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GM lops $5,000 off Chevy Volt price for 2014

General Motors slashed the price on the 2014 Chevy Volt Tuesday, as it tries to compete more directly with the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius.

The 2014 Volt will start at $34,995, a price cut of $5,000 compared to the 2013 model.

The Volt is a plug-in hybrid (GM refers to it as an extended-range electric vehicle or E-REV) with a range of about 40 miles on electric power and another 300 to 350 miles on the range-extender gas engine.

"We have made great strides in reducing costs as we gain experience with electric vehicles and their … Read more

GM, worried about market disruption, has an eye on Tesla

General Motors is concerned enough about Tesla's competitive threat that it has formed a committee to study the budding electric-car upstart.

GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson has created a small team to study Tesla, according to a Bloomberg report.

Akerson "thinks Tesla could be a big disrupter if we're not careful," a GM executive is quoted as saying.

This could be seen as highly ironic in light of the fact that General Motors practically invented the modern electric car -- its ill-fated EV1, which was the subject of the popular documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?&… Read more

Chevy sets Spark EV price below 20 grand

Forget pricey Teslas; Chevrolet announced pricing for its Spark EV model at $27,495. If a buyer qualifies for the full federal tax credit of $7,500, that price drops to $19,995.

The Spark EV goes on sale in June but will be limited to California and Oregon. California owners will be able to apply further credits up to $2,500. Oregon may be less friendly, as the state considers charging electric car owners a special per-mile tax.

Chevrolet's announcement also notes that dealers can offer lease deals for $199 per month, and that the Spark EV will … Read more

Google talks back in new voice search

CNET Update wants answers:

In this episode of Update:

- Get chatty with Google's new voice search on the Chrome browser. But Google's still working out the kinks, so don't expect it to be flawless at first search.

- Give your home the right touch with a Kwikset Kevo door lock that opens with a finger tap.

- Hear what a Walmart executive has to say about the future of shopping with apps.

- Plan to give your future GM car some apps to call its own.

- Share your e-mail to advertisers with the click of a tweet. … Read more

GM exec: Apps coming to select cars later this year

LAS VEGAS -- General Motors is eager to get its slice of the app pie.

Mary Chan, head of the global connected consumer unit for GM, told CNET that apps would come to select cars in the second half. The initial set of apps will be per-determined by the company, will be available for download, and will make up the early stages of its in-car app store. More importantly, GM will also debut an app framework in these cars that will enable the download of future apps.

With the proliferation of the app market in mobile devices, GM -- and … Read more

Facebook and GM restore ad relationship after public spat

When General Motors pulled its $10 million advertising campaign from Facebook last year, it caused quite a commotion. Now, the carmaker seems to be having second thoughts.

GM has confirmed that it will reignite its ad campaign on the social network, according to Ad Age. This is a major turnaround from last year, when it proclaimed that Facebook ads simply didn't work.

"Chevrolet is testing a number of mobile-advertising solutions, including Facebook, as part of its 'Find New Roads' campaign," Chevrolet's U.S. VP of marketing, Chris Perry, told CNET. "Yesterday, Chevrolet launched an industry-first, '… Read more

Buick updates tech in 2014 LaCrosse

When Buick updated its LaCrosse model with its mild hybrid system, eAssist, and the IntelliLink infotainment system for the 2012 model year, the car was the most technically advanced Buick available. Rather than rest on its laurels, Buick gives the model new internal tech features for a 2014 model year update, including a new LED panel in the instrument cluster.

The 2014 LaCrosse model will feature the same drivetrain options as before, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder aided by a 15-horsepower electric motor or a more traditional 3.6-liter V-6 with direct injection.

The look gets refreshed slightly with new LED … Read more

Pandora limits free mobile streaming

CNET Update teaches you how to say Ubuntu:

Thursday's tech news roundup has bad news for Pandora addicts. Free music streaming on Pandora apps is limited to 40 hours a month -- but there's no limit for desktop users. Pandora is bringing back limits just as Spotify evolves: it's making changes to be more social, just updated its iOS app, and is going to be available on Ford's Sync AppLink. Another streaming cousin, TuneIn, also updated its site and iPad app to offer live listening recommendations.

And as Mobile World Congress coverage wraps up, we're … Read more

Ford, GM, open up to developers at CES 2013

LAS VEGAS--Ford and GM both surprised the automotive and technology worlds by announcing developer programs for their in-car software platforms, essentially replicating the ecosystem of the smartphone on the dashboard. The two launched Web sites with nearly identical URLs, developer.ford.com and developer.gm.com, to support independent development of apps for their cars.

Ford already boasts about 20 apps integrated with its Sync AppLink system, with nine new apps announced at the show. GM is behind in the dashboard app game, but the open development program should give it a jumpstart.

The programs are designed to encourage developers … Read more

Next-gen Chevy MyLink employs smartphone flexibility

LAS VEGAS--Cabin tech interfaces receive a lot of criticism for being clunky, ugly, and slow, but Chevrolet may have cracked the code by copying the smartphone. The newest generation of the MyLink infotainment system runs smoothly and employs icons that look, and can be rearranged, like those on a smartphone.

Similar to an iPhone, drivers of the new Impala will be able to put the interface into edit mode, and move icons around on the touch screen. The icons cover everything from navigation to phone to apps such as Pandora. To make the system better suited to cars, there are … Read more