The every-person’s crossover EV has its strengths, but could still use refinement.
When Chevrolet first introduced the Bolt EV, it sent shockwaves through the automotive industry as the first properly affordable mainstream electric car. More than half a decade later, Chevy has taken its award-winning hatchback (it took home the 2017 MotorTrend Car of the Year award) and spun off a second model, the stretched Bolt EUV crossover. We put the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV to the test to see if it could recapture the original’s magic.
At a glance the Bolt EUV doesn’t look all that different from its smaller sibling, though it drives like an entirely different vehicle. It wears a similar grille and retains the Bolt EV’s egglike styling. However, the 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV is 0.2 inch taller and wider and 6.3 inches longer than the regular Bolt. It’s 90 pounds heavier, too.
The Bolt EUV develops 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, which it sends through the front wheels. Range is 247 miles on a full charge, 12 miles less than the Bolt EV. Chevy claims the Bolt EUV can regain 95 miles of range in 30 minutes depending on how much charge is already in its 65-kWh battery, which seemed to be a realistic assertion based on our lunchtime top-off after three laps of our Car of the Year test loop.
Although the Bolt EUV’s throttle mapping is good, it’s easy to roast the tires at a whim, as its economy-minded rubber provides little grip off the line or even at moderate speeds if the driver dabs the accelerator too hard. We managed a 0-60-mph sprint of 6.7 seconds, which is quick but not as quick as the car feels from the driver’s seat. Brake pedal tuning is excellent for an electric vehicle, as it feels completely natural and predictable. However, despite having a lot of the ingredients that make a car fun to drive, they don’t come together in a cohesive way.
On our test route, we found the Bolt EUV to have substandard body control and rough suspension tuning. In fact, the rear torsion bar banged so hard over train tracks that it sounded like something broke (it didn’t). “This was one of the most poorly behaved vehicles driven over these surfaces,” MotorTrend technical director Frank Markus said. “Lots of harshness, lots of bottoming and topping of the suspension.” It’s not all bad news, however, as the Chevy’s steering stood out as one of the car’s best aspects; it offered good engagement and ample feedback.
On open stretches of highway and around town, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV was a bit more pleasant due to its low-end torque and excellent battery-regeneration features. The EV offers one-pedal driving with the push of a button, allowing it to use regenerative braking. It’s a remarkably intuitive system and brings the Bolt EUV down from speed with firm stopping power without jarring the vehicle’s occupants. The neat regeneration paddle on the steering wheel is still present, allowing for firm but controlled deceleration that feeds electricity back into the battery. Although it’s not the most entertaining car to drive on back roads, these features are as amusing as they are useful.
The interior, though an improvement over the original Bolt EV’s cockpit in terms of materials and layout, still feels at least half a decade old. It also looks like it’s at least half a generation older than the other electric crossovers it competes with. That’s because of Chevy’s pervasive use of hard plastics throughout the cabin, though our test car featured sweet-looking blue seats and door pocket inserts that made it appear a bit more premium. Ventilated seats were also a huge win, seeing as we conducted our testing under the hot desert sun.
There’s plenty of space up front with 44.3 inches of legroom, and most rear passengers will have room to stretch out a bit with 39.2 inches. Although the Bolt EUV is a wagonoid crossover, its trunk space is limited with just 16.3 cubic feet of capacity behind the rear seats. That’s pitiful compared to the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s 29.7 cubes. Chevy makes the storage area a bit more flexible with a removable floorboard, but it helps demonstrate this vehicle is more of a spruced-up hatchback than a full-on crossover.
Is The Bolt EUV Safe?
Although the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV isn’t the sleekest package, it comes equipped with an impressive suite of driver assistance features, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, following distance indicator, automatic high-beams, and front pedestrian braking.
GM’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous system, an available feature on the Bolt EUV, came equipped on our test car. It’s the first Chevy to offer this system; the package costs $2,200 and adds hands-free driving on roads included within GM’s software. We’ve been impressed with Super Cruise before, and it continues to work exceptionally well on the Bolt EUV. The car kept its place in the lane without error so long as there were lines on either side of the vehicle, and it controlled its speed well and hustled up the hills on our test route without slowing down. Buyers shopping for a mainstream EV with a system that bests Tesla’s Autopilot may want to consider purchasing the Bolt EUV with Super Cruise.
Chevrolet did a great job integrating the 10.2-inch infotainment display into the center stack. The Infotainment 3 Plus with Navigation is easy to operate and quick to respond to inputs. It isn’t standard; however, it comes as part of the $2,495 Sun and Sound package, which also adds a Bose seven-speaker audio system and a sunroof.
The front USB ports are difficult to access; they’re wedged deep in the cellphone cubby. It’s tough to dig a mobile device out of the compartment, too, leading to some awkward maneuvering in the cabin when it’s time to hop out of the car. There isn’t much going on in terms of tech in the back seat; passengers have access to just one USB-A and one USB-C port.
Pricing And Value
At an as-tested price of $43,685, this 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier jolted us with sticker shock. That’s $5,190 more than the Premier trim package and $9,690 above the EUV’s $33,995 base price. Chevy is asking a lot of money for a new model that feels a lot more like a refreshed 5-year-old car, but we concede the entry-level model represents a much better deal than the example we evaluated here.
Simply put, where the Chevy Bolt once stood out as an isolated example of a well-executed and affordable EV, the EUV model lacks the polish we now expect from an electric car. During our SUV of the Year testing, the Bolt EUV had below-average range compared to the other EVs we tested, and our judges were unimpressed by its handling and ride composition. Prospective buyers might want to opt for a lesser trim level to improve the bang-for-buck ratio.
Chevrolet should have taken extra measures to button up this new model, a vehicle that represents the company’s next step toward total electrification. The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV would have been a spectacular car five years ago, but EVs have progressed so much that this represents a mid-segment offering at best. For many, it will deliver ample capability for daily driving, but shoppers should consider other “every-person” electric crossovers such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID4, as well, for more modern approaches to mainstream EVs.
Source : https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/2022-chevrolet-bolt-euv-electric-suv-first-test-review/
In one of his final moves as Pittsburgh’s top leader, Mayor Bill Peduto announced Thursday the completion of an electric vehicle charging station that allows for up to 30 vehicles to simultaneously recharge.
The station, located at the Second Avenue Parking Plaza in the city’s Uptown area, is the largest in Western Pennsylvania, according to a statement from the mayor’s office.
“This is an incredible moment for city government,” said Mr. Peduto in the statement.
While the station will be used to charge the City of Pittsburgh’s own 26-vehicle fleet of fully electric sedans, the mayor’s office mentioned that the five chargers previously used for those cars will be distributed throughout the city for public use.
The completion of the project marks a joint effort between the mayor, the Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh and the Duquesne Light Company. According to the mayor’s office, the project was funded by a $135,000 alternative fuels grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and a $189,403 grant from the state’s Energy Authority.
Including the city’s current fleet, the station also will charge up to 70 city electric vehicles that it plans to add in the coming years. The city anticipates those vehicles will be added in 2022 and 2023 from funds that Mr. Peduto directed from American Rescue Plan.
In the statement, the mayor’s office noted that this moves the city forward in its Climate Action Plan, which has a goal to reduce transportation-related emissions and convert the city’s fleet to fully electric vehicles by 2030.
The station at Second Avenue includes 15 dual-hose Level 2 chargers, according to the statement. These would allow an electric vehicle to charge in six to eight hours.
In addition to the announcement of the station, Mr. Peduto added that the city received a $2.8 million grant from the EPA to purchase five new electric recycling trucks and the stations to charge them. These chargers would be installed at the city’s Environmental Services headquarters in the Strip District.
According to the statement, the grant for the electric trucks was received through cooperation with the Allegheny County Health Department.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is recalling more than 475,000 of its Model 3 and Model S electric cars to address rearview camera and trunk issues that increase the risk of crashing, the U.S. road safety regulator said on Thursday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been discussing another camera issue with the automaker, while probing the company’s driver assistant system.
The model years affected in the recall range from 2014 to 2021, and the total number of recalled vehicles is almost equivalent to the half a million vehicles Tesla delivered last year.
The U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer is recalling 356,309 2017-2020 Model 3 vehicles to address rearview camera issues and 119,009 Model S vehicles due to front hood problems, the federal regulator said.
Tesla could not be reached for comment.
For Model 3 sedans, “the rearview camera cable harness may be damaged by the opening and closing of the trunk lid, preventing the rearview camera image from displaying,” the NHTSA said.
Tesla identified 2,301 warranty claims and 601 field reports regarding the issue for U.S. vehicles.
For Model S vehicles, latch problems may lead a front trunk to open “without warning and obstruct the driver’s visibility, increasing the risk of a crash,” Tesla said.
Tesla said it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issues cited in the recall of Model 3 and Model S cars, the NHTSA said.
Tesla shares fell as much as 3% in the morning but rebounded and were last trading slightly higher around $1,088.76. The world’s most valuable automaker is expected to report record quarterly vehicles deliveries as early as Saturday.
This month, the NHTSA said it was talking with Tesla about sideview camera issues in some vehicles. L1N2SU2EA
CNBC had reported that Tesla was replacing defective repeater cameras in the front fenders of some U.S.-made vehicles without recalling the parts.
The NHTSA has been investigating 580,000 Tesla vehicles over the automaker’s decision to allow games to be played on car screens while they are in motion.
Tesla has subsequently agreed to remove such gaming features while its cars are moving, according to the NHTSA.
Under pressure from NHTSA, Tesla in February agreed to recall 135,000 vehicles with touch-screen displays that could fail and raise the risk of a crash. In August, the NHTSA opened a formal safety probe into Tesla Inc’s driver assistance system Autopilot after a series of crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles.
As companies race to develop self-driving cars, they’re making very different bets about the technology they’ll need to release the first safe, reliable, fully autonomous vehicle.
In the minimalist camp, automakers like Tesla are relying primarily on cameras. They’re betting computer vision will improve enough that, within a few years, artificial intelligence can navigate roads just using visual data from onboard cameras—a very bold bet given the underdeveloped state of today’s technology.
Then there’s the maximalist camp that believes the best way to make self-driving cars reliable enough to sell is to equip them with as much data as possible. Intel-owned MobilEye is a prime example: It plans to develop its own full self-driving car software by using every sensor available: cameras, radar, and lidar.
The final missing ingredient? A detailed map of every road a car might ever encounter—that is, every single road on Earth.
The high stakes of picking the right sensor suite
Goldilocks would have a hard time deciding how many sensors to put on a self-driving vehicle. Too few sensors, and a driving AI might start to miss things; the less a car can see, the more likely it is to crash and the harder it will be to meet regulators’ safety standards. Too many sensors, and you risk driving up the cost so high few can afford your self-driving car. Even cheap lidar sensors, for example, can cost as much as $1,000 (one 2020 rendering of Waymo’s sensor layout shows a car with four lidar sensors).
The company that strikes the right balance will be able to enter the market before its rivals and out-compete them on price.
MobilEye, based in Israel, says it’s leading this race. It’s the world’s largest supplier of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). These systems use an array of sensors (which might include cameras, radar, or lidar) and an advanced computer chip to power the safety features that, for example, beep when a driver is about to back into a wall or automatically brake to avoid a crash. Of the roughly 100 million driver assistance systems on the road today, about 80% of them are built by MobilEye, which sells ADAS chips to more than 30 carmakers.
MobilEye doesn’t manufacture cars itself, but it believes it can develop self-driving car software safe enough to pass muster with regulators and sell to auto manufacturers by 2025. It’s already testing an early version of its software, which operates a fleet of robotaxis in Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, and Detroit. Key to this effort is MobilEye’s plan to map out the traffic lights, crosswalks, and other key features of streets around the world, which the company believes will help it meet safe driving standards before other self-driving car developers.
Source : https://qz.com/2102482/mobileye-says-mapping-every-road-is-the-key-to-self-driving-cars/
As an assistant professor of applied mathematics and a researcher, AJ Alnaser explores such lofty and abstract subjects as algebraic number theory and rational integers.
But even such a serious academic figure as Alnaser is not immune to vehicular allure. Alnaser is one of two professors at Florida Polytechnic University leading the research on autonomous vehicles, using a Ford Fusion that recently arrived on campus.
“Imagine having the biggest toy you’ve ever gotten,” Alnaser said. “Yes, it’s quite exciting.”
Florida Polytechnic’s Advanced Mobility Institute obtained the vehicle through a $350,000 combined grant from the National Science Foundation and the state of Florida. The Lakeland school also used part of the funding to create a simulation facility on campus that will propel research to be applied to the test vehicle.
The white Ford Fusion sedan, adorned with the Florida Poly logo on its hood and doors, arrived equipped with electronics installed by a Michigan company that allow researchers to remotely control its steering, acceleration, braking and other actions. But it is far from being a safely self-driving vehicle at this point, Alnaser said.
“The car is autonomous, minus the brain of the car,” he said. “So the decision-making algorithm that tells the car what to do and gives the car a certain input, right now it’s vacant, and the idea is that we can plug in multiple brains, basically.”
Florida Poly researchers are developing their own algorithm to control the vehicle’s capacity for maneuvering without a driver. Researchers will also be able to plug in software from car manufacturers for testing, Alnaser said.
While Alnaser holds a doctorate in mathematics, the other lead researcher on the project, Onur Toker, has a doctoral degree in electrical engineering. Toker is an associate professor of computer engineering.
Source : https://www.theledger.com/story/news/local/2021/12/28/florida-poly-researchers-testing-autonomous-vehicle-campus/6405513001/
In my last blog, I discussed the market growth of driverless cars, and identified a number of leading companies investing globally in this market segment, including: Alphabet, Amazon, Baidu, Google, etc. This blog focuses on driverless cars and AI ethics linking diverse sources to help guide board directors and CEO’s in ensuring they are on the right side of AI ethics vs the wrong side of the road.
There are many complexities in developing all the enablements to support a driverless car ecosystem, including balancing sensor-based hardware and AI software in outdoor environments that are under constant change. In addition, surface logistics, new regulatory and monitoring controls, and of course AI software ethical guidelines to govern the operational risks and decisions that a driverless car would need to navigate, if no humans were on board.
One of the most validated research surveys of machine ethics1, called the Moral Machine, was published in Nature, found that many of the moral principles that guide a driver’s decisions vary by country. This reinforces a regulatory set of complexities to navigate on cultural preferences. For example, in a scenario in which some combination of pedestrians and passengers will die in a collision, people from relatively prosperous countries with strong institutions were less likely to spare a pedestrian who stepped into traffic illegally. There were over 13 scenarios identified where a death could not be avoided and respondents had to make a decision on the impacts to old, rich, poor, more people or less people being killed. The research found that there are cultural variances in public preferences which governments and self-driving cars would need to take into account to gain varying jurisdictional confidence.
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/cindygordon/2021/12/29/driverless-cars-and-ai-ethics/?sh=23927d2b69c7
Waymo already has a driverless ride hailing service up and running, albeit in a limited area in and around Phoenix, Arizona and it’s using adapted Chrysler Pacifica minivans for it. However, they are being used more as test vehicles, and the company is already looking to add dedicated autonomous ride hailing vehicles.
The Google (now Alphabet) subsidiary has now teamed up with Chinese car-making giant, Geely, which has come up with this design under its Zeekr brand. It is a boxy vehicle designed to maximize available interior space, it has a modern, slightly futuristic exterior design and, most importantly, it doesn’t have a physical steering wheel (although one may still be legally required for the final road-legal version).
It has four sliding doors, with the front doors sliding to the front, while the rear doors slide back, and because there’s no B-pillar, this makes for what appears to be exceptionally easy access. The floor is also very low, further improving ingress, and once inside, it has two rows of seats so it can accommodate up to five passengers.
Waymo doesn’t make it clear in the press release if it will be legally possible to actually have vehicles without physical helms driving people around, though. The company states that
While ensuring a level of safety consistent with U.S. federal vehicle standards – our Waymo One riders will one day experience an interior without steering wheel and pedals, and with plenty of headroom, leg room and reclining seats, screens and chargers within arm’s reach, and an easy to configure and comfortable vehicle cabin.
And the company also doesn’t say when this design or a variation of it will actually see active service. No time frame is mentioned; all the company says is
We’ll begin to introduce these all electric, rider-first, fully autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads within our Waymo One fleet in the years to come.
Waymo also makes it clear that all the photos it posted are
Illustrative: Actual design will reflect standards applicable to the vehicle at time of manufacture.
Electric vehicles and gas cars have always come with a tradeoff. Fully electric vehicles are more expensive to buy, but they’re cheaper to own because they’re cheaper to fuel and maintain — and they produce zero emissions. Traditional cars cost less up front, but you pay more in the long run thanks to the high cost of dirty gas.
That dynamic is still widely accepted as true, but compelling new evidence reveals a disconnect between the metrics used to analyze fuel costs and the realities that EV drivers face on the ground.
So, are EVs really cheaper to power than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles? Well, that depends on the yardstick you use when measuring.
It’s Cheaper To Charge Than To Pump
In 2020, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a study that was more comprehensive than those that had come before. Using a state-level assessment of EV charging costs, the study’s results were much more granular than what came out of previous studies, which assumed a singular value.
It found that the national average to charge an EV is $0.15 per kWh, which DOE determined translated into savings of as much as $14,500 over 15 years on fuel costs alone.
On top of that, EVs are cheaper to maintain — $0.04 cheaper per mile, according to the DOE — which adds another $8,000 in savings for EV drivers over the course of 200,000 miles.
The jury had returned a verdict.
Yes, EVs cost more to buy, but they paid their owners back for the difference and then some over the life of the car — plus the whole zero-emissions thing — and that’s not even counting state and federal tax credits and other incentives.
But a different study was about to get even more granular.
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Study Reveals Different Findings
On Oct. 21, 2021, the Anderson Economic Group — a respected economic consulting firm with decades of auto industry experience — released the results of its own study, which was six months in the making. It was the first installation in a larger economic research series that is still being conducted.
Anderson parsed the costs of EV charging much more finely, going beyond just a state-by-state breakdown to examine rural/urban variations. The new methodology also separated vehicles by segment, use and cost.
Titled “Comparison: Real World Cost of Fueling EVs and ICE Vehicles,” the report’s startling results were summarized in its official synopsis: “Electric vehicles can be more expensive to fuel than their internal combustion engine counterparts.”
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There’s More to It Than Just Gas and Electricity
DOE says that the average cost of electricity for an EV is $0.04 per mile, which means it costs $9 to fully charge a battery with a 200-mile range. By comparison, it costs between $0.07 and $0.10 per mile to fuel a gas car, according to AAA.
The Anderson study, however, challenged the presumption that EVs are cheaper to drive — or even cheaper to fuel. It found that powering EVs comes with four hidden costs: the purchase of a home charger, the greatly inflated price of commercial charging at public stations, “deadhead miles” spent driving to find far-flung charging stations and registration taxes that states slap on EV drivers to make up for the fact that they don’t pay gas taxes. The study also factored in the cost of time spent searching for reliable charging stations, which — even when located — can take a half-hour for a charge of 20% to 80%.
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Traditional research — like the industry standard provided by DOE — doesn’t take any of that into account. It also presumes a heavily lopsided reliance on cheap, at-home charging instead of expensive commercial charging.
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The More You Consider, the Worse EVs Look
Again, the new research is just the first installment in a larger series, but its results are undeniably head-turning. The study found that:
- Commercial charging rates are two to four times higher than residential rates.
- Level 1 chargers cost an average of $600 to install and can take 20 hours to fully charge an EV.
- Level 2 chargers are much faster but cost $1,600.
- “Full charge” is a misleading term because charging past 90% is slow, difficult and unadvised, which means you get far fewer miles than the advertised ranges would have you believe. Gas vehicles, on the other hand, are good for 300-400 miles per tank.
- Considering all of those factors, and presuming a greater reliance on commercial charging, it would cost $8.58 to fuel a mid-priced gas car that gets 33 mpg for 100 miles at $2.81 a gallon. Comparatively, a mid-priced EV — Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt — would cost $12.95 per 100 miles.
- Annually, presuming 12,000 miles driven, it would cost $1,030 to drive a gas car versus $1,554 for an EV.