GM To Test 100-Mile Chevrolet Cruze Electric Car in S Korea

Follow John

Chevrolet Cruze EV, test fleet in South Korea, October 2010

Chevrolet Cruze EV, test fleet in South Korea, October 2010

Enlarge Photo

For U.S. car buyers, GM is convinced that a range-extended electric vehicle--its 2011 Chevrolet Volt, to be specific--is the best solution to meeting the needs of drivers who may need to go further than the 40 miles a Volt will do on battery power.

But elsewhere in the world, GM is quietly pursuing all-electric vehicles of various types. The latest one, announced today, is a prototype all-electric Chevrolet Cruze, with a 31-kilowatt-hour battery pack (almost exactly twice the size of the Volt's 16-kWh pack), which will offer a projected range of up to 100 miles.

Chevrolet Cruze EV, test fleet in South Korea, October 2010

Chevrolet Cruze EV, test fleet in South Korea, October 2010

Enlarge Photo

Cells from LG Chem ... again

The electric Cruze is a joint effort among GM's South Korean subsidiary, GM Daewoo, along with lithium-ion cell maker LG Chem and LG Electronics, a sister company, which is providing the electric drive motor and inverter. (Some of the cars will also be labeled Daewoo Lacetti, the previous name of the same model sold only in Korea.)

In addition to the range of 100 miles--which GM qualifies as data that was achieved "on specific test schedules"--the electric Cruze is said to do 0 to 62 mph in 8.2 seconds, and achieve a maximum speed of just over 100 mph.

Recharging time on a 220-Volt outlet is 8 to 10 hours, and GM plans to test a high-voltage quick-charging application as well.

Real-world EV usage data

The project's goal is to "explore market needs and customer acceptance of battery electric vehicles in South Korea," though the size of the fleet to operate in the capital city of Seoul hasn't been announced. Like many other test fleets, the maker will acquire real-world data on driving patterns and recharging behavior.

The project begins next month, indicating that the electric Cruze has been in development for some time now. LG Chem also manufactures the cells used in the Volt's battery pack, so it's reasonable to assume the two vehicles share some battery-pack technology.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Enlarge Photo

No loss of trunk space

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

In other words, it's just possible that the 100-mile 31-kilowatt-hour battery pack occupies no more volume than the Volt's smaller capacity T-shape pack, which sits in the tunnel and under the rear seat.

Why? Because both the gasoline 2011 Cruze and the electric 2011 Volt are built on the same basic understructure, heavily adapted for the change from gasoline to electric drive. A Cruze body on a Volt platform, minus the gasoline range extender, would be a logical adaptation.

Precursor to all-electric Volt?

So is this electric Chevrolet Cruze a precursor to an all-electric Chevy Volt with a 100-mile range? Or perhaps a Chevrolet Cruze Electric that would face off head-to-head with the 2012 Ford Focus Electric that Ford has already announced will be built alongside the gasoline Focus in its Wayne plant?

If so, GM may be able to compete directly with the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus, plus offer an electric-drive vehicle with a range extender that eliminates any worries about range anxiety (the Volt). Which would be a very neat comeback for the company vilified for terminating its EV1 program in a noted documentary.

Testing EVs in China and, now, Korea

This isn't the only all-electric GM vehicle being tested, by the way. Just a few weeks ago, GM China confirmed development of an electric Chevrolet Sail. So China and Korea are the first two regions in which GM's plans to build a small number of all-electric cars will play out. No doubt the company will announce the third one in due course.

The company has also shown more futuristic electric personal transportation units, most recently in China this March, where it showed an autonomous, electric, electric two-wheeler city car.

Those cars are far less likely to hit the U.S. market though. A nice all-electric, 100-mile Chevrolet Cruze in, say, 2013 or 2014? We think that might hit the spot quite nicely.


Follow Us

Comments (24)
  1. well, perhaps gm will sell evs in other countries. the gas volt will be a disaster in the states.

  2. I agree ... the volt Hybrid will be outdated before it has its release. As for the cruz EV it sounds a lot like GM's Ev1 "test" the funny thing is that 15 years later Gm has the same battery technology and range! EV1's 15 years ago had a 100 mile range

  3. Why can’t they just sell this car in the US?
    The overpriced the Volt so that 99% of the population cannot afford it. =(

  4. personally, i dont care what gm or tesla do or dont do.
    no one company is of any real importance.
    look at all the companies who are starting to produce electric cars.
    no one has a choice, if they want to stay in business. gas cars will become dinosaurs rather quickly.
    all i care about is quality evs being manufactured. who makes em is not important.
    each company, well known or not, will need to make quality cars if they want to survive.
    let the battle begin !!!!!!

  5. GM is massively far behind in the hybrid market and they won't bring an EV to the US market because they'd be caught in a lie after the Ev1 farce. They are trying to out do the Prius with the Volt but with GM's delays Toyota has had plenty of time to develop cars to surpass the Volt. Its almost comical to watch a company sabotage it's self, but thats what GM gets for being The Automotive BS King.

  6. cdspeed - yes and it is unfortunate. I drove by the GMC dealership by my home yesterday. Rows and rows of SUV's and full size trucks. Short term gain but when gas prices go back up they will be stuck witht he vehicals and will need to retool their plants. Meanwhile Plug in Prius and LEAF's will be being sold in the hundreds of thousands.

  7. well, let's hope the taxpayers arent forced to step in for a third time. twice was two times too many.
    aesop has lots of fables about how greed can kill. our individual greed is hurting us in many ways, as well.

  8. Its rather odd that the senior editor of this article just last week emailed a reply to my post saying the same thing CDSPEED is saying .. Mr. Voelcker said "I also disagree that the Volt technology will be dated by the time "GM stops dragging its feet". how does this not make GM look bad? The cruze is built on the same platform as the VOLT! alls they need to do is remove the gas engine from the VOLT and add the all electric powertrain and they have an all electric car!!! furthermore in 1997 GM had upgraded NIMH battery packs for the EV1 that had a range of 160 mi .why are they going backwards????
    in regard to post by James saying the leaf and prius will sell hundreds of thousands. I was told by Mr. Voelcker that all the full ev car are being sold in limited production...10k a year for Volt(PEV) and leaf 20k a year. meanwhile nissan is saying they have 100k interested customers.. The likely hood that you get a leaf is apparently limited!

  9. @ ryan, it's not odd, if you read all the articles coming out right now in regards to hybrids and EVs you come to realize that the Volt is not doing very well, and it may already be a lost cause. And as I said GM won't jump back into EVs because they would be caught in a massive lie after their Ev1 tragedy.

  10. I was agreeing with you cdspeed. I only thought it was odd that Mr. Voelcker had a positive outlook for the Volt. He is the senior editor and writter of this article and 30+ mainstream automotive websights.

  11. @Ryan @CDspeed I was *disagreeing* with the premise that GM is "dragging its feet," as well as disagreeing with the idea that Volt technology is dated.
    The Volt is the first serious production series hybrid in the world. (The BYD F3DM doesn't really count, as it's not saleable outside China and a few other markets.)
    I'm slightly baffled by the astounding depth of GM hatred I've seen in some of the comments on this site.
    Yes, I get the EV1 story, although as even director Chris Paine admits, his documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" was anything but balanced. (And I gather GM comes out favorably in his follow-on documentary, "Revenge of the Electric Car.")
    In any case, I hope my intention in the original comment to Ryan is now clear.

  12. hi john,
    if anything, the volt will hurt the ev industry. we would be better off without it. it is totally unneeded. if gm had really wanted to help the ev industry, it would have come out with a true ev that did not burn gasoline.
    we dont need a car that runs for 40 miles on electricity, and then burns gas.
    luckily, we have plenty of car makers coming out with true evs.
    so if gm wants to do something crazy, let em. just dont force us taxpayers to bail them and their oil shills out again. they already demonstrated their real intentions with their actions on the ev1. the release of the volt is just a reassurance from them that those intentions remain unchanged.
    one would have to be nuts to buy a new gas volt. what a horrible waste of money. what they will be stuck with is real range anxiety.
    they wont be able to go further than 40 miles without adding to the oil company profits, while everyone else is going 100+ miles on electricity, when they purchase a real ev.
    i suspect that three years from now, you will look back and wonder why in the heck you didnt see what most everyone else on this site is already seeing.

  13. Guys, EVs with 100 mile range will only sell a few hundred thousand in the U.S. The American culture/lifestyle will not accept a 100 mile leash. Until EVs can go 300+ miles on a charge AND can be recharged in under 15 minutes, they will be relegated to novelty act.
    The VOLT on the other hand fits the needs of the mass consumer. It will cut fuel consumption by 60-70% for the majority. And for some it will cut even more!
    You cannot tell me you can live within a 50 mile out and 50 mile back max range. Chances are that the range will be even less. And if that is the case, you should be riding a bicycle and not even expending the carbon needed to produce an EV and the carbon emitted from power plants.

  14. give it up jimza,
    most people can tell you that they can easily live within 100 mile range. do you really think that most people work more than 50 miles away ?
    you gotta be crazy. your posts look foolish, at best. go sell your gm gas guzzler to someone who is not too smart. those will be your only customers, and you wont find them on this site.

  15. I agree with John, the GM-hating is interfering with the rational thought process around here.
    I don't think the Volt will sell well, because it's too complex and expensive. But, I do think extended range EVs are a viable platform and they are suitable for many drivers. Toyota is going to produce the plug-in Prius for around $28K and eat GM's lunch. Then, EREVs will come out with better range extenders, such as Wankels, micro-turbines or even fuel cells and they can ditch the heavy ICE setups they are using today. GM will also come out with pure EVs, if Ford and Nissan are sucessful.
    Me personally, I plan to buy a pure EV, such as the Focus, because I want to reduce cost and maintenance. But, I also own a pickup truck, so I can buy a pure EV with a 100 mile range and be happy. Soon, EV range will jump to 200 or 300 miles and the prices will come down. Then, EVs will make sense for a lot more Americans.

  16. @ John Voelcker, I don't think the Volt's technology is outdated, I just think it will be a failure shortly after its launch due to the competition brought by Toyota's plug-in Prius and Nissan's Leaf. The biggest problem for the Volt will be it's price point.
    @ Jimza, every thing in your home, apartment, or the cold war bunker you live in, runs multiple items off electricity. Think of all the things we wouldn't have without electricity, the food in your fridge, even the comment you left on this site are producing emissions.

  17. @John, Its not a depth of hatred thing! Its mistrust and no confidence! If people would just judge companies / people by the things they do or have done and not the things they say they are going to do they would have a better idea on whats to follow. John I do respect your opinion but strongly disagree. You say “ The Volt is the first serious production series hybrid in the world”. I guess you mean gas electric hybrid …so where does the Prius fit in ?? You mentioned the BYD F3DM from China, it has thesame set up as the Volt only has a better range at 60miles….in 2008 they only sold 28 units in the first three months. Does that give you any idea whats going to happen to the VOLT! O and thanks for writing the article about my posts on Sept. 8th.
    In that article you said “We would only report on the Testla Model S when it is confirmed, rather than a final production car”...what does that mean exactly? Confirmed by who??? Testla is the first automaker in U.S. to sell over 1000 ev's and is in works with Toyota to buy their Corolla factory in California to built the Model S. Tesla motorcars is truly an AMERICAN Company Building full ELECTRIC CARS. U..S..A… U..S..A U.S.A. USA….USA !

  18. @ ev enthusiast - Please lets try and keep the discussion civil. "Play the ball, not the man". Jimza has a point, and that's no doubt the same assertion GM has made when designing the Volt... Regardless of whether consumers actually do only a small mileage per day and don't need more than a 100 mile range, it's still a huge psychological barrier to a lot of people. Not only that, but a range-extended car like the Volt has to at least be better than a fully gasoline car, wouldn't you agree?... Even a 40 mile electric range is a good start and will cover a great many journeys for many people, but the range extender will allow people who wouldn't otherwise choose an electric car to buy one. And if we're talking dust to dust emissions, better one person having just the one Volt rather than an EV *and* a gasoline car, considering the energy that goes into car production...

  19. You guys are drinking your own cool-aid to much. The Volt isn't out dated, are you kidding me? The PHEV Prius has a range of 13 MILES, yet you talk about it as if its the best thing since sliced bread.
    The Volt already has over 100,000 arm raisers and GM will easily sell every Volt they produce.
    Further more, the Volt has a lot of options to head into in the coming years. You can turn it into a pure EV, or produce a dedicated on board generator that can get phenomenal gas millage instead of using a traditional ICE that they have now.
    Even still, the Volt with a full charge will an equivalent of over 100 mpg. It's a great concept and in the coming years they will be able to greatly reduce the cost of the vehicle.
    Remember too, hybrid sells account for 2% of all vehicle sells in the U.S, there is still a long way to go before hybrid market has the lions share. GM has plenty of time.

  20. I apologies if I portrayed myself as a GM hater (I am frustrated). I think the Volt is an awesome vehicle but starting a $41k I cannot justify the buy and most Americans will agree. If it was prices at $30k then I would get in line to buy one. Pure BEV’s will work for a lot of people but not the majority. Plug in hybrids will be a huge advantage. Like the Plug in Prius for example; 14 miles in all electric mode then the gas engine turns on for 55+ mpg. The latest informal announcements is that it will be affordable.

  21. no antony, i do not agree. we would be better off without the volt completely. it is just an excuse to sell gasoline.
    we dont need disgruntled customers. volt purchasers will be unhappy, once they realize they made a bad decision.
    if gm wants to market it as a hybrid, that would be one thing. to market it as an electric vehicle is incorrect.
    we do not need to be convincing anyone these first years. there are waiting lists for people to purchase evs.
    gm comes along, with a gas burning car, and markets it with scare tactics about how evs will leave you stranded in the desert.
    i see the volt as an anti-ev vehicle. as i stated previously, we would be better off without it.
    only naive thinking thinks that gm came up with the volt because of the assertion that people cant get along with 100 miles per charge.
    the correct thinking is that gm wants to keep gasoline alive for as long as possible, and deliberately made the volt to market it with scare tactics, so as to delay those with "range anxiety" from getting a true ev.
    just wait for a few years, and you can tell me how correct i am. the writing is so all over the wall.
    about all of jimza's posts are how range anxiety will kill the ev industry. so i am not giving him any slack.

  22. khadgars,
    turn the volt into a pure ev ? then how is gm gonna market it ? when they previously had stated how pure evs will leave you stranded, and you need the gas engine in your car.
    gm is so full of it. as ryan said, look at what people and companies DO, not what they SAY.
    they crushed the ev1s. were their owners complaining about how the vehicle would not go far enough on a charge ?
    heck no, they were begging gm to allow them to somehow keep their ev1s that they liked so much.
    try looking at the facts and reality. once that is done, correct conclusions are more likely to follow.

  23. hey right on! finally i dont feel like dropping a bomb on gm head quarters. they should be spending money on developing pure evs. this is a start

  24. Why doesn't GM produce a Volt with an all-electric 80 plus mile range as the battery of the Cruze does not occupy much more space than the 16kWhr battery of the Volt? 38 miles electric rangefor the 2013 Volt just is not enough. A vehicle like this would be a Tesla Model S killer if it could be priced under $50K. I know people with orders in for the Model S Tesla, that would have purchased the Volt if its all electric range was greater. Hardly seems worth plugging in at night for 35-38 miles all electric range....the Prius plug-in hybrid is really absurd with just 11 miles plug in range (who would bother) and that is why the Volt is outselling the Prius plug-in hybrid.

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Find Green Cars


© 2015 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.