According to a report in the Detroit News today, General Motors will forge ahead with plans to produce the Cadillac Converj extended range electric vehicle (EREV). Though Cadillac would not confirm the story, a source close to the company's production plans says that the Converj was part of a presentation to the board of directors a week ago.
With sales down nearly 40% this year, Cadillac could use a shot in the arm, but any benefit from the Converj won't be seen for several years. A production date has not yet been set, although reports earlier this year pegged the car's release around 2012.
The Converj is expected to share a platform with the Chevy Volt, which is scheduled to hit the streets for the 2011 model year. The Volt's powertrain offers 40 miles of electric-only driving. When the battery is drained to 30% of its capacity, a small gas engine generates more electricity to keep the car moving.
The Cadillac brand would be a perfect place for GM to mitigate the costs of developing and refining the EREV technology. Cadillac buyers expect to pay a premium and they will for the Converj. Attracting buyers to the Chevy Volt with the anticipated $40,000 price tag could prove more challenging though.
Source: Detroit News