Electric Vehicles

General Motors pledges to add 3,500 new EV charging stations at company facilities

General Motors employees will soon have more access to chargers at work.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

When your CEO lays out a business model that includes mass electrification, it only makes that one of the first steps is employee buy-in to the plan via driving electrified vehicles. To help facilitate that model selection, General Motors is installing 3,500 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its company facilities in the U.S. and Canada. The infusion will triple the number of charging stations already provided.

"This is another step down the path to making EV ownership easier for everyone, especially for our own employees," said Mark Reuss, GM president. "Charging infrastructure is crucial to wider acceptance of EVs, and we'll continue to do everything we can to improve it, both for our employees and for all our customers. We encourage other companies to do likewise."

According to a release, "GM will prioritize charging installation sites based on employee need and will work with charging infrastructure companies to begin installing the charging locations starting in late 2020. GM employees will have access to Level 2 charging, ideal for efficiently charging EVs throughout a workday. Level 2 chargers can charge the current Chevrolet Bolt EV model up to a speed of 25 miles every hour."

General Motors has mostly bypassed the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle trend and gone straight to electric vehicles save for the Chevrolet Volt (may it rest in peace). But, the Bolt EV is alive and kicking. GMC will introduce the Hummer EV in May, a Cadillac EV is on the way, and there are undoubtedly numerous other electrified vehicles in the pipeline in the near future.

"Over 90 percent of EV owners charge either at home, at work or a combination of both," said Rick Spina, vice president of EV/AV commercialization and infrastructure. "We have new EVs from GMC for the 2022 model year and from Cadillac planned for the 2023 model year, and we want to make it as convenient as possible for our employees to enjoy the rewards of EV ownership."

GM recently announced changes to its myChevrolet app which allow for dynamic navigation and other features meant to make life with an EV easier.

GM recently accelerated its commitment to power 100 percent of global operations with renewable energy by 2040. In the U.S., 100 percent of facilities will be powered with renewable energy by 2030.

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The Audi A7 will be available later this year in a plug-in hybrid format.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has revealed the third plug-in hybrid in its lineup, the 2021 A7 55 TFSI e, a powerful option for executive car buyers. It joins the Audi Q5 TFSI e and Audi A8 TFSI e as the only PHEVs in the company's U.S. lineup.

The A7 gets its power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an electric motor and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The car has a total system output of 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard.

Audi's new sedan can run as a hybrid or on all-electric power. Drivers can utilize the vehicle in three drive modes: hybrid, EV, and Battery Hold. Hybrid mode is activated automatically when the navigation system is issuing guidance in order to optimize battery power and reduce fuel consumption. In EV mode, the car exclusively uses battery power up to a certain speed. Battery Hold mode utilizes the car's powertrain to keep the battery capacity at its current level.

2021 Audi A7 55 TSFI e Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The A7 holds its lithium-ion battery under the rear cargo area of the sportback sedan. Final EPA-estimated fuel economy and range numbers are pending. The 14.1-kilowatt-hour battery features 104 pouch cells with a voltage of 381 volts.

Audi's predictive efficiency assist technology adjust the vehicle's behavior to save on fuel. According to the automaker, ". Detectable haptic feedback from the accelerator pedal and a visual signal in the MMI and head-up display indicate the proper time to let off the accelerator to use as much kinetic energy as possible."

The model comes standard with Audi's S line exterior package, which includes specific front and rear fascia designs, fender badgers, and illuminated doorsill inlays. The car also has Matrix-design LED headlights, high beam assist, quad-zone automatic climate control, Audi advanced key, Audi Virtual Cockpit, ad PHEV-specific displays within the infotainment system and cockpit. It rides on 20-inch Audi Sport five-twin-arm wheels wrapped in all-season tires.

The roster of standard features continues with audible low-speed exterior e Sound, a top view camera with Virtual 360 view, Integrated Toll Module, the Audi MIB 3 infotainment operating system, heated front seats, and leather upholstery for all five passengers.

A variety of packages are available.

Audi Virtual Cockpit now displays speed reductions, including those for speed limits, tow signs, curves, downward slopes, traffic circles, intersections, and highway exits.

The fresh version of the A7 can be charged at any SAE J1772 charging station or at home. Audi has partnered with Amazon Home for home charger installation should a vehicle buyer decide they want to install a charger at their residence. Charging can be monitored via the myAudi app.

The 2021 Audi A7 TFSI e starts at $74,900, a $5,000 increase over the base gasoline-only A7 55 TSFI. It will be available in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels (the traditional A7 55 is available in three, including the lower grade Premium offering).

Audi says that customers who purchase purchasing the 2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI e will be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $6,712. Additional state incentives may also be available.

The model is expected to arrive in dealerships later this year.

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The Zero SR/F and SR/S are part of the Cash for Carbon offer.

Photo courtesy of Zero Motorcycles

The all-electric lineup of Zero Motorcycles delivers the power and performance many motorcyclists are seeking without a drop of fuel. Now, the automaker is delivering a deal on them as well.

Through August 15, buyers can trade-in any gas motorcycle for a $1,500 instant credit for any new Zero SR/S or SR/F motorcycle. This amount is in addition to any trade in value Zero dealerships are currently offering. When combined with the North America Federal Tax Credit buyers have the potential of saving nearly $4,000 on a new model.

The 2020 Zero Motorcycles SR/F is a looker with true motorcycle design and plenty of power.Photo courtesy of Zero Motorcycles

The Zero SR/S has a top speed 124 mph and can deliver 110 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of peak torque. The company says that it takes about 80 minutes to charge its 14.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery to 95 percent with the 6-kilowatt-hour Rapid Charge upgrade. It has 161 miles of range in city driving, which an be upgraded to 200 miles of range with the available Power Tank.

Zero's SR/F is a more performance-focused motorcycle than the SR/S. It offers the same power specs as the SR/S but is 20 pounds lighter (485 vs 505 in standard trims and 498 vs. 516 in premium trims). Despite being lighter, the SR/F can carry more weight (515 vs 495 pounds in standard trims and 502 vs. 484 in premium trims).

With the $1,500 credit but without other discounts and credits factored in, the Zero SR/S starts at $19,995 and the SR/F starts $500 lower at $19,495.

Zero says that each full charge of the motorcycles costs just $1.61.

The motorcycles come standard with a two-year standard motorcycle warranty and a five-year/unlimited miles power pack warranty.

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