capability at all.

For the ones that do, here’s a hint for anyone in charge of a parking lot and reading this: PUT SOME DAMM SIGNS UP. The standard procedure is to wander all over the garage hunting for the thing, asking employees where it can be found, etc. It costs what? 10,000 or more to put in a charger? BUY SOME DAMM SIGNS.

For example, IKEA! Palo Alto. The worst EV markings ever. The charger is hidden in the back of a maze like garage which has terrible traffic on weekends, and there is not a CLUE where the chargers are.

I usually check plugshare first and read the comments. I don’t know why there aren’t more signs.

There is a curbside charger next to Cupertino City Hall. It is a Dual ChargePoint station. It would be nearly un-usable for my RAV4 EV if parked in the rear of the two spaces served – unless I parked facing oncoming traffic, which may be illegal.

I thought the BMW i3 charge port location in the right rear of the car was a bad place to have it (if you are charging at home), but it is an ideal place to have it if you are charging curbside.

Also keep in mind that the i3, the eGolf, and the Model S are driver’s cars, meaning they will more likely be backed into a spot. When you do that having the charge port in the back of the car makes perfect sense.

I’m a driver! I drive my Volt! It doesn’t drive itself, not yet anyaway.

Not sure what this comment is meant to imply either.

I always back my car into my garage. So I simply installed the EVSE by the garage door. It’s in the perfect spot for either my Leaf or a Volt. I really don’t see the issue. In fact, it leaves open the possibility of nosing up to the garage to charge. OR to allow my friend to charge his Volt when visiting without moving my car out of the garage.

If I’m charging at a public EVSE, I will nose-in to the spot. I feel this whole charge port location is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Adjust your habits a little, and get over it. Within a month, you’ll be used to your new routine.

When the Chevy Bolt comes to market with an EPA range of 200 miles all electric, that will be the new standard for BEVs. I believe at that point most electric cars with under 100 EPA all electric range will die on the vine, including the Chevy Spark.

I believe there will continue to be a market for ~100 mile BEVs as long as battery prices are relatively high. If GM can get the spark EV price down to the low- to mid-teens, it would be a huge hit as a commuter car. ~80 mile range already works as a commuter car for many people. If the purchase price could be lowered, more people would likely buy them.

I think for the next 10-15 years, we will see these two tiers of EVs: a set of cheap short-range commuter EVs, and a set of “affordable” longer-range EVs. Of course, we will also see the PHEV/EREV set. Once people understand their benefits, they will probably see the biggest growth in the near term.

I don’t think the sub-100 mile vehicles will die. I think some will still sell if they are priced low enough. But I expect industry leaders like the Leaf to increase their range. I don’t believe 200 miles to be necessary to make a good EV. I think 125 miles range would be plenty to make a viable EV even in the era of 200-mile EVs.

The difference between a 125 mile EV and a 200 mile EV in the next year or two is a big price gap – 125 miles might require 36kWh, whereas 200 miles requires 50kWh. So at $300/kWh that’s $4,200 before any margin and markup (so maybe $6,000 or $7,000 after?).

But as the price comes down, the price gap shrinks dramatically, I’d guess by 2020 that the price delta comes down to $2,500. When the consumer can pay $3,000-4,000 more for an extra 75 miles I’m guessing they will unless they are extremely price sensitive or are very comfortable with their limited driving patterns (elderly, retired individuals).

125 miles will not cut it in the San Francisco Bay Area. I live in Napa (North Bay) and San Jose is 90 miles away. The round trip around the bay is just short of 200 miles. San Francisco round trip is around 100 miles, and driving around the City with all its hills would not cut it.

East Sacramento (Folsom Lake, Carmichael, Fair Oaks etc.) is 160 miles round trip.

A 200 mile range Bolt would be capable of doing much more of my out of town driving destinations without the sort of worry a 125 mile rangemobile would provide.

I certainly hope they don’t die. A 100 mile EV can serve the needs of many people just fine. And with a multi-car family, you can use another car for long trips.

1st 8 posts COME-PUL-EATLY off topic. Luv it!

What makes sense, and loyalty, will never be at such odds, if the Bolt delivers. What will there be left to brag about in the hood badge if its got the handling of a front-weighted engine and vibrates the heck out your tiny space? All so you can spend more on fuel, and maintenance??

My OT: The Wall Street Journal’s B-section is going off on Leaf resale, this morning. 2015 is expected to double the off-lease supply. When will the cottage industry in home storage, from Leaf batteries, get going? 27kwh performing at 80-90%, should provide $$ support, somewhere? As the article notes, Nissan is taking them back as dealers overflow. Retro-fitting the rollers with something better, and re-purposing the batteries, couldn’t make more sense.

WSJ jumped on it to bash EVs. The truth is, it is a consequence of government DISTORTING the market. As the article says, it is more financially attractive to lease or buy a new one because of the government incentives. Thus the backlog.

Free pollution distorts a market, just like taxpayer financed oil-security. The ~2 billion spent on EV tax-credits are relatively immaterial, unless you area WSJ reporter trying to frame your auto depreciation argument.


Sure it’s a distortion. Every incentive is a distortion. That’s pretty much the point. Incentivize behavior that contributes to the common good. Penalize behavior that is antisocial.

Funny how people tolerate dumping pollution into the air, but if it is dumping on land or into the water supply, everyone accepts the idea of penalties and incentives.

I’m all for letting the market forces work. But the fact is, without regulation and “distortions” success is only measured by income, even if gained at the public’s expense.

Since the Chicago Auto Show announcement, GM confirmed that it will be sold in Canada (in fact the Bolt concept was in Toronto for the announcement).

Was scrolling down to type the same thing. The official GM Canada press release mentions that the Bolt will be available Canada-wide.

GM’s not said where it’s getting all the batteries for this 200 mile range EV, that’s supposedly going to be available nationwide…

Fishy fish fish fish…

This again. From LG Chem. The Holland plant can produce 960 MWh per year at the existing factory without expansion, and space is reserved for expansion to 3200 MWh. Enough for 20,000-60,000 Bolts.

Then LG Chem has their Korean factories as well if required.

Plus they broke ground on a huge plant in china on top of all that.

Ah, Chinese Batteries…

I may buy the bolt for my third ev. Can’t wait to test drive it.

As for charging, I habitually backed in to park before I had the Leaf. However, with the Leaf I nose in parked when I needed to charge and having the port on the front of the car is 100x better than on the side. I have the rav4 ev now with the port on the side and its super inconvenient with chargers with short cords and when using dual head chargers where on charger is in between 2 spots. Plus with the port on the drivers side, its easy to get damaged when charging on the street or with people banging and bumping into in parking lots. Sure though… A rear and a front port would be the best.

Any ol’ port in a storm, guys-