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Author Topic: Electric Vehicles  (Read 8568 times)

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Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #300 on: October 03, 2017, 08:19:25 pm »
Twenty new electric vehicles are on the way, GM says

There will be a mix of long-range battery EVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
JONATHAN M. GITLIN - 10/2/2017, 12:17 PM

DETROIT—General Motors is the latest car company to unveil plans for an emissions-free future. On Monday morning, the US' largest automaker announced that the next 18 months will see two new electric vehicles join the Bolt EV in showrooms, and 18 more are due by 2023. "GM believes in an all-electric future and a world free of automotive emissions," said Mark Reuss, GM's executive VP for product development, purchasing, and supply chain. "When the Bolt EV was announced at CES it was described as a platform, and this is the next step."

The announcement took place at GM's Design Dome, site of many a new product reveal. As you'll see from the photo above, there were a number of cars hidden by dust sheets. We were given a sneak peek at three of these—a conventional-looking midsize crossover and two more futuristic vehicles, including something that looked like a driverless pod—but sadly photography was not allowed, and no one took the wraps off what looked like either a Corvette or Camaro variant.

As has been the case with other electrification roadmaps, concrete details were thin on the ground at GM's Warren Technical Center this morning. We do know a few specifics, however. For example, unlike other automakers, GM isn't counting plug-in hybrids like the Volt or 48v "mild hybrids" among that number. But we don't know how those EVs will split across GM's various brands or whether some will only be for specific regions.

"We know we need more EVs to stimulate greater acceptance of electric mobility," said Executive Chief Engineer of Autonomous & Electrified Vehicles and New Technology Pam Fletcher. But the company knows that just having electric cars isn't enough; you need somewhere to charge them. "We're not a believer in walling off charger infrastructure," she said, a subtle dig at EV rival Tesla and its proprietary Supercharger network. "There are currently 1,100 SAE DC Fast charging locations in the US, a 42-percent increase in the last 12 months."

GM says it's committed to rolling out more using data gathered from its Maven car-sharing network to help decide locations, but the company would not go into more details this morning.

Hydrogen is happening?

Many of these cars will be built on an evolution of the Bolt's architecture using a second-generation battery pack. But they won't just be battery EVs—GM's electric future will involve hydrogen fuel cells. "We need to meet customer needs, whether that's the school run, a fun summer drive, or towing 1,000s of lbs. It can't be a one-size-fits-all approach," Reuss said.

GM and Honda have been collaborating on hydrogen fuel cell technology since 2013, and more recently the US Army has been testing a hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Colorado truck. "Now we're taking the technology to launch," said Charlie Freese, GM's executive director of fuel cell business, citing commercial and military applications as the initial goal. The fuel cells will be built at its Brownstown plant, which also makes the batteries in the Bolt and Volt.

While in Detroit today, we were also shown a fuel cell EV concept called the SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure). It's a driverless vehicle based on a heavy-duty truck with roughly the same length and width as a shipping container, but again we can't show you what it looks like yet. Notably, Freese did say that GM wants to bring fuel cells to market—including a retail version—within the next five years.

Jonathan is the automotive editor at Ars Technica, covering all things car-related. Jonathan lives and works in Washington, D.C.

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