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    General Motors will add bidirectional charging to its Ultium-based EVs / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 8 August - 13:00 · 1 minute

Rendering of a 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST in a residential garage with anticipated Ultium Home offerings. Simulated products shown. Actual production model may vary. Simulated vehicle shown.

Enlarge / GM recently announced home charging hardware that was capable of bidirectional charging. Today it filled in the missing piece, announcing V2H capabilities are coming to Ultium EVs. (credit: Chevrolet)

General Motors is adding capabilities to allow its new electric vehicles to send power from their batteries to the owner's home. Known as V2H, or bidirectional charging, it's a relatively simple idea: an EV is a giant battery on wheels, so why not be able to use that to power other things? GM says the rollout will begin with model-year 2024 EVs and will continue through to model-year 2026.

There are actually a couple of different approaches to using an EV's battery to power non-car stuff. An increasing number of EVs like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Volkswagen ID. Buzz offer AC outlets, and, depending on the region, can provide either 120 V or 240 V power. That is usually known as vehicle to load, or V2L.

V2H amps things up a bit—quite literally—by sending power from the car back into a home electrical circuit, similar to a home storage battery. Nissan demoed but never implemented the idea for the second-generation Leaf back in 2018 , but Ford did implement it with its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck .

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    Seven major automakers to build EV charging network with 30,000 chargers / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 26 July - 14:55

Painted road sign indicating electric car charging station seen in Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg

Enlarge (credit: Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Good news, electric road-trippers: DC fast chargers are about to become a lot more common. On Wednesday, a group of seven major automakers announced a plan to create a new charging network of more than 30,000 chargers across North America starting next year.

BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis are creating a joint venture to significantly expand the number of fast charging sites in the US and Canada. The sites will use the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure guidelines , which means, among other things, 97 percent uptime for each charging port. The sites will support both CCS1 and NACS plugs , and the chargers will also support the plug-and-charge protocol.

"North America is one of the world’s most important car markets—with the potential to be a leader in electromobility. Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition. Therefore, seven automakers are forming this joint venture with the goal of creating a positive charging experience for EV consumers. The BMW Group is proud to be among the founders," said BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse.

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    GM announces a new Ultium-based Chevrolet Bolt during Q2 report / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 25 July - 13:36 · 1 minute

Close-up view of the Chevrolet Bolt nameplate.

Enlarge (credit: Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrole)

One of the first modern mass-market electric vehicles we tested remains one of our favorites. It's the Chevrolet Bolt, which we first sampled at CES in 2016 , then drove for real when it went on sale the following year . A fun-to-drive hatchback that could feel a little spartan—some people hate the seats in early models—it was also quite affordable, with prices dropping well below $30,000 for a car with a range of 259 miles (417 km).

Understandably we were pretty upset to learn that General Motors was calling time on this solid little EV; in April this year it announced it was ending the product line. But today, during GM's Q2 results call, CEO Mary Barra revealed the Bolt will be back.

"Our customers love today's Bolt. It has been delivering record sales and some of the highest customer satisfaction and loyalty scores in the industry," said Barra. "It's also an important source of conquest sales for the company and for Chevrolet. We will keep the momentum going by delivering a new Bolt… and we will execute it more quickly compared to an all-new program with significantly lower engineering expense and capital investment by updating the vehicle with Ultium and Ultifi technologies and by applying our 'winning with simplicity' discipline," Barra said.

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    Our big unanswered questions about the switch to Tesla-style EV plugs / ArsTechnica · Friday, 7 July - 20:43 · 1 minute

A graphic with a starburst in the background and the silhouettes of CCS1 and NACS charger plugs in the foreground

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

The mass sponge EV charger plug migration continues to gather steam. Since we last wrote about the topic, first Polestar and then Mercedes-Benz also announced that they're dropping the Combined Charging Standard 1 (CCS1) connector in favor of Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) . Sometime next year, non-Tesla electric vehicles from those makes, as well as Ford , General Motors , Volvo , and Rivian , will be able to start making use of Tesla's Supercharger network. In 2025, those automakers—and probably a few more—will start building cars with NACS ports built in.

It's not just the car makers. Charger manufacturers and charging networks have also been announcing new NACS products, and it feels like enough critical mass is building that CCS1 might be headed for extinction. Or at least it may be relegated to curio status alongside CHAdeMO. Things are looking even better now that SAE International is taking over the management of NACS, so it will no longer be under the control of a rival OEM run by a billionaire known for impulsive and often arbitrary decisions. At this point, many are merely waiting to see if Hyundai Motor Group or Volkswagen Group will be the next big convert.

The justification for dropping an entrenched standard and switching to NACS, from Ford and others, was as much about obtaining access for their EV owners to Tesla's Supercharger network, and why not? Even the most hardened partisan from the EV brand flame wars has to concede that not only are there far more Superchargers out there, but they offer a vastly superior charging experience to any of the public charging networks.

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    GM’s EVs will get access to Tesla’s Supercharger network in 2024 / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 8 June - 21:22

A Cadillac Lyriq charging port

Enlarge / GM is the second American automaker to decide to ditch the CCS port (pictured) for Tesla's design. (credit: Cadillac)

Tesla's Supercharger network is about to get more crowded. On Thursday afternoon, General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined Tesla CEO (and Twitter's owner) Elon Musk to announce that GM is signing on to what Tesla calls the North American Charging Standard (NACS) and will integrate those ports into its electric vehicles from 2025. The move follows a similar agreement between Tesla and Ford, announced two weeks ago .

"This collaboration is a key part of our strategy and an important next step in quickly expanding access to fast chargers for our customers. Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles more seamless for our customers, but it could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard," Barra said in a statement.

GM EVs will gain access to the Supercharger network of over 12,000 chargers starting in 2024. As with the Ford news, GM EVs will initially require an adapter to connect the NACS cable to their CCS1 charging ports.

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    GM kills more than CarPlay support, it kills choice / ArsTechnica · Friday, 31 March - 22:05 · 1 minute

Apple CarPlay screenshot showing Devo's freedom of choice playing

Enlarge / Use your freedom of choice. (credit: Apple)

A long while back, Toyota told me it didn't want to give up interior real estate to Apple’s CarPlay. The automaker felt that losing that space to the tech company would be a huge mistake. Fast forward a few years, and after what I assume were some internal struggles, it caved and now you can get CarPlay and Android Auto on your fancy new Highlander, Prius, Tacoma, or Camry. It seemed like a silly decision had been reversed. Now it’s GM’s turn to go down the same path.

Today, news dropped that GM would be phasing out CarPlay support in future EVs . In its partnership with Google, it hopes that all the features you get from mirroring your iPhone can be replaced with an Android Automotive feature . GM, like Toyota before it, wants to control the digital real estate in its vehicles. It’s a revenue-based and walled-garden (ironically against Apple) decision that will cost them.

Software-driven vehicles should be about choice. Instead, GM is making a short-sighted decision based on a trickle of revenue under the guise of better integration. Owning all the data that a vehicle generates while driving around could be a great source of cash. The problem is potential customers have become accustomed to choosing which device they use to navigate, chat, text, and rock out within their vehicle. They’ve grown weary of being mined for data at the expense of their choice and they’re really not all that keen on in-car subscription services .

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    GM confirms it’s dropping Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from 2024 EVs / ArsTechnica · Friday, 31 March - 17:27

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV dashboard

Enlarge / When Chevrolet launches the new Blazer EV later this year it will be GM's first new car to lack CarPlay or Android Auto. (credit: General Motors)

In surprising car news today, we've learned that General Motors is planning to drop support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from new electric vehicles it plans to launch in the next few years. The decision won't affect any GM vehicles already on the market, nor will it apply to gasoline- or diesel-powered GM vehicles in the coming years—just EVs.

"As we scale our EVs and launch our Ultifi software platform, we can do more than ever before with in-vehicle technologies and over-the-air updates. All of this is allowing us to constantly improve the customer experience we can offer across our brands," said Edward Kummer, GM's chief digital officer.

GM told Ars that it's moving away from phone projection to offer customers a more integrated solution that sees Google Maps, Google Assistant, Audible, Spotify, and other applications run natively on its cars' infotainment systems.

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    GM plans to let you talk to your car with ChatGPT, Knight Rider-style / ArsTechnica · Monday, 13 March, 2023 - 19:31

COLOGNE, GERMANY - OCTOBER 24: David Hasselhoff attends the

Enlarge / The 1982 TV series Knight Rider featured a car called KITT that a character played by David Hasselhoff (pictured) could talk to. (credit: Getty Images)

In the 1982 TV series Knight Rider , the main character can have a full conversation with his futuristic car. Once science fiction, this type of language interface may soon be one step closer to reality because General Motors is working on bringing a ChatGPT-style AI assistant to its automobiles, according to Semafor and Reuters .

While GM won't be adding Knight Rider -style turbojet engines or crime-fighting weaponry to its vehicles, its cars may eventually talk back to you in an intelligent-sounding way, thanks to a collaboration with Microsoft.

Microsoft has invested heavily in OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT. Now, they're looking for ways to apply chatbot technology to many different fields.

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