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GM Extends EV Development with S. Korean Demo Fleet of Battery-Electric Chevrolet Cruzes; LG Chem Batteries, LG Electronics Propulsion Systems

Cruze BEV on the road. Click to enlarge.

General Motors announced a demonstration project (earlier post) to explore market needs and customer acceptance of battery electric vehicles in Korea. The project involves a fleet of electric vehicles based on the Chevrolet Cruze.

The Cruze EV is equipped with a 31 kWh battery that generates maximum power of 150 kW. The demonstration fleet will be monitored closely to determine the amount of real-world range achievable by a vehicle of its size. On specific test schedules conducted by LG Chem, the demonstration vehicles may achieve a range of up to 160 km (100 miles). The vehicles can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds with a maximum speed of 165 km/h (102.5 mph).

On a standard household 220-volt outlet, the Cruze EV can be fully recharged in 8 to 10 hours. Part of the demonstration fleet’s task is to test a “quick charge” application that could reduce the charge time significantly.

The result of shared development with GM Daewoo, LG Chem and LG Electronics, the electric Cruzes will be part of a demo fleet that will operate in South Korea’s capital, Seoul.

The project is aimed at benefiting GM’s core vehicle electrification competencies, which include batteries, electric motors, power controls and charging. It will provide real-world data on customer acceptance of battery electric vehicles, studying driving patterns and charging behavior while sharing costs and resources. This is a key initiative in GM’s global battery and electric vehicle development strategy.

The demo project is expected to launch by the end of October. GM demonstration fleets with other partners are also being launched in other urban markets later this year.

The Cruze EV demo fleet will be powered by batteries from LG Chem and propulsion systems (motor/inverter) from LG Electronics. GM’s EV demo fleet in South Korea will consist of Chevrolet Cruzes and GM Daewoo Lacetti Premieres. GM currently markets the vehicle under the local brand in South Korea.

Although there is much more work to be done, our ability to develop this vehicle in less than a year offers a peek at the very promising plans we have for our customers in Korea and around the world.

—Mike Arcamone, GM Daewoo President and CEO

The Cruze EV’s battery pack is mounted on the underbody. This gives the Cruze EV the same trunk space as conventional vehicles with gasoline engines.

Expanding the domestic electric vehicle market carries significant meaning for collaboration between GM Daewoo and LG Chem. Over the past two years, we have forged a strong partnership with GM, and now we look forward to doing the same with GM Daewoo in our home country.

—Peter Bahnsuk Kim, Vice Chairman and CEO of LG Chem

Since 2008, GM has been working with LG Chem, which is the exclusive supplier of battery cells for the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range. The Volt enters the US market later this year. The development of the Chevrolet Cruze EV demo fleet will expand this collaboration.



Daewoo has been working on electrified vehicles for some times and the electrified Daewoo (Chevrolet) Cruze may one day make its way to North America.

Account Deleted

This is the car that GM should have started developing instead of the Volt so better late than never. The problem with the Volt is not that it is not a good car but that it costs too much versus the competition. The Volt is expensive because it has two powertrains instead of one as in the Leaf on in a regular car. Pure battery EVs are not prohibitively more costly than conventional cars if the EV range is kept below 100 miles. Moreover, the highly publicized range issue is really a non-issue for the 100+ million households that owns multiple vehicles and just want one or two EVs in addition to a large gasoline vehicle. This is where 90% of all the EVs made the next ten years will go.


We are about to see where Leaf, Focus EV, Cruze EV and others fit into the car market. I doubt they will have a waiting list like the Prius first did.

We can all say what people should think, but the fact remains they think what they want to. We will see in the next year or two what that is.


Henrik, the thinking for Volt was Hybrid from the start. A serial hybrid genset was considered the best option to address range issues which have plagued the perception of EVs since their beginning.

So they built a car that COULD run on old reliable gasoline if and when the battery runs down. At $350/month lease the Volt is NOT too expensive. The lease matches or betters the lease terms for a Prius - which has sold a million units.


Here's a question to consider; why is this trial taking place in Korea and not in the US? Its a cold country where BEV's face challenges? Are all plugs 220v there?
I continue to think that OEM's are mortified at the prospect of a vehicle becoming an appliance needing little maintenance and lasting 20 years. They face this with the BEV thanks to its inherent simplicity. The batteries easily upgraded as improvements come along at lower cost. Power management software updated over the internet.
I think the OEM's are dragging their feet in the US market.



Of those "100+ million" households you speak of, how many live in apartments and condos with no garage? Unless you give the apartment owners money or a way to seriously gouge the apartment dwellers with a surcharge on energy very few will install outlets for people's cars out of the goodness of their hearts. Most of the land owners tend to be business oriented people interested in maximizing profit (where I live they just filled in the pool without any notice to the residents and I suspect this was simply to lower insurance and maintenance costs because there has never been any injury related to the pool at my apartments).


how many live in apartments and condos with no garage?

Where I live the answer to that would be none. By law, every apartment or condo building must include parking spaces for each apartment/condo. That's just how they are built, if you don't include enough spaces in the design you can't get a permit to build. The only way I can see this NOT being true is if the building was converted from another use, placed in a older or more crowded city or a city with poor tenant's rights laws.


Now the real question is "if your apartment or condo building doesn't already have a parking space for your car how are you getting by now?"

Do you still drive or do you take transit? If the latter, then why bother with EVs? If the former, then whereever you're parking now should be the place to put the plug.


the Volt is an EV with a range extender, not a hybrid. The wheels are turned by electric motor (not ICE). GM made the right decision because it completely eliminates the range issue (which really is a red herring), and when the batteries become powerful enough, they will just eliminate the ICE.
As EV's take over, the "where to charge" issue will not be important. Charges will become available.


The reason why Cruze EVs will first be tested and used in Korea is because they are Daewoo EVs (renamed Cruze by GM) and are built in Korea.
It makes sense?


ai_vin, I don't know where you live, but it clearly isn't Philly or any other older city in the Northeast. It is very typical in Philly for people to park their car on the street blocks away from their home. Other cities in the Northeast, DC, NYC, Boston, are similar. Although it is certainly technically possible to provide electric outlets for these cars to plug in to, if I bought a Leaf in Philly today, I would have nowhere to plug it in. Making sure all electric cars parked overnight on city streets can be plugged in would be a huge infrastructure project, and last time I checked, we weren't very good at those. What you seem to think is an exception (not having a readily available place to plug in) actually applies to many millions of people in older cities in the US.


how many live in apartments and condos with no garage?

Where I live the answer to that would be none. By law, every apartment or condo building must include parking spaces for each apartment/condo.

You mind telling me how you made the logical leap from garage to parking space? "By law" surely only covers where you live and secondly parking spaces don't mean you have access to electricity.

Go ahead and try calling an electrician to install an electrical outlet on the apartment owners property and see how far you get, let alone getting the owner to do so of their own volition.

On the other hand, those with a garage will typically have access to electricity inside their garage (far different from a parking space). I know of few apartments in my neighborhood with garages and those tend to be the large multi-level structure type garages for towers where rents are around $1200/month for a 400sq ft studio and $3000/month for a 2 bdrm 1100 sq ft place.


What is the cost of a 31KWH Li-Ion battery? Is it more costly than a small I-4 ICE?

Both need a generator motor for power and braking re-generation. At $500/KWh, a really low price, a 16 Kwh costs $8000 dollars. Most concede small ICEs and dressing can be had for under $1,000 dollars, to the manufacturers.

So the crossing point between a 31KWH Cruze EV and a Volt will be when 16KWH drops to $1000 dollars, or $62.50 per KWh.

And even than you have a nominal 100 mile range EV wholly unsuitable for anything other than around town use.

So I don't even concede the vehicles are comparable, other than in this gestalten conception.

Thomas Lankester

You are making a distinction that does not exist. A series hybrid, by definition, has an electric motor for traction. cf Wikipedia:
'Series-hybrid vehicles are driven by the electric motor with no mechanical connection to the engine. Instead there is an engine tuned for running a generator when the battery pack energy supply isn't sufficient for demands.'


@ Patrick
You mind telling me how you made the logical leap from garage to parking space?

Around here all apartment buildings are built over underground or ground level garages, the parking spaces are inside the garages. That's my "logical leap." And yes they do have plugs along the walls, not at every space mind you because they weren't put in for EVs, but there are some there because plugs are very useful for all kinds of things not just EVs. So if someone does go out and buy an EV they'll only need to trade spaces.

There is a type of hybrid where the wheels are turned by an electric motor which is powered by an ICE, it's called a series hybrid. The Volt fits the description;

Do those streets have parking meters and/or street lights? Then you're already halfway there: The street is wired for power you just need the plugs.


There are over 70Million homes/condos with garages and carports with electricity in the US. This does NOT include apartments or condos which may also have plugs... making the number even bigger, perhaps over the 100million that ai_vin was speaking of.

I'm trying to find the link again and will post it when I do, but I found this stat on one of the US .gov or DoT sites. (and of course now I can't remember what search I used to find it! ARGGHHH!)


ExDemo - I find it better to compare an EV's motor and power electronics to a normal car's engine and transmission. Those costs are fairly close for similar performance levels. I then compare the battery to a gas tank. At about $10k battery cost, the Nissan LEAF has a very expensive fuel tank. But it uses much cheaper fuel.

Off-peak electricity costs 1-2 cents/mile vs. about a dime per mile for gasoline. Over a 150k mile vehicle life that's a $12,000 savings. So the "tank+fuel" cost is similar for an EV vs. today's cars. And the EV's fuel comes from domestic sources instead of being imported from a global market controlled by enemy states. The EV can run on low carbon fuels like wind or uranium.


Is your monthly gas free? No, it cost about $3 a gallon. The average US car does about 12,500 miles/yr and gets about 23mpg. So they spend $1,630 per yer on gas.
The Leaf and the old RAV4 both get about 4.4 miles/kWh. So that 12,500 miles per year takes 2,840kWh at an avg US cost of 10.5cents = $298 per year.
So your gas adds and additional $1,332 per year OVER the cost of driving the EV. And the EV has a lot less maintenance cost too but there are no hard numbers to compare that yet so let's stick with the known fuel cost.

The batteries from the manufacturers are all getting warranties for at least 8 years so that is $10,657 extra to pay for your ICE car. And some are getting 10 year warranties so I'm taking the conservative number.

GM, and others, have already said they are below $500/kWh with current costs and those prices will drop. Most are predicting that volume purchases will be closer to $350/kWh before 2015.

Then that 31kWh battery is $10,850. Pretty close ball park for your "crossover point".

What happens when gas goes back up to $4/gallon? If it goes higher to $5/gallon this time?

And if it means I'm not sending $400Billion a year out of our economy for foreign oil and dependent on the oil demand NOT growing in China, India and the rest of the world...I'll take the EV. You take what you want and good for you.

But people need to look at the whole picture for what they spend on cars....not just the initial selling price. You buy gas every bloody week. That is not a "hidden cost", just one we choose to ignore for some reason.


ai_vin, sure there are street lights. But they're farther apart than a car length or two. Even if you equipped every street light with an electric outlet, you would likely need a long extension cord to get to the nearest street light. Multiply this by many cars all doing this at the same time and you have a pretty serious hazard. In order to install outlets close to every car, you'd need to start breaking up the sidewalk. This can all be done, but it won't happen overnight and it won't be cheap. And until/unless it is done, it is virtually impossible for any of the many people living in an old Philly townhome with on-street parking to charge their car overnight.

There is also a problem of vandalism, which I'm sure can also be addressed, but it needs to be addressed. If I leave my car on the street overnight and plugged in, I need it to stay plugged in to recharge. If somebody comes along in the middle of the night and unplugs it and I walk out in the morning and my car won't start, that is a real hassle.

All these issues can be addressed, but as of now many have not been, and until they are, we won't see widespread adoption of EVs in some of the places most suited for them. Maybe where you live (wherever that is) none of these issues exist and there may be many places where none of these issues exist, but there are plenty of places where these issues do exist. You make it sound like everybody can just pull up to an electric outlet and recharge. That is not currently the case in most older cities in the US.

Account Deleted


Those 100+ million households all have parking space for their cars by my definition and I expect over 80% of them to be house owners in the suburbs. The remaining live in the cities with parking lots and here, as you point out, there may be a problem of who should install the chargers and how it should be paid for. Companies like Better Place and new laws requiring new apartments and parking lots to be built with EV chargers are going to solve that problem over time. To get it done at your place you may need to become an activist organizing some of your neighbors, applying for money at your municipal, find solutions and suppliers that exists in your neighborhood. I would wait to press for a solution until there are EVs at display at the car dealers where you live. I don’t think EVs will be common at the local car dealer until 2013.

ExDemo and Reel

Here is the cost breakdown for the Volt and the Leaf to the best of my knowledge.

Battery: 24kWh *500 USD = 12000 USD.
EV motor: 4000 USD.
EV power electronics: 2000 USD.
Total powertrain cost: 18000 USD.
Car ex powertrain: 15000 USD.
Total price: 33.000 USD.

ICE engine: 4000 USD.
Exhaust system: 1000 USD.
Cooling system: 1000 USD.
Generator: 3000 USD.
Battery 16 kWh* 500 USD = 8000 USD.
EV motor: 4000 USD.
EV power electronics 2000 USD.
Total powertrain costs: 23000 USD.
Car ex powertrain 15000 USD.
Total price: 38.000 USD.

EVs have the largest potential to reduce cost because they are still immature technology with regard to batteries and dedicated EV motors and power electronics. The cost of the EV powertrain will therefore drop importantly in the future. I would not be surprised to see the costs for the Leaf’s powertrain drop 50% to 9000 USD at around 2020 so the Leaf could be priced at 24000 USD before incentives in 2020. ICE engines will get more expensive in 2020 mainly because of increased requirements for the exhaust system.

Account Deleted

Price breakdown for normal gasoline car:

ICE engine: 4000 USD.
Exhaust system: 1000 USD.
Cooling system: 1000 USD.
Transmission (Volt and Leaf only need a gearbox which I inclided in the price for the EV motor: 3000 USD.
Total powertrain costs: 9000 USD.
Car ex powertrain 15.000 USD.
Total price: 24.000 USD.



Ranges Extender vs Big Battery. I would go for cheap as possible range extender. The one is in the Chevrolet Volt setup is of-shelf, expensive and too big. In future generation EREV setups this part will be optimized as well. In your post you are referring to 100 kW ICE system price. I think that for normal mode (except mountain mode which could be covered by battery reserve) would be enough 20 kW ICE (Wankel or similar) range extension system. It should not cost more than $2000.


It is well established that Toyota produces small 4-cyl internal combustion engines for under $1,000 a piece. Adding a range extender to an EV would be a cheap and sensible option.

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Darius and Clett

I just looked up that the Volt uses a small 1.4 liter gasoline engine rated at 80 hp to run a 55kW peak power generator. I admit that gasoline engine does not cost 4000 USD but more likely 2000 USD so the Volt’s powertrain lands at 21000 USD instead of 23000 USD.

Clett you may be able to produce a 80hp engine for 1000 USD but you need to add 500 USD for profits or nobody will produce the engine in the first place and another 500 USD to pay for R&D and warrenties etc. So 2000 USD is my new estimate for the Volt's gas engine.

Darius I think the Volt’s gas engine is the chosen size because you need about 15kW to run the Volt at 60mph plus 5kW for light, heating, power steering etc. The Volt is designed to be able to go 100 mph continuously and that will require about 30kW for propulsion plus 5kW for accessories. So about 35kW of continuous power which is the limit of its 55kW peak power generator. For the Volt with its no-compromise-abilities this is what is needed.

I hope it will be possible to design an EV with a range extender that costs significantly less than the Volt. In this regard one car to look for will be the Suzuki Swift see link below. But it will have a lower top speed than the Volt, less luggage space, less towing power and a worse fuel economy than the Volt. I see pure battery EVs as the future together with pure ICE hybrid vehicles but I am not jet convinced there is a viable business model for range extended battery EVs in the long-run.



"I see pure battery EVs as the future together with pure ICE hybrid vehicles but I am not jet convinced there is a viable business model for range extended battery EVs in the long-run" - I am surprised by your conclusion. Why? I completely do not understand pure ICE hybryd or HEV future development rationality since pure ICE diesel automobiles can be or even are more efficient with much lower investment.
And on other side - EV. What is rationality to pay for extra battery in case you are going to use it very seldom? It is better to have range extender and have no range limitations. In my understanding and not only my (Bob Lutz, former GM) EREV it is only viable mass technology involving electrical power train for coming 30 years.

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