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General Motors

GM to manufacture Chevy Volt battery packs in the US

General Motors is getting back into the battery business. It had been a two horse race between Korea’s LG and US startup A123 systems to win the supply contract for the Chevrolet Volt. LG Chem and Compact Power Inc. were one team and A123 Systems/Continental the second team selected from an initial field of 27 applicants to compete against one another to build the Chevy Volt’s battery packs. GM announced in September 2008 that it had chosen a battery supplier, but would not reveal which company that was. But has either team actually won?  Read More

Cadillac's Converj concept

January 12, 2009 If one thing is immediately and staggeringly obvious at this year's Detroit NAIAS auto show, it's that electric, hybrid and extended-range electric cars have stepped out of the shadowy corners to which they were relegated in 2008, and they're now the main event for a lot of manufacturers. It seems the auto industry's well-documented woes in 2008, as well as consumer reaction to volatile petrol pricing, have galvanized even the most stalwart of old-school Detroit metal makers into action on gasoline alternatives. The extended-range electric seems to offer the most painless transition to primarily-electric motoring, and this is the way Cadillac have chosen to go with the Converj concept we saw unveiled earlier today. Capable of dealing with a typical 40-mile daily commute on full-electric, but with a petrol generator to make long trips possible, the 100mph Converj is a glamorous hint at what Cadillac intend to do with electric engines.  Read More

GM HydroGen4 fuel cell vehicle in Berlin

GM’s HydroGen4 fuel-cell vehicles will hit the road in Berlin as part of the company's extensive global zero-emission test program. Having already completed over 400,000 miles of testing in the U.S. (where its known as the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell), the tests in Germany will be the first European outing for the hydrogen EV which is capable of 0-62mph in around 12 seconds, has a top speed of 100mph and a range of around 200 miles.  Read More

GM takes wraps off Chevrolet Volt production model

General Motors has officially unveiled the production version of the Chevrolet Volt. We first encountered this electric-vehicle as a concept in early 2007 and following a first glimpse last month, we now have a much clearer picture of the what it will look like when it hits showrooms in the US in 2011. The four-seater represents a clever compromise by GM engineers in balancing fully-electric, zero local emissions driving with the need for greater range. The Volt has a full-time electric drive and can cover 40 miles on purely electric power, which is ample for the day to day driving most of us do, but when the battery runs low, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator kicks-in to maintain power supply and extend the range by "several hundred miles" according to GM.  Read More

Teaser pics of the 2010 Chevy Volt

GM's extended-range electric Chevy Volt is slated to hit showrooms in 2010. After a rave reception of the sporty concept vehicle in early 2007, GM have been going full steam ahead on the production model - and now the Volt's Director of Design is calling for feedback on the first teaser pics of the production design.  Read More

Opel Insignia World Premiere

One of the biggest debuts at the 2008 British International Motor Show - and certainly the most floorspace - was claimed by the Opel Insignia, a new mid-size sedan that will offer seven different engine configurations and a number of technical innovations when it hits the showroom floor in Germany late this year and other markets from January 2009. The technology packed Insignia includes a new Eye camera system that reads speed and no-passing signs and displays them on the instrument panel, coupled with a Lane Departure Warning system that provides an extra level of awareness to the driver.  Read More

Corvette ZR1 - 638 hp and 200mph+

April 30, 2008 When the preliminary performance specs for the new 2009 Corvette ZR1 appeared on the radar late last year ahead of its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, predictions were for a supercar producing 620 horses and topping 200mph, making it the most powerful and fastest automobile ever produced by General Motors. Now with the release of the certified power ratings there's no cause for disappointment, in fact it seems that initial predictions were a little underdone. According to Chevrolet, the ZR1's hand-built, supercharged LS9 V-8 engine will produce 638 horsepower (476 kW) and 604 lb.-ft. of torque (819 Nm) - an output of almost 103 horses per liter - and will achieve a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h). On top of that, although fuel economy testing has not yet been completed, engineers remain confident that the ZR1 will be the most fuel-efficient 600-plus-horsepower car on the market.  Read More

Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell crossover SUV

March 6, 2008 Chevrolet’s hydrogen powered, zero emission Equinox fuel cell will be used at Virgin Atlantic Airways for complimentary ground transfer service for passengers. The partnership will occur in the middle of Project Driveway, Chevrolet’s 30-month initiative that involves placing more than 100 zero emission, hydrogen powered electric vehicles on the streets of key cities around the world to gather detailed feedback from users – the world’s largest fuel cell market test.  Read More

Saab 9-X BioHybrid at the Geneva Motor Show

March 4, 2008 Showcasing a range of technologies that will underpin the brand's future compact car offerings, the Saab 9-X BioHybrid combines the aircraft-inspired design of the Aero X coupé concept shown at Geneva two years ago with a 200 hp (147 kW), 1.4-litre BioPower turbo engine that employs GM’s next-generation Hybrid system. Shape-shifting aerodynamics, active safety measures - including automatic light dimming courtesy of a front-mounted camera that monitors light sources on the road ahead - touch-sensitive keyless entry and the use of a solar power to supplement charging of the hybrid battery pack are among the standout innovations presented in the three-door 9-X BioHybrid Concept as it makes its world debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show.  Read More

Cadillac Provoq fuel cell concept

The latest platform for GM’s zero-emissions E-Flex architecture comes in the guise of a luxurious crossover vehicle - the Cadillac Provoq. The all-electric drive Provoq combines the fuel cell system with a lithium-ion battery to achieve a 300 mile range, 100 mph top-speed and all-wheel-drive traction via a 70 kW co-axial drive system for the front wheels and separate 40 kW wheel hub motors at the rear. The sleek design also harbors a number of other innovations including active front grille louvers that close at speed to boost aerodynamics, push-to-release door handles, brake-by-wire technology and an integrated solar panel in the roof that supplements power for onboard accessories.  Read More

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