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Converj is Dead, Long Live the Volt

Cadillac Converj is on hold
GM has killed off work on the Cadillac Converj, a variant on the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV). The Cadillac variant was said to be a good fit, allowing GM to charge more for the plug-in Volt which is supposed to be coming later this year at around $40,000. GM expects some of the cost to consumers ($7,500) will be covered in tax breaks from the federal government.

But GM has killed it off according to sources (BusinessWeek, Reuters)

Apparently, all the luxury items they could include just wouldn't be enough to create a profit on the vehicle. The battery pack, which is going to be one of the most expensive parts of the Volt, is supposed to give the Volt 40 miles of all electric power. But the range in the Converj would have to be lower, given the extra weight of the luxury items, making it less appealing to consumers.

"As we took a look at our available capital and engineering resources, we decided that there were things that were more urgent than doing a Cadillac version of the Voltec architecture," General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said.

"We had originally had a time slot for the Converj and that has been put on hold," Lutz said.

The upcoming competition from plug-in vehicles (essentially pumped up full hybrids, rather than electric vehicles with range extending gas engines) is forcing their hand. They expect plug-ins to cost less, since the battery packs will be smaller. So, if the all electric range comes down, so does the appeal.

Throw in the added weight, lower range (20 miles) and cost (up to $30,000 more) and GM came to the conclusion they couldn't compete with the Converj right now. The decision to end the Converj work was made in January.

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