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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a number of news sources on this, but consumer reports listed the most reliable brands.

Hybrids did well, but plug In hybrids and all electric vehicles did relatively poorly. GM, Ford and Hyundai did not do well.

 

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I've disagreed with CR in the past.

My Volt and Bolt have been about as flawless as you can get. In over 11 years I have spent under $1000 on the Volt's maintenance. Nothing on the 2017 Bolt EV. That said, the Volt needed an oil hose replaced (free) at 30k miles, the passenger seat heater ($200) at 70K miles. The Bolt had it's battery pack replaced (free), took 1 day after the battery arrived, the car was driveable all along.

I'd like to see what facts the results were based on. For example, there is an ongoing supply chain issue for 2016-2019 Volts needing a new BECM. The wait is 3-4 months. People are not happy. The car can't be driven. There is a limited and very expensive supply of battery sections for 2011-2015 Volts with an expired warranty. People are not happy. Unlike the Ultium-based EV's, they can't just swap in whatever new modules are coming from the factory. I imagine any of those drivers would ding GM on that.

Are those relevant to the new Chevy Equinox EV? I say no. Like negative reviews on Amazon, you need to look at what the issue was and whether it would affect you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How this report affects my own judgement is not very great, but it does reinforce my belief that my preference is to buy a vehicle where there is a dealer nearby.

The Ioniq 5 has won award after award, but if you go on the forums, like all forums, people talk about their problems. There are enough problems that it concerns me the closest Hyundai dealer for me is an hour and half, while the closest GM dealer is 15 minutes away.

When we make our final decision next year of which one to actually order, there is a big check mark for the Equinox EV, for dealer proximity.

I have owned two vehicles that were the first year for that vehicle and both were trouble free, so my expectations for the Equinox EV that it will be an reliable vehicle.

I have seen many JD Power surveys that list GM vehicles at the tip of the list.
 

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How this report affects my own judgement is not very great, but it does reinforce my belief that my preference is to buy a vehicle where there is a dealer nearby.

The Ioniq 5 has won award after award, but if you go on the forums, like all forums, people talk about their problems. There are enough problems that it concerns me the closest Hyundai dealer for me is an hour and half, while the closest GM dealer is 15 minutes away.

When we make our final decision next year of which one to actually order, there is a big check mark for the Equinox EV, for dealer proximity.

I have owned two vehicles that were the first year for that vehicle and both were trouble free, so my expectations for the Equinox EV that it will be an reliable vehicle.

I have seen many JD Power surveys that list GM vehicles at the tip of the list.
CR simply sucks.
 

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CR simply sucks.
When the Volt came out Dec 2010, a CR editor said it would cost more per mile to drive than a gas car. Well, back then (and still today) it cost me about $1.36 to charge the Volt. That delivered 40 to 48 miles of range. Put in gasoline terms, IF gas was $1.36/gal and IF my car got 45 to 48 miles per gallon it would be on par with my Volt. There are cars like the Prius that now get that kind of range. But gas is not $1.36 per gallon now and it wasn't back then. At least not around here. That's when I knew CR was full of it.

Of course, electric costs vary depending on your location just like gas prices do.Maybe the economics were different where that guy lived. If so, he did not get into that fine point.
 

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When the Volt came out Dec 2010, a CR editor said it would cost more per mile to drive than a gas car. Well, back then (and still today) it cost me about $1.36 to charge the Volt. That delivered 40 to 48 miles of range. Put in gasoline terms, IF gas was $1.36/gal and IF my car got 45 to 48 miles per gallon it would be on par with my Volt. There are cars like the Prius that now get that kind of range. But gas is not $1.36 per gallon now and it wasn't back then. At least not around here. That's when I knew CR was full of it.

Of course, electric costs vary depending on your location just like gas prices do. Maybe the economics were different where that guy lived. If so, he did not get to that fine point.
I'm glad you decided without their advice. CR typically hates American brands to start with. When I had my 2014 Jeep Cherokee they gave it a crappy review. Meanwhile, I had zero issues with it and really loved owning it at the time.
 

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It's still some what too early to compare EV reliability to ICE vehicles. The Bolt battery issue was a "major set back" but seems to be corrected. Plus GM has moved onto a different type battery for other EV's. What might be of some concern is the reliability of a first year model EV, versus say the same EV built two or three years later. Just saying when a new car model or EV model comes out there's always some driving issue or performance issue that seems to pop up. So you got a new manufacturing facility in Mexico for the Equinox EV build, a completely new model that's never really been tested short term or long term and new GM workers in Mexico learning on the job. Sure hope GM gets things right the first time when new EV's come out in 2024. No one likes to see recalls - especially me.
 

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The Chevy Equinox EV production plant has been producing cars for years, it's not their first car. The production line will be new of course. It opened in 1981 and has manufactured Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, and Saab vehicles. It currently produces the Chevrolet Blazer. This is not any different than GM installing a new line in Hamtramck, MI.
 

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Understand but its the first EV production car produced in Ramos Arizpe. GM Authority recently reported that General Motors is beginning work at the Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant for the production of electric vehicles starting next year at the complex. The all-new Chevy Equinox EV will be the first zero-emission vehicle made at the automaker’s most strategic plant in Mexico.

You might disagree Steverino - but like all new things that get built or manufactured - there is a learning curve when producing something totally new. Hopefully GM has done their homework with well trained staff in Mexico to provide future Equinox EV's owners "no EV operating set backs". Year one on.
 

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Understand but its the first EV production car produced in Ramos Arizpe. GM Authority recently reported that General Motors is beginning work at the Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant for the production of electric vehicles starting next year at the complex. The all-new Chevy Equinox EV will be the first zero-emission vehicle made at the automaker’s most strategic plant in Mexico.

You might disagree Steverino - but like all new things that get built or manufactured - there is a learning curve when producing something totally new. Hopefully GM has done their homework with well trained staff in Mexico to provide future Equinox EV's owners "no EV operating set backs". Year one on.
smithlavon483 You're spot on! I speak with a bit of experience when I say a new production line presents problems that in the best scenario are expected, and in the worse are totally unexpected. I worked for an Aluminum Co. back in the initial days of the so called "Body in White" concept. We would take full pallets of sheet Aluminum into Ford & GM stamping plants trying to sweet talk the press operators into small changes in their set up and depending on what sort of mood the operators were in or how the Aluminum sheets were positioned many times determined if a given stamping trial was successful or not.I've read comments on another thread here that imply that it's no problem to make changes in switching stamped body panels such as from a GM EV to the Honda. I can assure you it is not that easy. One needs to consider material, Steel or Aluminum, sheet thickness, as all require material specific press setup and specific lubrication requirements which might or might not have to be changed.We were called the "Boy's in Da Hood" at one of the GM stamping plants as we struggled to get a "clean" stamped piece for a Chevy inner and outer hood piece done while we were
conducting a trial.
Engineering Rectangle Motor vehicle Machine Auto part
 

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Chip. you've highlighted why GM produces pre-production cars to shake out any issues (stamping, whatever) before the real production starts. It's standard practice. These lines don't just start pumping out cars from a standing start. Pre-production testing is also performed and is comprised of three parts: 1) mule testing, 2) early prototype vehicle testing and 3) their production line.

For example, General Motors' pre-production Bolt EV test vehicles - IVER ( integrated engineering vehicle release) numbered somewhere between 55 to nearly 100 These vehicles were tested for approximately 1 year following mule testing, and were first spotted 1.5 years prior to production start.

These integration test vehicles include virtually all of the parts that will go into later production examples and are generally built from production tools. These vehicles usually appear 18 to 24 months before production start. In the case of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, almost 100 integration test vehicles were built starting in early 2015. These integration test vehicles go through a staggering array of tests to make sure everything works as intended and continues to work over the expected lifetime of the car.

GM’s manufacturing validation of vehicles made on the line (and also testing of all the production line machines) starts 6-9 months before formal production. It is broken into 2 phases: PPV (or production process validation) and MVB or (manufacturing validation build).

For the Chevrolet Bolt EV the entire pre-production testing and manufacturing validation lasted 2 years from the date they first showed the Bolt EV concept vehicle. Quite a feat since the Bolt EV had an all new battery pack, power train and body.

When GM fired up the line, they had an initial production rate of 9 vehicles/hour (ref 5) = 360 cars per week.

Yes, bolting in a battery and bolting in an engine are not exactly the same, but not that different either. It's still assembly. And the rest of the car is more of the same. Struts, wheels, seats, dash, windows, doors, paint, etc. Same work, different car. They aren't switching from bolting car components together to building airplanes. And they don't juts fire up a new line and ship what comes out to customers.

 

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Understand but it's the first EV production car produced in Ramos Arizpe. GM Authority recently reported that General Motors is beginning work at the Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant for the production of electric vehicles starting next year at the complex. The all-new Chevy Equinox EV will be the first zero-emission vehicle made at the automaker’s most strategic plant in Mexico.

You might disagree Steverino - but like all new things that get built or manufactured - there is a learning curve when producing something totally new. Hopefully, GM has done its homework with well-trained staff in Mexico to provide future Equinox EV owners "no EV operating setbacks". Year one is on.
I did have a 2018 Jeep Compass with the new design manufactured in Mexico. As much as I would like to have an American product made in America for patriotic purposes products made in Mexico are mostly made by robots. The workforce generally installs the doors to the frame, lays out the wiring harnesses, installs seats, carpeting, and some other small tasks. Most of the vital parts like transmission, motor, and battery are programmed by a machine/robot to do most of the work. And parts are made all over the world nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Like Evan1 said robots do a lot of the critical work. I just got off the phone with my cousin who worked on GM’s line in various capacities for 30+ years and his Dad also worked for GM.

He said that the Welding work is done by robots and they do it better. Lots of other tasks are also done by robots.

He also described to me what he calls containment. That if a problem is found, all of the vehicles affected are contained and are fixed before proceeding down the line. He said there are many processes to ensure quality.

He also said that a certain amount of the vehicle is basically like any other vehicle, so the skills to build it are already ingrained.

He worked at the Oshawa plant and told me that the Oshawa plant and the Mexico plant consistently won the highest quality plant for GM.

Will the Equinox’s produced in the following years be better, likely, but it will be likely because of technological improvements as opposed to anything to do with the quality of the build.
 

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products made in Mexico are mostly made by robots
Lot's of parts are delivered, lifted, dropped, positioned, welded, glued, riveted, painted by robot's. People are still needed (robots aren't flexible enough to do it all), but what it takes to assemble an EV is not different than an ICE other than the parts. The assembly crew is not designing batteries or coding software.

Again, before production cars roll of the line the same tooling was used to make "practice cars". Lot's of testing and adjustment are made as needed. Aluminum hood stamping has a problem? It gets fixed.

Of course a problem could arise in actual production if something sneaks through QC or a machine get's out of spec. Let's say Alcoa changes it's alloy in some way and hoods are no longer forming per spec. Or a paint supplier changes an ingredient. But none of that is because it's a new car line.

I've toured the Hamtramck and Bowling Green assembly lines. It's very interesting if you ever get a chance. If you haven't seen an assembly line here's a compilation. Set playback to fastest speed.
 

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When the Volt came out Dec 2010, a CR editor said it would cost more per mile to drive than a gas car. Well, back then (and still today) it cost me about $1.36 to charge the Volt. That delivered 40 to 48 miles of range. Put in gasoline terms, IF gas was $1.36/gal and IF my car got 45 to 48 miles per gallon it would be on par with my Volt. There are cars like the Prius that now get that kind of range. But gas is not $1.36 per gallon now and it wasn't back then. At least not around here. That's when I knew CR was full of it.

Of course, electric costs vary depending on your location just like gas prices do.Maybe the economics were different where that guy lived. If so, he did not get into that fine point.
As much as I'm not "Anti-EV", I'm also not blindly "pro" anything. CR is right here. Let's look at a car for 10 years of ownership. The Base Volt is 34K to buy, the base Cruze is 21K. Now, the volt had 7.5K rebate, but this is calculated AFTER VAT. So let's do California for example:

Volt=34,000*1.075(VAT) - 7,500= 29,000
Cruze= 21,000*1.075= 22,575
Over 10 years, that's -$642 for the Volt so far
So already, you have to save $642 in fuel just to break even. Gas prices were $3.13/Gallon in CA in 2019.
The Cruze does about 30 mpg, while the Volt does about 42mpg, that's a 12 mpg difference, or more like a 40% savings.
So you have to spend $642/1.4= $1605 per year on gas just to break even in 10 years!


I know this is on a plug-in Hybrid, so I ran the same calculation with EVs (using the price of electricity in my area) and deducting all the maintenance that isn't shared on the two (So deducting spark plugs, tranny flush, differential oil, transfer case oil, engine oil changes, exhaust leaks, etc...But NOT deducting what I paid for suspension work, trim, etc.). I compared vehicles of the same size. I tried my best to stick with the same manufacturer as possible (So, Hyundai Kona vs. Kona EV, Soul vs. Soul EV, etc.), but when that wasn't possible, I compared it to the car I will actually buy. Like, the RVR is an awesome bang for the buck in the cross-over segment. They have a 10-year powertrain warranty (in Canada), and 5 years bumper-to-bumper.

The results were, that until the Equinox EV came out, the break-even point would be at least 7 years (with my driving habits). With the Equinox EV, in Canada (13K CAD rebate), I save 400 CAD FROM DAY 1, and then about 1300/year every year going forward.

That's why I reserved a spot for one. For most people, it's not about performance or the environment....Most people want to get from A to B at the lowest price possible, and until now, EVs didn't make that type of sense. The Bolt is okay, but ICE cars that size could be bought for half its price. The Equinox EV is a true game-changer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Everyone will have their own reason for buying any car. We are getting an All electric EV because of the environment, to try and do our little part. I know I can get better and cheaper ICE vehicles with more range. Maybe eventually with the EV, we will save money on maintenance and gas costs, especially if gas prices really jump again.

I make maple syrup as a hobby, hence my handle. It costs me way, way more to make it, then to buy it, but I get enjoyment out of making it. For the EV, trying to help the environment is what tips the scale for me.
 

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I bought the 2011 Volt for a number of reasons in no particular order:
1) Gas prices were high, my electric costs low. Economics-ish
2) I liked the idea of a dual fuel source (electric and gas). Boy Scout "always Be Prepared"
3) I wanted to reward GM for doing the car. Encourage good behavior, put your money where your mouth is.
4) I want to reduce pollution. The science is irrefutable to me, we need to stop talking, start doing.
5) the idea of an electric car excited me. I'm living in the future in a Jetsons sort of way.
6) The car looked good. I'm not one who needs sexy, but nice is a plus.
8) Do my part to lessen oil dependence. Middle East, Oil cartels, oil companies jerking us around.

Yes, I could have bought a cheaper car. I could have bought and less expensive used car (my norm). But for the reasons above I bought the first year Volt with no regret. I also point to people spending more on granite countertops when much less expensive Formica would do just as well. It's not exclusively about the money.

I bought the 2017 Bolt EV for a slightly different set of reasons:
1) It was time to replace our gas-powered car.
2) The Volt educated me on the pros and cons of electric range. The Bolt would fit 99% of our needs.
3) I actually like the "space wagon" styling. Feel free to disagree.
4) It's fun to drive,
5) I wanted to reward GM for doing the car. Encourage good behavior, put your money where your mouth is.
6) Gas prices were high, my electric costs low. Economics-ish
7) I want to reduce pollution. The science is irrefutable to me, we need to stop talking, start doing.
8) the idea of an electric car excited me. I'm living in the future in a Jetsons sort of way.
9) F the oil cartels, big oil companies.

Why I'm looking at the Chevy Equinox EV:
1) I'll need a Volt replacement. It'll be 13 years old. It's battery tech is unfortunately not engineered like the Ultium platform.
2) The Ultium platform. Assuming GM executes on the replaceable brick capability by supporting reasonably priced replacement bricks after warranty, this is a game changer compared to the "must replace the whole battery pack" Tesla approach, or the who knows what we will do approach everyone else seems to have, Ultium promises a "future proofed" battery solution.
3) The car styling looks very nice.
4) The range will be good.
5) Price will be in line with what I paid for the Volt and Bolt
6) I want to reward GM for the car, encourage them to do it more.
7) F the oil companies :) Notice how they are raking in record profits while keeping gas pump prices high. F them!
 

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I bought the 2011 Volt for a number of reasons in no particular order:
1) Gas prices were high, my electric costs low. Economics-ish
2) I liked the idea of a dual fuel source (electric and gas). Boy Scout "always Be Prepared"
3) I wanted to reward GM for doing the car. Encourage good behavior, put your money where your mouth is.
4) I want to reduce pollution. The science is irrefutable to me, we need to stop talking, start doing.
5) the idea of an electric car excited me. I'm living in the future in a Jetsons sort of way.
6) The car looked good. I'm not one who needs sexy, but nice is a plus.
8) Do my part to lessen oil dependence. Middle East, Oil cartels, oil companies jerking us around.

Yes, I could have bought a cheaper car. I could have bought and less expensive used car (my norm). But for the reasons above I bought the first year Volt with no regret. I also point to people spending more on granite countertops when much less expensive Formica would do just as well. It's not exclusively about the money.

I bought the 2017 Bolt EV for a slightly different set of reasons:
1) It was time to replace our gas-powered car.
2) The Volt educated me on the pros and cons of electric range. The Bolt would fit 99% of our needs.
3) I actually like the "space wagon" styling. Feel free to disagree.
4) It's fun to drive,
5) I wanted to reward GM for doing the car. Encourage good behavior, put your money where your mouth is.
6) Gas prices were high, my electric costs low. Economics-ish
7) I want to reduce pollution. The science is irrefutable to me, we need to stop talking, start doing.
8) the idea of an electric car excited me. I'm living in the future in a Jetsons sort of way.
9) F the oil cartels, big oil companies.

Why I'm looking at the Chevy Equinox EV:
1) I'll need a Volt replacement. It'll be 13 years old. It's battery tech is unfortunately not engineered like the Ultium platform.
2) The Ultium platform. Assuming GM executes on the replaceable brick capability by supporting reasonably priced replacement bricks after warranty, this is a game changer compared to the "must replace the whole battery pack" Tesla approach, or the who knows what we will do approach everyone else seems to have, Ultium promises a "future proofed" battery solution.
3) The car styling looks very nice.
4) The range will be good.
5) Price will be in line with what I paid for the Volt and Bolt
6) I want to reward GM for the car, encourage them to do it more.
7) F the oil companies :) Notice how they are raking in record profits while keeping gas pump prices high. F them!

Don't get me wrong...I like that I ALSO help the environment. Especially in Quebec, where the electricity is 100% renewable (Hydro). All your other reasons are also good. But I was responding only to the "Savings" part of the conversation. That calculation can't be made in a vacuum.

For me, the largest emotional reason (not financial) to get an EV was to be able to say "F U, OPEC". I never wanted a hybrid because it's the best, but also the worst of both worlds (You still have all the fluids to take care of, and an electric component on top of that). I wanted an EV for many years, but I said I'll only get one when I can break even in 2 years or less (Compared to ANY car the same size). The Equinox is the first I've seen that does that. I really hope they don't screw us all and jack up the price or do something like 1LT=$31K, 2LT=$40K.
 

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Chip. you've highlighted why GM produces pre-production cars to shake out any issues (stamping, whatever) before the real production starts. It's standard practice. These lines don't just start pumping out cars from a standing start. Pre-production testing is also performed and is comprised of three parts: 1) mule testing, 2) early prototype vehicle testing and 3) their production line.

For example, General Motors' pre-production Bolt EV test vehicles - IVER ( integrated engineering vehicle release) numbered somewhere between 55 to nearly 100 These vehicles were tested for approximately 1 year following mule testing, and were first spotted 1.5 years prior to production start.
Steverino; I can assure you that your beliefs are not based on production realities. I can give you more than a few cases of issues showing up after the pre-production vehicles are long gone. Early owners were, are, and will continue to be the proving grounds / beta testers for new model vehicles. I will also point out to those that believe that robot conducted operations is the saviour for a quality automotive production that this is not always the case.Those robots are only as precise as the programing that goes into them. By example I'll mention a problem that Ford had with a robot sealing operation on (at the time) the new generation 2015 Ford Edge. The problem was caught by the early owners and showed up as water accumulating in the front foot wells. It would be later discovered that there was a problem in the placement of beads of sealant between body / structure junctions which caused the issue. A delivery hold was placed on new vehicles held at dealers for all 2015 Edge's, but it was really too late as many were already in the hands of very unhappy owners. Ford determined that all Edge 2015 vehicles produced between 06/25/2014 - 04/28/2015 were suspected of having this problem before the source of the problem was corrected. Long story short Ford ended up buying back many of the affected vehicles because dealers could not do a field repair that worked. Sadly this sort of thing happens in the world of production. Sometimes these issues get discovered in pre-production other times not.
 

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Sure, it's like the LED vs, incandescent lighting discussion. "freedom lovers" in Texas and Oklahoma started hoarding incandescent bulbs rather than switch to "expensive" LED or CFL's. Long term cost of ownership due to electric consumption was not part of their decision making criteria. They looked only at the initial cost.

Also not part of their thinking: the extra heat load that incandescents generate which must then be dealt with by more air conditioning.

Yes, LED's are more expensive at purchase, but total cost of ownership? Way less. I just replaced some (more) 4 foot 34W florescents with ballast bypass 16W LED's from Cree. With a CRI of 90+ the light quality is way better and I've just cut my electric use in half.

So EV deniers can talk about higher upfront cost, but that difference continues to shrink. Meanwhile, my brakes are basically lifetime and my service schedule is crazy. Visual inspections, tire rotations, passenger air filter replacement. And every 5 years, cooling system and brake fluid replacement. That's it! Most I can easily do myself, but I'll let the dealer do the cooling system.

I can give you more than a few cases of issues showing up after the pre-production vehicles are long gone. Early owners were, are, and will continue to be the proving grounds / beta testers for new model vehicles. I will also point out to those that believe that robot conducted operations is the saviour for a quality automotive production that this is not always the case.Those robots are only as precise as the programing that goes into them.
No doubt and no argument, Chip. Still, both my Volt and Bolt were early production and had no issues. An oil hose leak at 30k miles on one and the battery recall on the other. Neither are what I'd consider a first year production line issue. Both were a part supplier issue. YMMV

So I'm not saying there can't be issues. The Hummer EV had some roof panel leaks for example. Not sure if that was assembly, part, or bad design, but it was fixed. Some Gen 2 Volts are experiencing BECM failure. Again, a faulty part, not an assembly issue.
 
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