Cadillac Converj EREV Cancelled ?

2009 Cadillac Converj Concept

2009 Cadillac Converj Concept

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The Chevy Volt is destined for production before the end of the year.  Another vehicle, similar is powertrain but carrying a Cadillac badge was schedule to go into production soon.  The Cadillac Converj, as it was known, is now no more.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the Cadillac Converj program was cancelled for business reasons.  Basically, this allude to monetary reasons.  Apparently, GM and Cadillac concluded that the Converj simply could not be profitable in low volumes with all of the amenities expected in a Cadillac vehicle.  Furthermore, the Converj's additional weight over the Volt would have diminished its electric range to only 20 miles, which could potentially lessen the appeal of such as vehicle.

With a limited range of only 20 miles before the gasoline powered generator kicks in, most commuters would not be able to travel without using gas, a goal of producing an EREV vehicle.

AutoblogGreen quotes a Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell in regards to the cancellation of the Converj.  As Caldwell stated on their site, there is "Nothing to be announced" and the program was "not to a point in which development would be occurring in earnest in any case." There can naturally be a lot of careful review over an idea as big and ambitious as this. And that can go back-and-forth. Vehicle plans can be revised numerous times before reaching production, or being declined."

Rather than focusing efforts on the Converj, the company has decided to focus on upcoming plug-in hybrids such as the anticipated XTS Plug-in hybrid based off of the XTS concept shown at the NAIAS.

With the Converj unable to overcome costs associated with the EREV setup, how will the Volt fare?


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Comments (5)
  1. I see this as a rational decision based on a lack of experience on GM's part in selling a PHEV. It's clear that their dire economic situation played a part as well. However, there is no lack of confidence on my part that GM, and all the other OEMs, will eventually offer a wide variety of plug-in vehicles. Yes, weight will play a part, that's just physics and economics. The first models will by necessity be small and light. The grossly inefficient & bloated vehicles of today will be looked at as anachronistic embarrassments soon enough.
    The key issue has been, and will remain, pricing dirty energy appropriately. We'll see a rapid switch to electrics regardless, but putting a price on carbon will speed up the transition.

  2. PHEV is a complicated and expensive drivetrain concept that has little chance of becoming affordable enough to ever compete with regular ICE drivetrains in market segments where price is important. If you do the math you can easily tell that a 40 miles electric range $40K Volt just doesn't make economic sense compared to a 40mpg $20K Cruze (hint: you safe one gallon of gas per day to make up for the $20K price difference). So the trick is to hide the expensive technology under an upmarket body to create the extra value needed to persuade people to pay more (Fisker style). So maybe Caddy Converj made in fact more sense than Chevy Volt but I guess we'll never know now.

  3. Chris: If raw economics were the only consideration, we'd all be driving Yarises and panel-vans. I don't see many of either.
    Personally, I'll pay extra to not be part of The Problem -- and a (mostly) electric car is a worthwhile step in that direction.

  4. #3 Luke - Well said. Thanks.

  5. Luke: good for you, but in this market segment not to many people will be willing to pay an extra $20K not to be part of the problem. Nor do they need to. Looks like the Nissan Leaf will start out at $30K. You still won't be saving any money I reckon (actually you will after tax brakes, but they are finite of course), but it will certainly make not being part of the problem affordable. I wish the Volt best of luck though so I hope that either it will turn out more affordable than rumour has it or that there are enough people out there who really want to get off oil and are willing to pay $10 K extra (compared to Leaf) for not having to live with range anxiety.

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