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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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    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 throws LG under the bus as Chevy Bolt production pauses amid recall / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 31 August, 2021 - 20:00

GM throws LG under the bus as Chevy Bolt production pauses amid recall

(credit: Jeffrey Sauger / Chevrolet )

General Motors has lost confidence in battery supplier LG Chem after defective cells from the company caused a string of fires and sparked a massive recall of Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles and electric utility vehicles.

The automaker recalled more than 140,000 electric cars and crossovers— every single one that the company has made —when it discovered two simultaneously occurring defects in the LG-made batteries. GM suspects the defects are behind the 10 fires the company has identified so far.

LG Chem makes the battery packs for every Chevy Bolt, and while the problem was initially traced to one of LG's Korean plants, subsequent investigations revealed that other LG plants were pumping out bad cells, too.

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    The automotive industry has got SPAC madness, and it may not end well / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 12 January, 2021 - 16:34

Fisker Ocean showing

Enlarge / Fisker now has a market cap of $4.1 billion thanks to a SPAC reverse merger in 2020. It says that the Ocean SUV will be the most sustainable vehicle ever sold. (credit: Fisker)

With technology disrupting the automotive industry, investors have raced to secure exposure to potential winners—whether battery makers, manufacturers of other forms of power storage or developers of the “lidar” sensors that some believe are key to the development of self-driving cars.

Yet according to a Financial Times analysis, the nine auto tech groups that listed via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year expected revenues of just $139 million between them for 2020. They include QuantumScape, a battery company backed by Bill Gates and Volkswagen; the hydrogen truck start-up Nikola; and the lidar company Luminar Technologies.

While the past 12 months proved a hot market for tech groups doing conventional IPOs, bankers and lawyers say that the SPAC process gives companies—and the vehicles acquiring them—far greater latitude in disclosing future financial projections. The nine auto tech companies, for example, together predict their revenues will reach $26 billion by 2024.

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    Nikola stock soars after confused investors think GM deal has closed / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 16:30

GM CEO Mary Barra.

Enlarge / GM CEO Mary Barra. (credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Nikola stock rose 15 percent on Wednesday after confused investors apparently mistook a month-old GM website for a brand-new announcement about the companies' pending agreement. The stock is up another 7 percent as I write this on Thursday morning.

Shortly before 10am ET on Wednesday, people began sharing links to this GM page on social media.

"We signed an agreement with Nikola to engineer and manufacture the Nikola Badger," the GM page said. Nikola's stock price soared from $22.23 at 9:30am to $24.94 at 10am—a 12-percent jump in 30 minutes.

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