Pre-order of Nissan LEAF in Japan Reaches 3,754 Units in 3 Weeks; 64% from Individuals, Skewing to Older Buyers
F/A-18 Super Hornet Flies on 50:50 Biofuel Blend

GM Unveils Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Electric Crossover Concept at Auto China 2010; Showing Cadillac Converj, XTS Platinum Plug-in Hybrid

The Volt MPV5. Click to enlarge.

GM’s Chevrolet unveiled the Volt MPV5 extended range electric vehicle concept at Auto China 2010. The five-passenger multi-purpose crossover concept demonstrates the potential of the Voltec propulsion system by utilizing the same extended range electric drive foundation as the Volt.

The Volt MPV5 is one of 37 production and concept vehicles being shown by GM and its joint venture partners at Auto China 2010, including the Cadillac Converj extended range electric concept vehicle (earlier post); and the Cadillac XTS Platinum plug-in two-mode hybrid concept (earlier post).

Volt MPV5. The Volt MPV5 concept utilizes the same Voltec propulsion system found in the Chevrolet Volt. A 16-kWh T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack powers the electric drive unit and provides an all-electric range of up to 51.5 km (32 miles)—twice the distance the average urban commuter in China travels each day.

When the battery is depleted, a 1.4-liter engine generator sustains the battery charge and provides up to 482 km (300 miles) of electric propulsion.

The styling of the Volt MPV5 concept borrows design and aerodynamic cues from the Chevrolet Volt. The front fascia features a closed grille and aero-optimized lower air dam, both of which help improve fuel efficiency. A full-underbody belly pan, along with rocker claddings, creased tail lamps and specially designed blades on the rear quarter, also contribute to improved aerodynamics, thereby enabling greater all-electric range.

The Volt MPV5 concept’s dimensions provide added passenger comfort. While the 2,760-mm wheelbase of the Volt MPV5 concept is a mere 15 mm longer than the wheelbase of the Chevrolet Volt, its body is 181 mm longer (4,585 mm), 73 mm wider (1,871 mm) and 182 mm taller (1,612 mm) than the Volt.

Converj and XTS. The concept Converj represents another implementation of the Voltec extended range electric drive system. Also equipped with a 16 kWh battery pack, the Converj offers up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) of electric driving, with extended-range capability of hundreds of kilometers.

The XTS Platinum plug-in concept uses Cadillac’s 3.6-liter V-6 Direct Injection gasoline engine, paired with a two-mode plug-in hybrid system. The system provides an estimated 350 horsepower (260 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 N·m).

Electrification in China. GM is working to advance electrification in China through research and development. It has launched the China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC) in Beijing. The venture with SAIC and Tsinghua University is developing a comprehensive automotive energy strategy for China. The GM China Science Lab, which opened last November, is carrying out advanced automotive-related research, including battery development.

In March, GM introduced the EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) concepts in Shanghai. (Earlier post.) A centerpiece of the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, EN-V embodies GM’s vision for personal urban mobility in 2030. In addition, GM is supporting its Shanghai GM joint venture’s “Drive to Green” strategy, which is focused on developing green products, supporting green manufacturing and undertaking a green responsibility.



Will GM already move its electrified vehicles activities to China?

This may be an excellent way to reduce production cost.

Will the electrified GMs produced in China be exported to USA and Canada?



Good questions. I'm guessing eventually they will try to create a version explicitly for manufacture in and sale to the Chinese market, but sharing so many components that they can get most of the benefits of Chinese sourcing without having to say "Made in China."

To be clear though, their earliest markets will be places like California where there are Federal and State incentives that could knock 25%+ off the price consumers pay for the Volt. This will allow GM to price the Volt close to $40K, but for customers to pay $28-30K. It will still be $8-$10K more than the Nissan Leaf in those markets, but it will be bigger and have the range extender, so it will be pitched as an all-purpose ride with more cache value. Prices will come down when subsidies end or sales slow down (probably due to competition). Oh, and batteries may actually get cheaper and better could happen.



"Will GM already move its electrified vehicles activities to China"

GM builds cars on 6 continents (not much market for cars in Antarctica). The Chevy Cruze (GM Delta II platform) will be manufactured in the US, Korea, Australia, Russia, China, India and maybe elsewhere. The US version of the Volt will be built in Hamtramck, MI with the IC engine manufactured in Flint and the batteries will also be assembled in Michigan. The European version of the Volt will be marketed by Opel as the Ampera and will probably be manufactured in Europe. Assuming there is a sufficently market, it will probably be manufactured in China and elsewhere. Where will the parts be made? Everywhere -- depending on price and shipping. The major sheet metal parts will be made near the final assembly plants.



No and no. There are no plans to export GM cars from China to the US, much less those with specialized technology that is sourced elsewhere.

You are constantly trolling against GM, but somehow for China - hard to do when GM is so large in China. What is your agenda?


Harvey you're forgetting about how much power the UAW still has within GM & the Democratic party --- look at how the administration went after Toyota. Do you honestly think they're going to welcome Chinese made cars with open arms?


GM cannot compete in the US (or any) market against Asian autos without huge, continuous support from the US government.

That will never happen, the administration is not favorable to industrialists.

Oh, wait, the US gave GM to the UAW.

Never mind.

Will S

Sadly, GM is adding more heavy, inefficient vehicles in an attempt to prolong excessive energy consumption. So we would be shifting emissions from oil to predominantly coal.

frankbank, telling it like it is does not mean one has an agenda. If you are uncomfortable with people addressing what they perceive as poor policy decisions on the part of GM, you may want to restrict your reading to GM-friendly sites.


In the real world, for GM to survive, it will have to change the way they have been operating. There are many avenues possible to reduce labor cost per vehicle. One smart way would be to manufacture all or most parts and sub-assemblies in China or India or Brazil or Eastern Europe and do the final assembly locally in USA, Mexico and Canada for the North American market. Another way would be to outsource the production of more models, like they have been doing for years, and close some local high cost facilities, like they have been doing.



We (at least many of us) still think that Free Market will prevail and if it does, batteries and zero pollution electrified vehicles will certainly flow freely in very large numbers between countries and continents.

In a global free market (that we strongly support) you have to let the most efficient one win. It already happened with most electronic products such as phones, TV, radio, computers, printers etc, toys, machines, tools, cables, electrical parts, car parts, sport goods, shoes, clothing etc. The next big items could very well be batteries and electrified vehicles. USA and Canada are two countries with very large fertile land areas. Agriculture products may very well become our main exports when world population grows to over 12 billions. Green Land Congress (GLC) does not sound so bad.


I agree - but of course if GM survives by shifting manufacturing of sub-assemblies to other countries and outsourcing production of the vehicles, only the management will be here.

I don't think there would then be a domestic auto industry - would there?

All those things you mention are not outsourced - they are truely gone. Except for RCA - but do even they have ANY US employees?

I also agree that we should stear all students toward agriculture.

I plan to become Amish. Or maybe UAW, or a Govmnt employee.

Calvin Brock

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here. Hubcentric Wheel Spacers & Adapters

The comments to this entry are closed.