Cadillac’s Converj Concept, unveiled this week in Detroit, indicates what an electric-powered Caddy could look like, and is said to be virtually production-ready
It uses General Motors’ Voltec electric propulsion system which can drive the car for more than 60 kilometres on electricity alone, and has extended-range capability of hundreds of kilometres.
GM product chief, Bob Lutz, calls the Converj “a logical extension of our plan to reinvent the automobile. It clearly shows what a Cadillac electric vehicle could look like, and clearly indicates that global luxury customers can have a car that has both strong design and electric propulsion with a total range of hundreds of anxiety-free miles.”
The Converj’s Voltec electric propulsion system consists of a 16-kWh T-shaped battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. The Voltec ijn the Cadillac is rated at 120kW and 370Nm.
A thermally managed battery pack contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells that provide the primary power to drive the Converj electrically up to 65km without using fuel or producing exhaust emissions.
The battery is integrated into the Converj’s chassis and stores electricity from the national power grid when the vehicle is plugged in.
When the battery’s energy is low, the Converj switches to extended-range mode in which electricity to power the vehicle is created on-board by a flex fuel-powered engine that generates electricity.
That ensures a constant supply of power for hundreds of kilometres until the car is refuelled or plugged in to recharge the battery.
The Detroit show car runs on 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheels and has an all-glass roof incorporating solar panels to help offset power drain from the vehicle’s accessories.
Aerodynamic and design efficiencies aimed at increasing the driving range include a full belly pan) and minimal grille openings that reduce drag at the front of the vehicle
Low-profile rear-view cameras, which project on to a screen mounted high on the dashboard, replace conventional outside mirrors to reduce drag, and the wheels are shaped to push air outward for smoother body side airflow.