AD #3026 – Chevy Bolt EUV Impressions; Honda Signs Swappable Battery Deal; VW’s 2020 Earnings Hammered

March 1st, 2021 at 11:47am

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Listen to “AD #3026 – Chevy Bolt EUV Impressions; Honda Signs Swappable Battery Deal; VW’s 2020 Earnings Hammered” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 10:22

0:08 Renault’s EV Sales Tumble in January
0:49 Hyundai Sees High Demand for IONIQ 5 In Europe
1:23 VW’s 2020 Earnings Hammered
3:31 Honda Signs Swappable Battery Deal
4:21 VW Plans to Put AV Technology in ID Buzz
5:18 ZF Developing Autonomous Shuttle
5:42 High Manual Take Rate In 911 GT3 Surprises Porsche
6:50 Chevy Bolt EUV Impressions
9:26 Bridgestone Celebrates 90th Anniversary

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31 Comments to “AD #3026 – Chevy Bolt EUV Impressions; Honda Signs Swappable Battery Deal; VW’s 2020 Earnings Hammered”

  1. WineGeek Says:

    Why can’t GM do it right the first time? Spend a few dollars more on the interior and make a vehicle that looks and feels expensive even if it is a Bolt EUV. Where are the marketing experts to suggest “make it desirable” not cheap looking. Adding Super Cruise is a great feature make the rest of the vehicle as exciting! The additional expense to make the interior superior is marginal, spend and extra $50 charge a couple of hundred dollars more for it make it more saleable.

  2. Buzzerd Says:

    Can GM or have they already programmed the SuperCruise to stay out of the left lane unless passing? Since we can’t train NA drivers to do that maybe we can programme computers.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    While it is much easier for manufacturers to design a battery around their particular application, I sure hope the Honda consortium is working toward a common EV battery for cycles and such. Much like the popular AAA, AA, C and D size batteries it would be great if they established a few standard battery packs for cycles, scooters and ATVs.
    Actually wish the cordless tool industry could do the same. It would be nice to be able to buy a battery pack that works in all my tools.

    Also disappointed that gm couldn’t make a EV with some excitement behind it like the Mach-E. That Bolt EUV seems to be just another page in the library of vehicles out there. Not one thing makes that vehicle stand out. When describing it words like “bland, standard, basic” come to mind.
    I get that not all new EVs can be stand out original designs. But as this push to EVs is supposed to be an industry changer, gm seems to be after the customers that don’t like change. Just same old stuff with a new powertrain.

  4. Kevin A Says:

    To get economies of scale, it would make sense to have cross-company standardization when volumes are relatively low. For companies that plan to go big in BEVs and PHEVs, it should be just as important to pick a battery unit size and power rating that works across all your product lines. With Honda needing batteries for everything from electric bicycles, to scooters, to motorcycles, ATVs, boats, cars and trucks, a battery unit size that could be used in them all is extra important.

  5. Kevin A Says:

    Obviously, cars and trucks would be the big volume, but don’t forget the other products. Also, include a setup that lets your low use product like an ATV also be backup power or solar collector storage when it is not in use.

  6. Bruce Says:

    Question
    Over the weekend I was talking to a transmission repair shop owner. He said, compared to a conventional automatic transmission, the CVT is significantly less durable and more expensive to repair. What is your opinion?

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    Even if they made an EV battery that was the size of a current motorcycle battery that would be great. Still light enough anyone can pick it up, and if in a scooter maybe only needs 4 maybe an ATV needs 6 and maybe a motorcycle needs 8 and then they could have more flexibility with packaging, But if they would establish at least a standard size you could even add range in saddle bags or possibly even add range to a car. Having a portable EV battery that is expandable and the flexibility to have what you need would seem like a really nice feature to me.

  8. GM Veteran Says:

    Lots of interesting news, but the biggest surprise for me was that Sean is 6’4″!

    And GM marketing geniuses strike again. After making such a splash with Ultium and the benefits of their integrated platform and configurable controls, they launch a new EV that has none of that. Consumers are largely uninformed when it comes to EVs and those with a little knowledge are confused. GM just made it worse, and many people may pass on future GM EVs after checking out the new Bolts. This creates an uphill climb for future GM marketing execs to convince consumers that their new EVs are competitive. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

  9. Dale Leonard Says:

    Glad to hear “Manual’s” are not totally dead. Being a manual driver for 55 years I will never give them up. The millennial crowd does not know what they are missing. Nothing like some “Heel & Toe” action to keep one engaged with their vehicle. “Save the Manuals” !!!

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    6 Bruce; CVTs are generally more expensive to repair due to the complexity (I am told) however they are always veiwed as being less complex but I think that’s due to fewer gears. I personally never repaired one. I do know that they typically have much lower if any towing capacity vs an automatic in similar vehicles. They also don’t typically last as long.

    Just replaced the filter and fluid in my automatic Saturday since we had such nice weather.

  11. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Bruce – Generally speaking CVTs are less durable than a conventional transmission. But like any transmission, durability also depends on the application and user. A CVT in a small car that’s never going to tow anything would likely have little issue over its life, as long as the driver doesn’t think they’re a race car driver.

  12. XA351GT Says:

    I think the reason you see high manual take rates on sporty cars is the people that buy and drive them tend to be more enthusiast drivers than just using it as a appliance to go point A to B. They want to be more engaged with the machine not just a passenger.

  13. XA351GT Says:

    The argument Ford made of why they weren’t offering a manual in the GT500 never made sense to me. Sure the auto shifts faster , but not everyone is going to drive it at the limit on track days. Besides not much sounds better than a Gnarly V8 note and the Rpm drop between gears . Not everyone wants a slushbox yet.

  14. DanaPointJohn Says:

    The Bolt EUV is a stop gap EV before the all-new GM electric architecture comes out. Don’t expect the Bolt, in this configuration or technology, to be around five years from now.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6,10, et. al.

    E-CVTs, as used in Toyota and some other hybrids are the ultimate in simplicity, except for the one speed gear reduction in pure EVs. The Toyota hybrids have no clutches, no bands, no valves, etc., nothing but gears and bearings. The power electronics is fairly complex, but seems to be reliable.

    11 Driven gently, the regular CVTs seem to hold up ok. There are a bunch of older Altimas, Sentras, etc. with them at my condo, and they seem to do ok.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 There have been some recent Porsches that have been sold manual only. The Cayman GT4 was manual only in 2020, but is now sold both manual and PDK.

    13 Why did they drop the GT350? I was never a big Ford fan, but that one caught my attention, with the engine that sounds like a Ferrari.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The classification of vehicles as CUVs is kind of nebulous, but to me, the Bolt was always a CUV. Isn’t height what makes something a CUV rather than a car? A Bolt is the same height as a Honda HR-V, and 3 inches taller than a Lexus UX, and those two are generally called CUVs, (or SUVs by some people).

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 Interesting that you mention cordless tools. I have never bought a cordless drill or other such tool, because they are throw away items. I have two plug-in drills that are 50-60 years old, which work fine. I doubt if there are many cordless drills even 15 years old that still work.

  19. Merv Peters Says:

    always had one vehicle with a clutch until I was 55. Then for some reason everything automatics all around. Now at 71 first choice is paddle shifters. I’ve enjoyed them all.

  20. XA351GT Says:

    Kit, my take is the Flat plane crank engine was expensive to build and they were having issues with them vibrating the oil filter loose and catching fire. Actually watched it happen on a YouTube Vloggers channel. They were at a track day and it went up like a Roman Candle. The owner bought the car back from the insurance company and put a Straight 6 BARRA engine from Australia turboed up to 1000 + HP from a 4 Liter . It owns all kinds of fast toys just drifting and says this is the only car that ever scared him.

  21. XA351GT Says:

    Also when they brought out the new Mach 1 it replaced the GT350 and Bullitt.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 Thanks for the info. I wasn’t aware of the fires. That straight six would be cool. That must have been a major project, between fixing the fire damamage, and installing the engine where it wouldn’t normally reside.

  23. Bobby T Says:

    18, Kit, I have a Makita cordless that’s about 30 years old and works well, but my newer DeWalt cordless has a lot more power. I also have a corded Skil that is 60 years old. A real brute! I had a 20 year old corded drill that died. I prefer the cordless for its convenience. Sorry for the non automotive commentary.

  24. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Since most of the cordless tools have moved over to lithium batteries the longevity has been greatly improved. And the newer cordless rival the plug-in for power; not to mention the ease of use and mobility of the newer cordless. It is almost amazing of what is currently offered in diversification of different kind of tools. In addition to rivaling plug-in, in a great many cases, the battery powered tools rival air-tools as well (though air-tools arguably still reign in the power department).

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23, Bobby, does your Makita have the original batteries? If so, that’s impressive. They would probably be NiCad, or maybe NiMH.

    23,24 My ~55-60 year old drills are Skil, a 1/4 inch 2200 rpm, and a lower speed 3/8 inch, both variable speed reversing. I have a Cummins (not the engine company) drill, probably about 70 years old that my father had. It is one speed, non-reversing. All three work fine.

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    18 Kit yeah I have a 25 year old Craftsman cordless drill that’s only 9V that still works. Doesn’t hold a charge as long and isn’t very powerful. The thing about cordless is they keep upping the voltage and lots of stuff at first was 12V then 16, 18 20 and some stuff now I see even 48V like the lawnmower batteries. I know plenty of guys that work construction and use them everyday. Most the name brand stuff will last longer than the battery packs, so years and you cant beat the convivence.
    I did HVAC for a bit and crawling into an attic or crawl space and dragging an extension cord around sucks. Or being on a job site where the power hasn’t been connected and everyone tried to run their tools off one generator that’s outside and you’re on the second floor with a 100ft extension cord. Then at the end of the day trying to roll up that long cord that’s frozen stiff or been pushed into the mud and frozen in the ground.

    The cordless tools have come a long way. If you buy one I think you’ll really appreciate the power and longevity they have now and cant be beat in convenience.

  27. Bobby T Says:

    25, Kit, it occurred to me after I responded that I should have mentioned that I am on my third or fourth battery. The current one is six years old, but since it is no longer my primary drill, I don’t mind the more frequent recharging, which is why I would replace them in the past. I like the lightweight feel of the Makita. I notice that they use a lot of battery tools on This Old House. I can’t find anything on the battery that says what type it is, but I’m pretty sure it’s a NiCad.

  28. JWH Says:

    Cordless tools – While I have some 50 year old Craftsman corded tools, I tend to use Dewalt 6 tool set that was 18v ni-cad when new & now use 20v Li-ion batteries for their cordless convenience. The Li-ion batteries greatly improve battery life compared to the original Ni-Cads.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 It sounds like Makita does a good job of keeping batteries available for a number of years.

    I normally use tools where power is conveniently available. If I used them away from convenient power, I’d probably have battery tools, accepting that they probably wouldn’t last 70 years like corded tools. I’m old enough now that 20 years would almost definitely be “long enough.”

  30. Bobby T Says:

    29, yeah, “lifetime “ has a different meaning to me than it did 20-40 years ago. I just turned 79.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 I’m 74.