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2014 Chevy Volt

General Motors is cutting the price of its Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle by $5,000 for the 2014 model year in the hopes of driving sales higher, even though the company already loses money on every Volt it sells.
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Chevy Volt

No matter what the outcome of the investigation into a recent Chevrolet Volt fire following an NHTSA crash test, the discussion about the Volt and its battery is already proving useful.
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TRANSLOGIC world report

Welcome to TRANSLOGIC World Report: Your weekly roundup of transportation tech news from around the web.
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In the wake of the Chevy Volt fire at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) test facility earlier this year, the governmental organization has been pushing to require EV battery drainage after car accidents, The Detroit Free Press reported.
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Chevy Volt gets charged from the sun.

The best part about plug-in cars is when the energy coming from the socket is renewable. With more solar-powered charging stations on the way, EVs look to have an even greater impact on reducing our dependance on fossil fuels. GM has recently begun installing these solar-powered charging canopies at two U.S. dealerships with 22 more on the way. The coolest part is they're free for any electric vehicle driver.
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Nissan Leaf does well with V2G

It's no secret that EVs are cheaper to drive per mile than gas vehicles. If you're driving a petrol-powered car, you're paying more for your energy than the guy next to you in a Nissan Leaf. But, EVs could also house a golden goose that can actually make money for their owners.
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Everyone has a trick up his sleeve to save on the electric bill around the house, so why not seek the same on the road?
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If you're among those waiting for the Volt's price to drop before buying, then today is your day. Well...sort of. GM announced earlier today that they will be shaving $1,005 off the base price of the 2012 Chevy Volt. Of course, there's one small catch.
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Chevy Volt

TRANSLOGIC 51 has Bradley sitting in a familiar spot, behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Volt. Now that the Volt is a real car you can actually buy, here are a few details you may have missed.
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Chevrolet MyLink

General Motors finally has an answer to Ford's AppLink and Toyota's Entune system, and in comes in the form of Chevrolet MyLink.

Unveiled at tonight's Engadget Show, MyLink connects to your smartphone and allows you to access apps directly through either the steering wheel-mounted controls, the seven-inch touchscreen or voice commands powered by Nuance's voice-recognition technology. By tethering your Android or Blackberry through Bluetooth, you can make calls, stream music and perform a host of other functions without having to fiddle with your phone, and iOS devices aren't left out of the party. Both the iPhone and iPod Touch are supported, but unlike the Android and Blackberry solution, Bluetooth integration isn't supported yet, so you'll have to plug in your iDevice using Apple's proprietary 30-pin connector and USB input.

GM will launch MyLink later this year on the Chevrolet Volt and its high-riding sibling, the Equinox, and our sources tell us that the next vehicle to get the system will be the recently introduced Chevy Cruze.

At launch, the only two supported apps are Stitcher and Pandora radio – a good duo to launch with – but we've been assured that more apps will be integrated in the future and GM is planning to introduce an app portal to access future add-ons. However, tethered apps aren't the only trick bit of kit coming to the MyLink party.

The SiriusXM system comes packing a new interface complete with contextual background images based on the station you're tuned into and if you're not packing a compatible smartphone, you can slot in a USB device or memory card to access your tunes. When you do, OnStar's data connection hooks up with Gracenote's music identification service in the cloud and identifies all your tracks.

The voice recognition system allows you to use natural commands to call up specific tracks (i.e. "Play Building Steam with a Grain of Salt"), make phone calls ("Call John") and access navigation information.

GM hasn't given us an exact date on when MyLink is set to roll out (likely this summer) or what the option will cost, but we do know that all models will be available with PowerMat's inductive charging system. In the meantime, get more details in the press release below and check out Engadget's hands on video to see the system in action.

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Chevrolet MyLink Creates Smart Phones on Wheels

Smart interface design allows drivers to take advantage of mobile communications technology while the phone remains safely stowed

NEW YORK – Consumers who seek a higher level of in-vehicle wireless connectivity and customized infotainment options, plus the unmatched safety and security of OnStar need look no further than the 2012 Chevy Volt and Equinox.

When these vehicles go on sale later this year, they will be the first to offer Chevy MyLink – an in-car infotainment package that builds on the safety and security of OnStar and seamlessly integrates online services like Pandora® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio® using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth device connectivity.

"There is a new generation of car buyers who don't want to settle for mass market radio," said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. "They want to create their own individual stations and have access to them wherever they are. Chevrolet vehicles have offered customers the ability to use portable media devices since 2006 and the introduction of MyLink takes media personalization to a new level. "

MyLink adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smart phones, building on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability already offered in most Chevy vehicles. MyLink also includes a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color touch screen display that makes media selection easy to navigate.

"Chevrolet MyLink is the next logical step for in-vehicle connectivity," said Karl Stracke, vice president for Global Product Engineering. "MyLink leverages the mobile broadband capability and the sophisticated, online services made possible by today's smart phones."

MyLink retains all the capabilities of today's entertainment units, including AM/FM/XM tuners, CD player with MP3 playback, auxiliary and USB inputs. But, Stracke says, "These are the essentials and we're building from there."

Among the new benefits provided by MyLink:

• Enhanced hands-free voice control system powered by Nuance®, which allows simple voice commands to initiate phone calls and select radio stations or media from portable MP3 players and smartphones. A tap of a button on the steering wheel enables intuitive verbal control of smartphone applications like "play (artist name)" or "call (name of contact)" to keep the driver's hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

• Pandora® internet radio allows users to create personalized radio stations based on favorite artists or genres and Stitcher SmartRadio® enables access to thousands of audio programming choices allowing customers to build a personalized listening experience. MyLink integrates control of both of these apps for a driver directed listening experience.

• Gracenote®: identifies the music collection on the driver's smartphone or MP3 player and presents information such artist name, genres and album cover art on the MyLink screen and enables users to select similar music to the tunes they love. Gracenote also improves the accuracy of MyLink's voice activation system by allowing users to access music using artist nicknames, such as "The Boss," "G.N.R," or "The Fab Four" simply by using MyLink's touch-screen or steering wheel buttons and voice control interfaces.

• Upgraded USB connectivity: While Chevrolet has offered auxiliary device connectivity since 2006, MyLink adds flash memory capability to its USB device connections. This provides users with the ability to access approved applications that will make their MyLink system even more functional, while assuring that driver's maintain eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

The debut of Chevy MyLink extends the OnStar experience from safety and security to information and entertainment by seamlessly integrating the capability of a smartphone into the vehicle so that hand-held phones may be safely stowed while driving. .

When OnStar debuted in 1996, it pioneered in-vehicle connectivity with the auto industry's first embedded telematics system. It has grown from primarily offering automatic crash notification and security features to include remote vehicle diagnostics, turn-by-turn navigation and the ability to slow down stolen vehicles.

In November 2010, OnStar released a smartphone application for all 2011 Chevy vehicles that incorporated remote start, lock/unlock, and vehicle status checks as well as battery management functions for Volt owners. Volt owners also have the website to provide those remote management features and other Chevy owners soon will have access to similar web-based OnStar services.

The combination of MyLink and OnStar will soon be joined by the integration of the Powermat® charging system – eliminating the need for charging cords. Chevrolet MyLink will be available beginning with the 2012 Chevrolet Volt and Equinox this fall before expanding to other vehicles in the Chevy lineup over the next 18 months.
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OnStar Smart Grid

Not content to cede the high-tech mobile charging space to Ford, General Motors' OnStar division is showing off a new smart energy management solution for the Chevrolet Volt.

The system gathers data about charging times and energy rates and can inform Volt owners of the optimum time to charge their extended-range EVs via email, allowing them to schedule charges during lower-rate periods. Owners will have to opt in for the service, and while it's not quite as trick as the Blue Oval's MyFord Mobile app, the possibility of releasing an update to the OnStar smartphone app is certainly in the cards. Full details in the press blast below.

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OnStar to Show Smart Energy Management Solutions

New technologies at DistribuTECH will help utilities and electric vehicle customers

SAN DIEGO – Smart energy management technologies from OnStar that will help electric vehicle customers and utilities plan better and save money will be demonstrated at DistribuTECH, the utility industry's leading smart grid conference and exposition.

Each of the demonstrations will highlight how OnStar can be used with smart grid technology to efficiently manage the electricity demand of electric vehicles. A Chevrolet Volt, the world's first electric vehicle with extended range capability, will be used in the demonstrations.

"Managing electricity supply and demand has always been extremely complex," said Nick Pudar, Vice President of Planning and Business Development at OnStar. "The embedded technology of OnStar allows for accurate monitoring and controlling of the energy used by electric vehicles like the Volt. No other telematics service can offer these capabilities."

The demonstrations will include:

Demand response – This solution will connect utilities to companies like GE and Comverge that have intelligent energy management products. GE and Comverge will demonstrate the use of OnStar to continually monitor and manage energy usage for Volt customers who opt in for the service. This future service allows the customer to save money on energy costs while enabling more efficient use of the electric grid.

Time-of-Use (TOU) rates -- OnStar can receive dynamic time-of-use pricing from utilities and notify Volt owners of the rate plan offers via email. Owners can use OnStar to load the rate plans directly into their vehicle and access them to schedule charging during lower-rate periods.

Data gathering -- OnStar also sends and receives EV data that helps utility providers without having to interface with the vehicle's electric vehicle supply equipment. This includes location-based EV data that identifies charging locations and determines potential load scenarios.

Vehicle-to-Home Integration Technology-OnStar will be exhibiting alongside Tendril at Booth #1329 to provide attendees with a look at how the Tendril technology platform enables vehicle-to-home integration, simplifying energy management and the implications for future connected home applications.

The integration and demonstration of these OnStar smart energy management technologies is part of a demonstration program with participating utilities across the United States. The program is made possible with a grant of more than $30 million from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
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Imagine yourself a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur. You're into electric vehicles, and you drive a Tesla Roadster. One of your friends scored a lease on a Mini-E. Another imported a Mitsubishi i-MiEV from Japan. Your pal down the block has a GEM. Even your gardener is green, and hauls his electric lawn mower around in a nearly antique 1998 Ford Ranger EV.

What do all of these vehicles have in common? Unfortunately, not their charging plugs.
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