Well, that didn't go as planned. General Motors had marketed the Cadillac ELR extended-range plug-in as a premium version of the Chevrolet Volt with some Caddy refinements. Now, it looks like that premium, at least from a price standpoint, is shrinking.
Hey, I've got enough things to worry about. That's one interpretation of General Motors executive vice president Mark Reuss' response to a question posed by Driving the Nation about the recently-introduced Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid.
It's not exactly "Leo buys a Fisker Karma" territory, but at least we're talking about a company that's still in business. In this case, it's Via Motors, converter of GM vans and pickup trucks into extended-range plug-in vehicles. The company is getting its own bit of movie magic, courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
That demonstration Via Motors made with its extended-range plug-in trucks in San Francisco a few months back must've made some impression. At the Plug In Conference in San Diego, CA last week, the company announced it has won a $20-million contract to supply the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) with its trucks.
Anyone looking for a little extra reading this week could do worse than check out a 29-page history of the Chevrolet Volt. The story of the extended-range plug-in vehicle comes from a professor at San Francisco's Presidio Graduate School, Dariush Rafinejad. A disclaimer, however, is in order, as the study received "generous support" from Chevy parent General Motors.
Via Motors says its extended-range plug-in trucks can provide power generation for something a little more essential than a tailgate party or a camping trip. The company, which notably has former General Motors executive Bob Lutz as a pitchman, showed off one of its VTRUX pickups at San Francisco's Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative event sponsored by PG&E late last month and said the truck could double as an emergency power generator, Plug In Cars reports.
General Motors' Cadillac division has always prided itself on its super-quiet cars, so the General's promotion of its "ultrasonic" welding technique for the upcoming ELR extended-range plug-in may or may not make sense, depending on how you define the term. In this case, GM says the ultrasonic welding allows machines to put together metal electrode tabs on the car's 16.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack through rapid motion that creates heat through friction. Most importantly, it eliminates the need
Among the things we're going to miss out on if/when Fisker Automotive goes bust is the legitimate description of "Coronado" as a color. That apparently orange-ish hue is one of four interior colors Fisker was planning on for its 2014 model-year Karma extended-range vehicle, according to Fisker Buzz.
The Audi A1 e-tron extended-range plug-in, which has already been extensively tested by the automaker, will be further put under the microscope, as it were, by Germany's National Platform of Electrification (NPE).
Fisker Automotive denied reports that its plans to make the Fisker Surf, a wagon version of its Karma extended-range plug-in hybrid, have been delayed, and that the California-based automaker hasn't changed launch plans for the model.