GM solves software problems, puts Chevy Blazer EV back on the market – Charged EVs

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The EV press has covered GM’s problems with its new Ultium vehicles in great detail, so now that the company has its new Chevrolet Blazer EV back on the market, it’s only fair that we report on how the company overcame the software issues that forced it to pause sales.

Software is a key component of any EV, so when InsideEVs and Edmunds encountered frustrating software problems during road tests of the Blazer EV—one of GM’s most anticipated new electric models—it cast some shade on the automaker’s grand plans for a new generation of EVs built on the Ultium platform.

The embarrassing software issue wasn’t the only problem in Ultiumville—the entire Ultium lineup was suffering from production delays caused by problems with the automated machinery that assembles the Ultium battery modules.

GM assures us that that problem is now under control, and so is the Blazer’s (apparently unrelated) software snafu.

“We discovered, [as media testers and some customers did], that there were intermittent issues with the in-vehicle screens, or some of them were kind of going dark,” Baris Cetinok, GM’s VP of Product, Software and Services, told InsideEVs. Also, “in rare instances, there were issues where [we] attempted to DC fast charge at certain public stations. It was not all public stations, but it was certain public stations.”

Cetinok said the screen glitches and the charging faults were unrelated, but both were caused by a combination of software problems—the fix required no replacement of physical parts. The problems were specific to the Blazer EV, and didn’t affect other Ultium cars. They were not related to GM’s decision to stop using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Once the bugs were squashed, GM did a heroic amount of real-world testing before putting the Blazer EV back on sale. Testers drove 40 Blazer EVs across the country for up to 400 miles per day, in addition to performing “virtualized” testing. “Some days, the fleet was putting in 16,000 miles a day across the country, testing driving conditions, charging conditions and everything else under the sun,” Cetinok told InsideEVs.

Once everything checked out, the new software was flashed to the vehicles sitting at dealerships. These are now ready for sale, and to get them moving, Chevy has slashed prices by $5,600-$6,500, depending on the trim level. The Blazer EV LT AWD now starts at $50,195, and the RS starts at $54,595. The Blazer is eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit.

The new software update also adds a few new features, including ambient lighting with selectable colors and a new digital gauge cluster that includes a battery percentage display.

Sources: InsideEVs, Out of Spec Podcast, Car and Driver



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