• Sep 21, 2010
Chevrolet Cruze EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Chevrolet Volt hasn't yet gone on sale, but General Motors is looking at ways of expanding its electric vehicle lineup. Chevy, along with partner LG, is employing a group of all-electric cars in the form of the Cruze. The sedans are part of a demonstration fleet which is located in Seoul, South Korea and is being used to provide data in an electric vehicle research project. The goal is to gather information on driving patterns and charging behavior in addition to consumer acceptance.

The Cruze EVs, along with some Daewoo Lacetti Premieres EVs, are the first fleet of full-size electric vehicles and should provide invaluable information for The General. Staying full-size means not sacrificing cargo space, so the battery pack is mounted to the underbody, leaving the trunk area open for plenty recyclable, canvas grocery bags.

The current range of the Cruze EV is around 100 miles and the car is capable of a 0-60 run in 8.2 seconds. The Cruze EV can hit a top speed of 102.5 miles per hour. Currently, the Cruze EV can be recharged via a standard 220-volt outlet in 8 to 10 hours, however the researchers are testing "quick charge" methods to reduce that figure.

The program, which begins at the end of October, is currently a demonstration and research project for South Korea only. There have been no announcements made discussing the Cruze EV coming stateside.



[Source: General Motors]

Show full PR text
GM Extends EV Development with Demo Fleet of Electric Chevrolet Cruzes
2010-09-18
  • Developed by GM and LG for Demonstration Fleet in South Korea
  • Early Testing Estimates Up to 160 km (100 Miles) of Range on a Single Charge
  • Project to Begin by End of October
Seoul – General Motors today announced a demonstration project to explore market needs and customer acceptance of battery electric vehicles in Korea. The project involves a fleet of electric vehicles based on the successful Chevrolet Cruze. The result of shared development with GM Daewoo, LG Chem and LG Electronics, the electric Cruzes will be part of a demo fleet that will operate in South Korea's capital, Seoul.

The project is aimed at benefiting GM's core vehicle electrification competencies, which include batteries, electric motors, power controls and charging. It will provide real-world data on customer acceptance of battery electric vehicles, studying driving patterns and charging behavior while sharing costs and resources. This is a key initiative in GM's global battery and electric vehicle development strategy. The demo project is expected to launch by the end of October. GM demonstration fleets with other partners are also being launched in other urban markets later this year.

The Cruze EV demo fleet will be the first full-size sedan electric vehicles to hit the road and will be powered by batteries from LG Chem and propulsion systems (motor/inverter) from LG Electronics. GM's EV demo fleet in South Korea will consist of Chevrolet Cruzes and GM Daewoo Lacetti Premieres. GM currently markets the vehicle under the local brand in South Korea.

"This Cruze EV demonstration project reinforces GM's commitment to being a leader in the development of electric vehicles and green technologies, building on our portfolio of hybrids and the Chevrolet Volt," said Karl Stracke, Vice President, GM Global Vehicle Engineering. "We'll apply the learnings from this and our other demo projects to help us deliver the world's best vehicles for our customers."

The Cruze EV is equipped with a 31-kWh battery that generates maximum power of 150 kW. The demonstration fleet will be monitored closely to determine the amount of real-world range achievable by a vehicle of its size. On specific test schedules conducted by LG Chem, the demonstration vehicles may achieve a range of up to 160 km (100 miles). The vehicles can go from 0 to 100 km/h (60 miles per hour) in 8.2 seconds with a maximum speed of 165 km/h (102.5 miles per hour).

On a standard household 220-volt outlet, the Cruze EV can be fully recharged in 8 to 10 hours. Part of the demonstration fleet's task is to test a "quick charge" application that could reduce the charge time significantly.

"Although there is much more work to be done, our ability to develop this vehicle in less than a year offers a peek at the very promising plans we have for our customers in Korea and around the world," said Mike Arcamone, GM Daewoo President and CEO.

While battery packs often occupy trunk space, the Cruze EV's battery pack is mounted on the underbody. This gives the Cruze EV the same trunk space as conventional vehicles with gasoline engines.

"Expanding the domestic electric vehicle market carries significant meaning for collaboration between GM Daewoo and LG Chem," said Peter Bahnsuk Kim, Vice Chairman and CEO of LG Chem. "Over the past two years, we have forged a strong partnership with GM, and now we look forward to doing the same with GM Daewoo in our home country."

Since 2008, GM has been working with LG Chemical, which is the exclusive supplier of battery cells for the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range. The Volt enters the U.S. market later this year. The development of the Chevrolet Cruze EV demo fleet will expand this collaboration.


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  • 28 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      As is, the Cruze is already better than the Leaf. Hope GM rushes this car to the States.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess that in a way the Volt is a Cruze EV. They are both built on the same platform.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not really at all.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I suspect you're right. It's likely very Volt-like in places. Although if you've seen under the hood of the Volt, the engine and EV portions are all so integrated that they'd have to chuck the whole thing in order to go EV-only. So they probably did.
      • 4 Years Ago
      0-60 in 8.2 seconds is completely livable. Not far off the current crop of base model subcompacts.

      Now about that 100 mile range...and this has nothing to do with the actual range. It just seems more of the complaints seem to stem from the inconvenience of having to plug the car in to charge it more often than if the car had a broader range of usefulness. 100 miles is livable on the day to do; I suppose people just need to get used to the idea of coming home and plugging in until it's second nature.

      -R
      • 4 Years Ago
      South Koreans must not get range anxiety.

      Bob
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Range anxiety". Damn, I hate that phrase. Its like the marketing people release it and now everybody has to use it. Its not a real medical diagnosis people. Just anxiety.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "South Koreans must not get range anxiety."

        Then again, South Korea as a country fits in the area of Indiana. For them, 100 miles IS "far".
      • 4 Years Ago
      Volt killer - eventually. The more EV choices there are, the more will be on the road, resulting in more and more charging stations popping up, with less and less need for a 'range extender'. But I guess it's pretty proactive of GM by staying on top of the technology that will ultimately kill off the yet-to-be-released Volt.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for bringing that up. I was going to mention something similar. I recall that story. You are drawing the wrong conclusion from it though or misinterpreting it.

        This quote sums it up nicely, - "In a normal car, you control what the engine is doing and expect it to get louder as you put your foot down. It's a simple cause-and-effect that everyone's used to. The Volt will race the engine whenever it needs to no matter what you're doing at the moment which will be very unsettling for any driver." -

        That's the issue they are talking about, not about the engine racing to 5000RPM for extended periods as you claim will happen. I challenge you to find any reference to that. Yes, the engine will work independently of the electric motor, I mentioned exactly that in my previous comments here. That's both an advantage(from an efficiency standpoint) and a disadvantage(from a comfort standpoint).

        When the battery drops below a set level and needs more power, the engine will come online. There's no connection between you pressing the throttle and the engine working harder, that's what they are dealing with and the part that can be "unsettling".

        The only mention of higher RPMs came with this caveat, "the engine has to work harder than demanded by the pace of the car in order to bring the battery up to the minimum 30 percent state of charge after a particularly demanding bit of acceleration has drained it below that level.".

        Note, "harder that demanded by the pace of the car", not raced to 5000RPM(your claim). Big difference. That can mean a simple as you are coasting at 30mph and then the engine kicks in and is revving as though you were in 2nd gear even though you aren't accelerating much. It's those situations that they are trying to minimize, but they are possible since the ICE and the drivetrain work independently of each other. That's a unique feeling for virtually all drivers used to typical ICE vehicles.

        Driving down the highway at 60+mph does not constitute a "demanding bit of acceleration". It's actually one of the easier things a car can be asked to do.

        But yes, when you draw the battery below 30%(which it can do if necessary) or if you engage Mtn. Mode, the engine may temporarily run at a higher RPM to build the charge in the battery more quickly or to a higher level(in the case of Mtn. Mode).

        Nothing you posted there goes against anything I've already stated and none of it proves your point. Not to mention that I believe that quote came from a test drive of an older, pre-production model which didn't have the final sound deadening or engine control programs either. I know I remember reading it a while back as well.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So, is 500-3000RPM not a lot different than 5000RPM? You failed to answer anything I responded to and made absolutely no mention of the Prius which uses a similarly-sized ICE and does not have to rev to 5000RPM to keep the car going down the highway. Even a Geo Metro with its 55hp 1.0L 3cyl engine turns roughly 3000RPM at 60mph, not 5000RPM as you might think. It doesn't make it's peak power until 5700RPM either, so at 3000RPM, it's making quite a bit less, before the driveline losses.

        I think your estimate of 2500RPM is far closer to reality, the Volt's ICE can easily make enough power to maintain the charge with that RPM level. Again, the battery is a buffer. It is designed to be kept at a 30% charge level once it is run down(unless Mtn. Mode is chosen) but it can run below that level if necessary.

        The buffering nature of the battery allows to ICE to continue to pump charge into the battery at a constant rate even though the power draw from the battery will fluctuate. The ICE can run independent of the speed of the car, it's not tethered to the wheels like an ICE-only vehicle. A small car's ICE runs at those RPMs because it needs to maintain those speeds to keep the wheels moving at the RPM that is required to maintain the selected vehicle speed. You can't have the engine drop to idle(or even shut off) and expect to still continue down the highway at 70mph. The Volt can however, it does not directly drive the wheels.

        As I've stated before in other comments, the amount of time that a typical driver needs the full power of their vehicle is very small, it's either when pulling away from a stop or when passing another vehicle. Heavy hauling or towing are possible also, but not likely for the Volt, Leaf, Prius or other eco-minded cars generally. Outside of those situations, the power draw is much lower than one might think, especially when averaged out over time. There might be short spikes of higher draws, but overall, the power needed is a much lower level on average. I think you fail to grasp that important concept.

        As more info comes out, I guess we'll find out more. But I suspect that you will be proven incredibly wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Only the market would be the Volt-killer at this point, or (stretch) the Prius or other hybrid. If a Cruze EV showed, it would have a 100 mile limit (or 50 one-way and back), and then would need to stop for hrs to recharge. The Volt goes as long as their are gas stations available. 2 different animals.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Almost no one is going to go too far on gas power after the 40 mile battery range. The range extender is just for peace of mind and they're charging a premium for it. Proof of this is that Chevy has set up the Volt to start up and burn off unused gasoline before it goes bad since they figure the extender will be used so little. What backup system does an EV have? It can go 60 miles farther than the Volt.

        The Volt is mostly for people who drive less than 40 miles round trip. Or they could get a Leaf (or possibly a Cruze EV or Focus EV) and get their 40 miles plus another 60 miles just in case. And get it a lot cheaper.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Edmunds test drive
        By John O'Dell, Senior Editor
        "Engine noise was an issue for two early reviewers who said the sound of the gas engine racing when the battery needed boosting was disconcerting - and we'd agree that it was a bit off-putting the several times we experienced it.

        It was about the same as putting a conventional car into neutral and then racing the motor just a bit, the engine RPM exceeding the power needed to do what you're doing at that moment.

        Farah said GM is working on software modifications for the engine control unit that will pretty much eliminate the situation, although the entire powertrain is set up so that, at times, the engine has to work harder than demanded by the pace of the car in order to bring the battery up to the minimum 30 percent state of charge after a particularly demanding bit of acceleration has drained it below that level."

        In a normal car, you control what the engine is doing and expect it to get louder as you put your foot down. It's a simple cause-and-effect that everyone's used to. The Volt will race the engine whenever it needs to no matter what you're doing at the moment which will be very unsettling for any driver.

        Also, as I mentioned before, the Volt's way of turning gasoline into forward motion is less efficient than a Prius so the engine will have to work harder, i.e., run faster to do the job.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are incorrect on so many fronts. First, most people buying the Volt WILL be using it for long trips, but also for short drives to and from work. The Volt can go over 300 miles before needing fuel (and a recharge if wanted). That's 200 MORE than the Leaf can ever go, and the Volt need only a 5 minute refuel to go further.

        The Leaf has its virtues. For those with a 2nd vehicle for long trips, and either a short work trip or < 50 miles, it would be the better 'green' choice. It can never be used, however, for long-ish trips to see the relatives. That is why they are two ENTIRELY DIFFERENT choices.
        • 4 Years Ago
        quote from henrykrinkle: - "but I predict that anyone planning on taking the Volt on long trips regularly will be disappointed not only by the gas mileage but by the cars performance and the droning of the constantly revving engine as it struggles to maintain a 30% charge of the batteries. It'll take a lot of sound deadening material to stifle that engine while it's buzzing at 5000 rpms non-stop." -

        Does your current vehicle have to rev to 5000rpm to keep you running down the highway? Why would expect the Volt to have to? Keeping a battery charged is much easier on the engine than actually powering the vehicle directly. The battery acts as a buffer, the engine is able to run at a constant speed(efficient) and output a constant level of power. The excess power can be used to build the charge of the battery instead of just maintaining the charge. A typical ICE vehicle can't do this because the engine speed is dependent on gearing and how fast the car is moving(besides the fact that there's no battery pack). If extra power is needed instantaneously(say to climb a grade or pass another car), there's is no reserve to utilize, the engine has to produce it right then and therefore has to rev higher to produce that extra power.

        The Volt, on the other hand, has a reservoir of charge available and it can allow the range extender to continue to run at a constant speed while the battery doles out the extra power needed for that brief time.

        Most times when you are cruising down the highway, your engine is under a fairly low load, something in the range of 20-30%. This is partly why you achieve better mileage on the highway, the engine doesn't have to produce a lot of power to push you down the road. Even at 70mph, the power needed to maintain speed for an average car is much less than the max power the engine could produce. A car can easily rev at about 2,000rpm and provide enough power to keep the car at speed(most do nowadays as it is).

        Considering the aerodynamics of the Volt, at 70mph, only about 40hp will be needed to maintain speed, possibly even less. 40hp equates to about 30kW. The Volt's ICE range extender is capable of outputting 55kW(74hp). So, if it only needs to output 30kW or so to maintain the charge level of the battery, why would it need to rev to 5,000 rpm to do so? At 5,000 rpm, the engine will likely be producing close to its maximum output and would not be maintaining the charge of the battery, but actually recharging it.

        I bring up one other example as well and ask you to respond. The previous-gen Prius(2004-2009) had a 1.3L 76hp gas engine(not terribly far off of the Volt's range extender). Do you often see Priuses cruising down the highway with their engines constantly revving to 5,000rpm just to keep the car going down the road? Why not? Their engines even provide most of the propulsion as well with the battery just as a supplement. Isn't 76hp far too little? How do those cars even run?
      • 4 Years Ago
      would like to know what drivetrain this has. and what drivetrain the Volt has for that matter as they have been dishonest about that. pretty weak that Lyle over at GM-volt.com hasn't insisted on being informed
        • 4 Years Ago
        a lie of omission at first. then the german opel engineer said the drivetrain is such that it could actually drive the wheels with the ICE and GM didn't deny it but tried to distract from the point and attack the character.
        insisting doesn't have to come with an or else but he could write some articles about how GM is being less than forthcoming about the exact nature of the drivetrain in the Volt. a fairly important aspect one might say.
        actually pretty funny that we've talked about the Volt for 4 years straight yet noone thought to ask how the drivetrain is laid out..
        and GM didn't volunteer the information.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dishonest? Did you catch them in a lie? How so?

        Insist on being informed? Or else what? He'll hold his breath until he turns blue?

        There's not a lot of advantage in giving away technical details before they have to. And have to will likely mean concurrent with the vehicle shipped (because competitors would take it apart and look anyway).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Typically stupid move by Government Motors. Instead of building a 100 mile range VaporVolt, it decides to sabotage its own product with an EV all while lecturing us on why the Leaf is no good at 100 mile range!

      I guess only in the rectal world of GMC does having the VaporVolt and the Electric Snuze make sense. Perhaps they could bring back Howie Long to insult the Leaf's 100 mile range and then extol the virtues of an electric snuze 100 mile range.

      The Average American isn't smart enough to figure out the difference between a VaporVolt and the Electric Snuze - and yes, the two products are based on the SAME plaftorm contrary to the misinformation of one of the earlier responders here. Yes, the platform where the wheels are attached is different, but the essential hard points of the body are the same.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Again, this car is being made for S. Korea, not the US. quote - "currently a demonstration and research project for South Korea only" -

        This isn't going to compete with the Volt, at least not in the US. Korea, being a much smaller country than the US, can get by much easier with a 100mi range. I can't even cross my state with that range, not even halfway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It is bigger than the Civic and Corolla but still competes with them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wouldn't this car actually negate the existence of the Volt?

      Or is this battery power-train actually being tested for a future Volt upgrade?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It says all-electric, so the range extender is gone. This is a Leaf competitor. The Volt is still for those who want a car with which they can go longer distances.
        • 4 Years Ago
        SimpleCar - Its been three years and people still cant grasp that simple point.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How could it? This is EV only. Not extended range. The Volt and this are two different animals.
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