GM to Test Electric Chevrolet Cruze in South Korea
General Motors said yesterday that it would be launching a test fleet of its electric Chevrolet Cruze vehicles in Seoul, South Korea.The automaker will begin the project, which is aimed at providing data on customer acceptance and battery range, at the end of October.
The Cruze EV demo fleet will be powered by batteries from LG Chemical and propulsion systems from LG Electronics. GM has been working with LG Chemical, which is the exclusive supplier of battery cells for the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range, since 2008. The Cruze EV is equipped with a 31-kWh battery that delivers a maximum power of 150 kW and the fleet will be GM’s first set of compact sedan electric vehicles to hit the road.
The project is aimed at benefiting the Cruze EV in its core vehicle electrification competencies, which include batteries, electric motors, power controls and charging. The 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. An early test indicates that the demonstration vehicles may achieve a range of up to 160 km, but the company expects the vehicles to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds with a maximum speed of 165 km/h. The cars can fully charge in 8 to 10 hours on a standard household 220-volt outlet, and the company will test a quick charge application that could reduce the charge time significantly.
GM said that demonstration fleet testing with other partners are also being planned in other urban markets for later this year. The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is expected to arrive in Canada this fall.