We've heard scads of rumors over the past year that General Motors plans to bring a Volt-based Cadillac to market, and it looks like we'll be seeing a concept of the new E-Flex Caddy at the Detroit Auto Show.
The compact MPV that we've been seeing spy photos of for the last several months and referring to as the Chevy Tacuma now has an official name and introduction date. What now looks more like a crossover will be debut next month in Paris as the Chevrolet Orlando. The Orlando is built off the same Delta compact platform as the new Chevy Cruze and the Volt. In fact, the Orlando is likely to be the MPV that was identified last fall to be built at GM's Detroit Hamtramck plant alongside the Volt. If t
During the recent British Motor Show, GM Europe boss was expecting to get deluged with questions about the precarious financial situation at the home office in Detroit. To his surprise he found that the subject most of the European media were interested in was the status of E-Flex in Europe. For those just joining the conversation, E-flex is the extended range electric drive power-train architecture GM is developing for the Chevrolet Volt. Forster provides responses to some of the most common q
Is it possible that we'll see a Ford Volt at some time in the not to distant future? If a story in the Detroit News is to be believed, yes! Ford and General Motors are apparently in talks to share the E-Flex powertrain technology that underpins the Volt. It wouldn't be the first time that Ford and GM have collaborated. The front wheel drive 6-speed automatic transmissions used in the larger cars and crossovers (Flex, Taurus, Acadia, etc) was jointly developed by the two companies. GM has also
Like Indiana Jones and some sort of Ark or Tomb or Crystal Skull, today's automotive engineers are always looking for better ways to capture, store and release electrical energy for future hybrids and EVs. Green Car Congress says that GM is "actively exploring" at combining supercapacitors with li-ion batteries for the next generation of E-Flex vehicles (read: don't expect in the 2010 Volt). Speaking at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC) this week in Tampa, Forida, GM's Mark Verbr
Following his speech to the Commonwealth Club a few days ago, GM CEO Rick Wagoner apparently told reporters that a second E-Flex platform vehicle was also under development at the company's Warren MI technical center alongside the Chevy Volt. This second ER-EV is destined for the Opel (and presumably Saturn) brand. Following the debut of the Volt in January 2007, GM has shown two other E-Flex concepts, the Opel/Saturn Flextreme and the Cadillac Provoq. The Provoq is expected to make the producti
As I was recording the presentation in GM's mega-expensive Visualization Center, I wasn't sure if I would be able to use it. I mean, the whole point of the VC is to, well, see things. And, since GM prohibited video and still photography on this tour (audio was OK; I checked), what was going to be valuable to readers during this stop on the tour? While I can't hand you the nifty 3D glasses we wore to see the E-Flex structure on the giant screen, I was pretty fascinated by this presentation and th
The thing that strikes you when you enter GM's Battery Systems Lab (BSL) is the EV1. On the hallway walls are the promo images of the Chevy Volt. For our visit, GM also set up two of the T-shaped batteries that powered these vehicles. The older one that moved the EV1 weighed around 1,200 kg lbs. whereas the Volt's powerpack will weigh "just" 400 kg lbs. Standing side-by-side, the batteries are impressive. It's as true to GM today as it was in the '90s that the T-shape is the best way to have a l
If the Chevy Volt were a 150 mpg dairy cow, the General's marketing department would have a hand on every udder. The Volt is still more than two years from production, and the series hybrid is all over the Internet, TV, and magazines. When a vehicle promises as much as the Volt does, though, any update is big news. This time, engineers have come up with a computer algorithm to accelerate battery durability testing. The test decreases battery testing from ten years to two by duplicating real-life
New York is the place to be this week for all things automotive and amongst the throngs that have journeyed to the Big Apple to gawk at the latest offerings were a group of hard-core Chevy Volt fans. They came from all across the country to gather together under the banner of "Volt Nation" for a chance to see the concept version of the object of their affection up close and ask questions of some of the GM executives responsible for the E-Flex development program.
There are hundreds of engineers and technicians at both General Motors and its suppliers working feverishly to try and get the Volt into Chevrolet dealerships by late 2010 or early 2011. The company's senior management all seem to be firmly committed to the project. Everyone I've spoken to at GM seems to believe that the carmaker's long-term survival may hinge on the success of the Volt. But even with so many people behind it, this is in many ways just like any other new car program. There are t
When GM gave the media background information on the Chevy Volt in the weeks leading up to its introduction at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, they made it clear that the intent was for the architecture to spread to other vehicles of various configurations. The E-Flex platform was always intended to be a mainstream powertrain system for the mass market. Anyone who expresses surprise at the thought of non-Chevrolet branded E-flex vehicles clearly hasn't been paying attention for the past 13 months. W
General Motors has been working aggressively toward electrifying the power-trains in their future vehicles and toward that end they are making some changes in their engineering organization. Robert Kruse has been put in charge of a new global vehicle engineering organization responsible for all hybrid and electrically-driven vehicles. Under Kruse's direction there will be a North American team operating out the Warren Tech Center and Milford Proving Ground, a European Team from Mainz-Kastel, Ger