• Nov 4th 2010 at 6:56PM
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2011 Chevrolet Cruze EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

Need any proof that General Motors is trying to thread a very careful needle in the pure electric vehicle game? Look no further than India, Korea or China.

In Korea, GM is showing off the new all-electric Chevrolet Cruze test vehicle at the G20 summit. Meanwhile, over in India, the president and managing director of GM India, Karl Slym, has said the company will show a pure electric vehicle based on the Chevrolet New Sail sometime next year. In China, as we've seen, GM is promoting different ideas of electric mobility with the EN-V, the autonomous and battery-powered pod cars. GM recently trotted out these vehicles at the Shanghai Expo and is talking about introducing a low-cost version to the local market in the future. China is, of course, a tremendously important market for an global automaker – that's one reason GM just highlighted the fact that it has sold two million vehicles there in 2009, the first global automaker to reach that mark.

The fact that GM acknowledges that pure EVs can be attractive around the world – don't forget the converted Opel Meriva electric vehicles being tested in Germany – exemplifies why its U.S.-based "More Car Than Electric" marketing push is nonsense. When do you think we will see a new all-electric car from GM in the States?

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Why not a GM BEV in the US?

      Because it would undercut the Volt price by thousands, and typical GM owners are price-point shoppers.
        • 8 Months Ago
        They could make a Volt with a 150 mile range, maybe even more.. for the same price.

        Nah, that would make too much sense ;)
      • 8 Months Ago
      When will we see GM sell a pure BEV here in the US? That all depends on how well the Leaf sells.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Could that be because the oil companies run the Government by paying for elections and favors for the politicians? Only a few states run contrary to the what Big Oil desires. And, in those states, like California, the residents must fight their own legislatures to move in the right direction. Nissan should be supported by all of us who see the rot in our country. BEVs will be held back as long as possible as long as Big Oil continues to call the shots and feeds the greedy politicians.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Korea is about 150 miles across and the same north to south. And you cannot drive to any adjacent country.

      It's quite possible there are different best solutions for Korea and the US.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I think the rest of the world is less receptive to GM's marketing redefinitions and less impressed with a plug-in hybrid. There are many years and millions of dollars spent here to make the case for the Volt. For GM, these serve primarily as technological halo vehicles to sell other cars and gain government support.

      In Asia and many parts of Europe, cars are already much more efficient than they are here and electric vehicles are seen as cutting edge. Making a plug-in hybrid that gets worse mileage running on gasoline than the typical car sold overseas will not impress them the way it does here.

      And GM likes government money. If they can use the Volt as an argument to get $14.4 Billion in new DOE funds after they repay ~$10B with the IPO, it has served its purpose. However, GM has not been able to write regulations and incentives to specifically benefit themselves overseas. To get government incentives to sell electric vehicles overseas, they will need a true electric vehicle to sell. Governments overseas are also spending to create charging infrastructure overseas, making the "range anxiety" argument somewhat irrelevant.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Do they have an infrastructure set up in Korea already for this car, or something? Is that why it's not here?
        • 8 Months Ago
        The Korean Cruze EV is just a concept car, no announced plans for production.
      • 8 Months Ago
      GeM has the wrong approach.

      Yesterday First the Buick in Europe has AWD the U.S. market gets a striped down work around suspension. I think Porsche taught the Vette a lesson about running on a race track. The AWD Porsche with less horse power and less cylinders beat the Vette.
      Its not about more horse power when you cant grip the road.

      Now battey powered cars from GeM in Korea but not the US?

      The U.S. market should be an after thought or get 2nd string technology or cars.

      At minimum they should offer more options if they want to bring a cheaper version to the US market. Much like they did in the 60's. If the customer wants a sport Buick with AWD then they should offer it as an option.

      I personally think they are missing the point in an international competitive market, they need and should offer competing cars between their divisions. There is no reason why the Corvette does not have a Buick 370z/AWD counterpart. Its better for the sale to go between divisions then to the competition.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I actually don't think that their slogan for the volt "More Car Then Electric" is FUD, it just stresses the major contribution of the "Extended Range" setup in delivering a general purpose car, relieving range and refueling anxiety.

      In the process of designing something, one would always contextualize the possible options in some kind of design space. Different points will represent different trade-offs while doing design choices.

      Energy, fuels, automobiles, etc. form a system. Nobody owns the whole system. There are many propositions on how to evolve what we've got. It would be nice to acknowledge how good the system has been to humanity for all past years and how sound decisions were made in the past. There are shortcomings in our time that need to be addressed, and Volt/EREV is just one proposition on how to do it.

      US has a huge economical problem for being so dependent on this FOREIGN scarce expensive not easily substituted source of convenient motive energy (liquid fuels). (It's just hidden from the public by the fact that the Dollar is still the reserve currency of the world).

      There are many different ways to reduce oil consumption (and emissions), combining both state of the art technologies and/or cost-effective technologies. Different ways to address the objectives represented by different points in the design space.

      GM has done a BEV long ago with the EV1, and right or wrong killed it.
      GM has a proposition to build and sell a car with ER-EV characteristics called VOLT. It has always stated it, no one is being misled. This original marketing/design decision puts VOLT, an EREV, in a different point in the design space than the one you seem to like (BEV). You may not like it, but it's their right, and let me say: very reasonable.

      BEV x EREV are different points, each one with it's own merits and problems. One category competes with the other in a system perspective that needs context. Implementations in different categories are hardly comparable.

      It's not reasonable to compare bikes with trucks, as they are different tools for different problems. (I get it that people use SUVs/Trucks where a light car would be ok. Not good for the country/system, but no incentive either to avoid it...)

      The same way it's not reasonable to keep crying wolf every time someone takes a path you dislike.

      EREVs could do the job of bringing both the flexible use expected from a general purpose vehicle and the ability to displace/substitute a major part of the [foreign] fuel needed to [locally sourced] electricity. Criticism should be about how many AER miles are needed to do so, about the quality of implementation, on possible cost reductions,...

      If you need a bike, buy a bike, not a truck. If you need a BEV buy it instead of a EREV. Anyway, don't think it's right to tell a cargo transport guy he must use a bike. It's really not adequate to say the least.

      GM does have the right to promote the strengths of their EREV design. It's just stupid to promote a media mob against the "lie of the engine coupling" (It's an EREV, it has an ICE and fuel, two energy sources, what is it that the media don't get ?), as well as the marketing of their design. This time GM ain't the wrong doers, quite the opposite.

      There is nothing wrong with offering both solutions EREVs and BEVs aimed at different needs. GM sure can do both when the time comes to move from this POC (Proof of Concept) phase to a mass adoption phase.
      • 8 Months Ago
      US driving habits are way different than any other country in the world. In most of this country (ie outside the few large cities) people are used to driving longer distances day to day compared to other countries. Also, people in the US take longer road trips and take them more often. And there is very little public transportation to rely on as well.

      All of these things make electric vehicles less attractive to the majority of US buyers. In other countries with different driving habits, EVs can be more successful.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Here in the US, GM wants to have its cake and eat it too.

      They want to say their Hybrid car is actually an electric car. Then they want to spread FUD about EVs.
      • 8 Months Ago
      In the USA people are accustomed to gasoline-powered cars that can drive 500 miles in a day's time with only one or two brief stops for fuel. Therefore, US drivers will reject the BEV.

      In the developing world most people aren't accustomed to having a car of any kind, nor are they accustomed to taking long road trips. The BEV has no ingrained expectations to overcome, so it can be accepted for what it is.

      Disclaimer: I'm not sure I actually believe this explanation. It's just one guess at what GM management might possibly be thinking.

        • 8 Months Ago
        yeah in the developing world like opels homebase germany, home of gm's profitable techs.

        usa gm has always been just wonderful at creating things expensive to make, making a big fuss about it and then selling them at loss(when your debts increase, you're selling at a loss).
        • 8 Months Ago
        Levine: Autoblog Green and other sites have been trumpeting reports for a while now about how everybody in India wants to buy a car, and it's going to lead to DOOM. That argument doesn't really make sense if everybody in India already has a car. So what am I missing here, in my arrogant American attitude?
        • 8 Months Ago
        In the developing world most people aren't accustomed to having a car of any kind, nor are they accustomed to taking long road trips. The BEV has no ingrained expectations to overcome, so it can be accepted for what it is.

        Tony: You need to do more travelling. Your arrogent American attitude is showing.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Simple - they don't want to compete with their own product the Volt that they have put in a lot of R&D and marketing $$$ into.

      They also have been too busy bashing the 100% BEV focusing on range anxiety fears against the Leaf in their marketing that they would need to fall on their own sword to sell a pure BEV in the US.

      Its a shame really.
      • 8 Months Ago
      That's a sweet ride. A Chevy Cruise EV!

      Yeah GM!
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