Cadillac confirms ELR coupe; more Chinese EVs; the retro range-extender and excess poundage…

May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

GM has confirmed production of the Cadillac ELR, first seen as the Converj concept, for the 2014 model-year. This is a coupe using the Chevy Volt’s range-extended electric powertrain; both Volt and Converj will, for 2014, see this enhanced for improved all-electric range. The ELR will be launched first in North America, with exports to Europe and China to follow. More at GM Inside News.

  • Some more EVs from the Beijing Auto Show. Edmunds Inside Line has pics of the Roewe E50 (previously seen as the E1), said to be going into production this autumn. The range is claimed to be nearly 120 miles, and top speed 80mph, though it’s intended as an urban commuter. It can be recharged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes. Roewe’s parent company, Shanghai Auto, plans to make around 1000 this year but is also planning a more versatile plug-in hybrid saloon based on the Roewe 750. Spec for the R550 is said to be a 1.5-litre petrol engine with electric motor and a 30-mile all-electric range.
  • There’s the lowdown on the CH-Auto EVs at paultan.org. The Audi-esque two-seater coupe is called Lithia, and the other is a low-speed Smart-style city car with wi-fi called Cylent; both are just prototypes at this stage.
  • ┬áTechnologic Vehicles has video and a story about the PGO Hemera EV project, a range-extended EV based on the Porsche 356-alike built by PGO Automobiles in France. This prototype has been developed by a team from EMASIA, a school for engineering apprentices, and features an E85-compatible two-cylinder Lombardi engine acting as a generator, plus body panels made from flax fibres and interior panels from cork. As college projects go, it’s a pretty one.
  • If you want to cut fuel consumption, lose weight. No, not from the car: we’re talking about the implications of obese drivers and passengers. The Atlantic has a rather horrifying figure to tout – obesity wastes more than a billion gallons of gas a year, apparently. Reminds me of the time I eavesdropped on a conversation between a group of well-upholstered motoring hacks earnestly discussing how to shave a few kilograms from their track-day cars (“I’m going to strip out all the interior trim”…), and had to resist the urge to suggest eating fewer free dinners.
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