Because nothing quite says “Welcome to the future” like electric propulsion, General Motors is offering a glimpse of their Cadillac Converj concept luxury vehicle at Auto China 2010. The purpose of the Converj is to demonstrate how GM’s innovative electric propulsion technology, known as Voltec (also found in the upcoming Chevy Volt), can capably power a luxury couple without compromises to design, features, and lavishness. “The Cadillac Converj’s Voltec electric propulsion system is made up of a 16-kWh, T-shaped battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine generator,” according to a GM-issued press release. “It uses electricity as its primary source to drive the car.”
A thermally managed battery pack integrated into the vehicle’s chassis contains over 200 lithium-ion cells that allow the Converj to be driven up to 60 kilometers without producing tailpipe emissions or using any fuel. When the battery is low on juice, the vehicle smoothly switches to extended-range mode, which powers the car via electricity created on board by a flex-fuel-powered engine that operates similarly to a home generator. The generator allows the car to be traveled for hundreds of kilometers until the car is plugged in for battery recharging, or given fuel. GM incorporated the extended-range mode to do away with the anxiety that comes with driving an electric vehicle whose battery is low on power.
In terms of the Converj’s design, GM sought to apply an evolution of the brand’s Art and Science theme. Among other design considerations are a conservative amount of grille openings that reduce drag at the vehicle’s front, and wheels shaped to push air outward for a smoother body side airflow.