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GM introduces Ultium Charge 360 electric vehicle charger finder technology

Ultium Charge 360 is described as a holistic approach to electric vehicle ownership.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors, like Ford, is working to help make charging easier for their electric vehicle owners. The introduction of the Ultium Charge 360, which takes its name from the Ultium battery pack that is going to be used to charge GM vehicles moving forward, combines information regarding charging networks, GM vehicle mobile apps, and other products and services.

"GM agrees with the customer need for a robust charging experience that makes the transition to an EV seamless and helps drive mass adoption," said Travis Hester, GM's chief EV officer. "As we launch 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025, Ultium Charge 360 simplifies and improves the at-home charging experience and the public charging experience – whether it's community-based or road-trip charging."

Ultium Charge 360 smartphone Ultium Charge 360 allows users to find a charging station near them.Photo courtesy of General Motors

Ultium Charge 360 offers:

  • Access to Charging - GM will continue to work with a variety of third parties, including charge point operators, electric utilities and government agencies to make home, workplace, public and fleet charging ubiquitous for customers.
  • Mobile Apps - GM will continue to update the GM vehicle mobile apps to provide an even more intuitive mobile experience that makes navigating to a charging station, plugging into a charger and paying for charging simple.
  • Products and Services - To help ensure the transition to an EV is seamless, GM is working to offer EV owners charging accessories and installation services tailored to their lifestyle. For example, GM will cover standard installation of Level 2 charging capability for eligible customers who purchase or lease a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV in collaboration with Qmerit.

GM is also making progress on its EV infrastructure strategy. The company previously announced plans to install 3,500 charging stations at company facilities.

Thanks to agreements between GM and seven major charging providers (Blink Charging, ChargePoint, EV Connect, EVgo, FLO, Greenlots and SemaConnect) GM vehicle suers will be able to see real-time information from nearly 60,000 charging plugs throughout the U.S. and Canada, find stations along a route, and initiate and pay for charging.

Nine months following the announcement to add 2,700 fast chargers in cities and suburbs by the end of 2025, GM and EVgo have opened its first sites in Washington, California, and Florida. Each site is capable of delivering up to 350 kilowatts and averages four chargers per site. GM and EVgo are on track to have approximately 500 fast charging stalls live by the end of 2021.

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Toyota's Indiana plant is getting a makeover and adding two models.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

In the middle of a press release regarding an $800 million investment in Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI), Toyota let it slip that two new models will find their place on the production line there - one Toyota and one Lexus.

The two new three-row SUVs are designed with the "active Gen Y American Family in mind". To figure out what they will be, look no further than our list of the new vehicle trademarks that Toyota and Lexus have put forth in the last few months.

The automaker has already filed to trademark the names "Grand Highlander", "TX350", and "TX500h". If you were a gambler, you'd want to put money on at least one of these models being a take on the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept that was presented a few years ago at the North American International Auto Show. That three-row, coupe-like SUV was a touch ahead of the trend in terms of body styling and was very well received by dealers, media, and the public.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept The Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept was well-received by dealers, media, and the public when it premiered half a decade ago.Photo courtesy of Lexus

There's also the possibility that the forthcoming "Grand Highlander" may be a new Sequoia under a fresh name.

The "TX350" and "TX500h" filing makes it apparent that the vehicle will likely come with the same base engine as the Lexus RX, a 3.5-liter V6, and perhaps get a hybrid variant of the 5.0-liter V8 that's in the forthcoming 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport.

The release also said that the vehicles will have a semi-automated driving system. Lexus Teammate, a system with characteristics similar to what Toyota has described, will come first to the 2022 Lexus LS 500h. It has Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation", according to the automaker.

The announcement from Toyota says that the details of the forthcoming eight-passenger vehicles will be announced "at a later date".

"Over the past 20 years, Toyota has led the way with more electrified vehicles on the road than all automakers combined," said Ted Ogawa, president and CEO of Toyota Motor North America. "This investment and new vehicle line-up will allow us to continue our work with electrification, expand our portfolio to around 70 models globally by 2025, and meet the needs of our customers while we accelerate towards carbon neutrality."

Traditionally it takes 12 to 18 months to build out a factory following an announcement of this nature.

The investment in TMMI will bring 1,400 new jobs to the Princeton, Indiana plant. The factory, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, currently has over 7,200 employees. It's currently the home of the Toyota Sienna, Sequoia, and Highlander.

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The Hennessey Mammoth 1000 SUV is a beefed up version of the Ram TRX.

Photo courtesy of Hennessey Performance

It's big. How big is it? MAMMOTH. The Hennessey Mammoth 1000 SUV is grand creation that is a lot of what enthusiasts would want from a modern Dodge Ramcharger.

"I have a big family with five kids and have always enjoyed owing big, powerful SUV's. In 2012 we converted the first-generation Ford Raptor into our VelociRaptor SUV – I still own one today and love it," said John Hennessey, company founder and CEO: "Now, we are excited to offer something very similar, but with a lot more horsepower, using the new Ram TRX truck as our base vehicle. Creating this king of SUVs offers our customers the ultimate combination of space, power and exclusivity."

The Texas-based high-performance vehicle manufacturer started with a 2021 Ram TRX and added bespoke bodywork. The truck was turned into an SUV with the addition of a C-pillar and an elongated roofline. This has allowed the company to install sizable rear side windows and a rear windscreen, and have a good amount of luggage space behind the added third row of seats.

The Mammoth Off Road package that has been installed includes a 2.5-inch lift, custom front bumper with LED lights, 20-inch Hennessey 10-spoke wheels, 35-inch off-road tires, and a. front suspension leveling kit.

The supercharged 6.2-liter V8 under the TRX's hood has been upgraded to 1,012 horsepower and 969 pound-feet of torque. That's a 310-horsepower and 319 pound-feet of torque improvement over the traditional TRX.

It has a zero to 60 mph time of 3.2 seconds and can run the quarter mile in 1.4 seconds at 120 mph.

Hennessey says that the bespoke five-door conversion fits seven adults comfortably.

Hennessey backs every Mammoth 1000 SUV with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Pricing starts at $375,000. Each vehicle will be fitted with serial numbered plaques. Orders can be placed through authorized FCA / Ram retailers or Hennessey directly by calling 979.885.1300 or visiting HennesseyPerformance.com. Just 20 of the models will be produced.

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