HEV/EV launch plans among Detroit Three and emerging American automakers

Ford partners with Toyota, GM with LG Group, to accelerate electric vehicle development efforts



 Below is a summary of HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicles), EV (Electric Vehicles) and PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) being developed and launched by the Detroit Three and emerging American automakers.

 General Motors is introducing a new-generation mild HEV eAssist system in 2011 and plans to adopt it in many midsize and small-size vehicles. GM will also make the system used in the Chevrolet Volt PHEV, launched at the end of 2010, available in several other models as well. GM's EV system will be incorporated, in 2013 at the earliest, in its small-size vehicles to be launched in Europe.

 In 2012, Ford will launch the C-Max HEV and PHEV taking electricity from lithium-ion battery. As for EVs, Ford started producing the Transit Connect Van EV at the end of 2010 and will introduce the Ford Focus EV toward the end of 2011.

 In 2009, Chrysler discontinued the production of the Durango and Aspen two-mode HEVs. Chrysler has no HEVs at present, but has announced plans to launch HEV versions of the Chrysler 300 and minivans in 2013. The company will also launch the Fiat 500 EV in the United States in 2012.

 Ford has announced a plan to develop a HEV system for the next light truck model jointly with Toyota. Likewise, GM has a plan to develop battery systems and EV-related technologies jointly with LG Group. Both groups aim to reduce the development lead time and cost, extending the lineup of their electric vehicles.

 Among the emerging automakers, Tesla Motors that introduced a high-end sports-car Roadster EV in the fall of 2008, was followed by Fisker Automotive that launched the Karma PHEV in 2011. Both companies entered the EV/PHEV market with high-end vehicles and are now preparing midsize cars that are likely to sell in larger quantities. Wheego Electric Cars has launched a compact two-seat EV.

 Other emerging automakers having announced launch plans in the EV and PHEV markets in 2011 to 2012 are Coda Automotive (midsize sedan EV), Li-ion Motors (super sports-car EV, commuter EV) and Bright Automotive (commercial van PHEV).

 A new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) has been adopted in the United States requiring raising the fuel economy to 35.5 mpg for MY 2016. In addition, President Obama has proposed 54.5 mpg for MY 2025 along with a goal to have one million units of EVs and PHEVs on American roads by 2015.

GM: Increasing availability of models featuring Volt's PHEV system and the new eAssist system

 GM has revamped its BAS mild HEV system under the new trade name "eAssist" and will make it standard on the 2012MY Buick LaCrosse/Regal four-cylinder models. According to GM, the eAssist is less costly than full HEV systems and is very fuel efficient as well, and GM plans to make it available on other midsize and small-size cars as well.

 GM launched the Chevrolet Volt PHEV in December 2010 and the Opel Ampera per European specs in 2011. The company plans to expand the availability of the Volt's PHEV system to minivans and other models to appeal GM's technological innovation.

 As for EVs, GM plans to launch an EV version of the compact car, smaller than the Corsa being introduced by GM Europe in 2013. In September 2010, GM announced the Chevrolet Cruze-based EV and started its road tests in Seoul, Korea.

 In August 2011, GM announced the company would work closely with LG Group from the development phase of new electric vehicles to be developed in the future. GM will be able to utilize LG Group's batteries and EV technologies which will help expedite development and increase its lineup of electric vehicles.

GM: Volt PHEV launched at the end of 2010, the new-generation "eAssist" mild HEV in the fall of 2011

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
HEV for
Chevrolet Tahoe 2007
GMC Yukon 2007
Cadillac Escalade 2008
Chevrolet Silverado 2009
GMC Sierra 2009
Mild HEV
Buick LaCrosse (Note 3) Launch
Buick Regal Launch
Chevrolet Malibu Eco Launch
PHEV Chevrolet Volt (Note 4) Launch
Opel Ampera (Note 4) Launch
Several variants of the Volt (Note 4) Minivans and
Cadillac SRX, etc.
EV Compact car smaller than the Corsa (Note 5) Launch
Chevrolet Cruze EV (Note 6) Road tests in Korea from October 2010
EN-V (Note 7) Eyeing road tests in large cities
Source: GM press releases 2010.9.23/2011.6.6/2011.6.8, Automotive News 2011.5.23/2011.6.6
(Notes) 1. Years in "-2010" indicate the years of launch of the then-new models; "Launch" indicates the models were released for sale in 2010 in this and all other tables.
2-1. GM's two-mode system is a HEV system designed to improve fuel efficiency of the full-size rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles while maintaining the traction. The system is available only on full-size pickups and SUVs at present.
2-2. GM has been developing a two-mode HEV system for front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles and a PHEV system based on that two-mode HEV system but their market launch plans are unknown.
3-1. GM has revamped its mild HEV system called the BAS, and will launch the new system, called the eAssist, in 2011. The pre-revamping BAS, a synonym for the belt-alternator starter system, is a mild HEV system with the motor/generator supporting the engine via belt, but production was discontinued in 2010.
3-2. The eAssist uses Hitachi's lithium-ion batteries and will be standard in 2011 on the MY 2012 Buick LaCrosse/Regal with four-cylinder 2400 cc engines. The LaCrosse has fuel efficiency of 25 mpg city/37 mpg highway (highway fuel efficiency has been improved by 25% from the previous model). The system permits battery-only mode under certain conditions. The eAssist system is less costly than the full HEV counterpart and is very fuel efficient. GM calls it "light electrification" and reportedly plans to incorporate it on many midsize and small-size vehicles.
4-1. The Chevrolet Volt PHEV was placed in volume production in November 2011, equipped with LG Chem's 16 kWh lithium-ion batteries (with 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty), a 111 kW drive motor, a 55 kW generator motor, and a 1400 cc gasoline engine for generating 63 kW power. It uses three clutches and a planetary gear set to drive two motors and control the driving system. The car has EV range of 25 to 50 miles (EPA theoretical value is 35 miles) with the maximum speed of 100 mph. The price starts at $40,280.
4-2. GM Europe is launching, in November 2011, a sister model to the Chevrolet Volt under a model name of Opel Ampera. Its sales price in Germany is 42,900 euros.
4-3. GM has plans to launch minivans and Cadillac SRX (crossover) featuring technologies used in the Volt. GM will use the Volt as a breakthrough to enhance GM's corporate image.
5. GM Europe will develop a new model smaller than the Corsa and start production in 2013. Models driven by an ICE will be launched first to be followed by an EV model for urbanites in 2013 if all goes as planned.
6-1. In September 2010, GM launched the Chevrolet Cruze-based EV and started its road tests in October in Seoul, Korea. The lithium-ion batteries are supplied by LG Chem and the drive system by LG Electronics.
6-2. The Chevrolet Cruze EV uses 31 kWh lithium-ion batteries and a 150 kW motor. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds and has maximum speed of 102 mph along with a 100 miles range.
7. The EN-V, short for Electric Networked Vehicle and debuted at the Auto Shanghai 2010, is a Segway scooter type two-wheeled EV for two passengers sitting side by side. The company is eyeing tests on congested roads in large cities such as Beijing and New York.

GM: Joint development with LG Group to increase electric vehicle lineup

 In August 2011, GM announced that in appreciation of the role that LG Group played in the commercialization of the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera, the two companies will join hands in developing GM's future electric vehicles. GM will adopt LG Group's batteries and related systems to increase its lineup of electric vehicles. According to GM, the company will be able to reduce the development costs and lead time by partnering with the best parts supplier. The cooperation will extend from batteries and other main components to the automotive structures and architecture.
 GM and LG Group are also cooperating in the development of the Chevrolet Cruze Electric Vehicle that GM announced in September 2010. The U.S. government has proposed a new regulation on the corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) requiring 54.5 mpg (23.2 km/L) by 2025 model year. The new more stringent standards, all over the world, are raising the importance of EVs that do not consume gasoline and GM is expediting the development of its electric vehicles.
Source: GM press release 2011.8.25, Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2011.8.26
(Notes) 1. LG Group has LG Chem and LG Electronics under its umbrella. LG Group will be responsible for the electrical system construction for EVs in addition to the supply of lithium-ion batteries,
2. According to GM, the company is in need to expedite the electric vehicle development efforts to fill the 1-year gap lost following the application under the bankruptcy law in 2009.


Ford: Launching lithium-ion battery powered HEV and PHEV in 2012

 Ford is the largest HEV automaker among the Detroit Three selling 170,000 units of HEVs in 2004 to 2010 (with Ni-MH batteries and based on Toyota and Aisin AW's technologies). Ford predicts that 10 to 15% of its global sales will be electric vehicles by 2020.

 In 2012, Ford will launch the Ford C-Max HEV and C-Max Energi PHEV using lithium-ion batteries.

 In collaboration with Ford, Azure Dynamics' PHEV system will be integrated on Ford's F Series Super Duty truck, the F-550, which is expected to be available in 2013.

 As for EVs, Ford began production of the Transit Connect Electric toward the end of 2010 in cooperation with Azure Dynamics. Ford will launch the Focus EV at the end of 2011.

 In August 2011, Ford and Toyota agreed to joint development of a HEV system for rear-wheel drive light trucks (mainly full-size pickups and SUVs). The system will meet the U.S. government's enhanced fuel efficiency regulations and the two companies hope for commercialization of the system later this decade.

Ford: Launching the Focus EV in 2011, lithium-ion battery type HEV/PHEV in 2012

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
HEV Ford Escape 2004
Ford Fusion 2009
Lincoln MKZ Launch
Ford C-Max (Note 1) Launch
in U.S.
in Europe
PHEV Ford C-Max Energi (Note 1) Launch
in U.S.
in Europe
F-Series Super Duty (Note 2) Launch
EV Transit Connect Van (Note 3) SOP
Focus EV (Note 4) Launch
Source: Ford press releases 2011.1.10/2011.7.27, Automotive News 2011.4.25/2011.6.13
(Notes) 1-1. Ford will launch the Ford C-Max HEV and C-Max Energi PHEV in 2013 model year. Ford's seven-seat gasoline-fueled C-Max is sold in Europe but not in North America. Instead, Ford will launch the C-Max HEV and C-Max Energi PHEV as hybrid-only versions in North America. They will feature different body structure without the sliding doors that are standard on the C-Max.
1-2. Both models will use lithium-ion batteries (first ever for Ford) supplied by Compact Power (LG Chem's U.S. subsidiary). Ford will develop the battery pack internally and produce them at its plant in Michigan. The HEV is capable of EV-mode driving at speeds up to 47 mph.
1-3. The Ford C-Max shares the C-platform with the Focus and will be produced at Michigan Assembly Plant that also produces the Ford Focus and the Focus Electric.
2-1. In 2013, Ford will introduce, jointly with Azure Dynamics, the heavy-duty F-550 (F-Series Super Duty cab and chassis) in the F Series combined with the PHEV system newly-developed by Azure Dynamics. Ford plans to make the system available with the F-450 and F-350 as well.
2-2. Azure Dynamics has converted the Ford E Series (full-size van) into HEV which is now sold under the name of E-450 Balance.
3. Production of the Transit Connect Van EV began toward the end of 2010. The body is produced at a plant in Turkey and the EV system is supplied by Azure Dynamics while Johnson Controls-Saft supplies the 28kWh lithium-ion battery. It has EV range of 80 miles and has a starting price of $54,000.
4. Ford's Focus EV, slated for launch toward the end of 2011, uses LG Chem's 23 kWh lithium-ion battery and has a 100 miles range. The EV drive system was co-developed by Magna International. Ford is modest about sales prediction of the Focus EV and reportedly plans to produce no more than 5,000 units in the first one year or two.

Ford and Toyota: Co-developing a HEV system for the next-generation light trucks

 In August 2011, Ford and Toyota announced plans to co-develop a HEV system for the next-generation rear-wheel drive (RWD) light trucks and SUVs for market launch later this decade. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study to confirm the direction and the scope of development before a formal agreement slated for 2012 to establish HEV technology that will deliver high fuel efficiency and performance.
 The two companies will share technologies and components resulting from the new co-developed hybrid system but will decide beneficiary models and their dynamic performances separately.
 The two companies have also agreed to cooperate regarding standards and technologies essential to telematics but will make separate decisions as to the development of onboard devices and functions.
Source: Ford and Toyota joint announcement 2011.8.22, Automotive News 2011.8.31
(Notes) 1. Toyota supplies HEV key components to Ford via Aisin AW.
2. The two-mode HEV system jointly developed by GM, DaimlerChrysler (then) and BMW for full-size pickups and large-size SUVs is now sold by GM/Daimler/BMW but faces sluggish sales due to high costs and lack of traction.
3. A new regulation was put into force in the United States requiring a corporate average fuel economy of 39.5 mpg for passenger cars, 29.8 mpg for light trucks, and 35.5 mpg combined for the 2016 model year (the new regulation is said to be very hard for light trucks). President Obama is proposing the CAFE to be raised to 54.5 mpg in the 2025 model year.
4. While being pressurized by stricter fuel economy regulations, the two companies share the view that full-size pickups and SUVs are necessities in the United States. Ford and Toyota have decided to join hands and deliver affordable HEVs to the market as quickly as possible.


Chrysler: Launching the Fiat 500 EV in 2012, the Chrysler 300 HEV in 2013

 Chrysler discontinued production of the Durango/Aspen two-mode HEVs in 2009 and does not sell HEVs today. However, Chrysler announced in January 2011 to introduce the Chrysler 300 and minivan HEVs available in 2013.

 Chrysler is engaged, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in joint research and development of applying a hydraulic hybrid system to minivans.

 As for EVs, Chrysler will produce the Fiat 500 EV in its Mexican plant and launch them in the United States in 2012.

 Chrysler produced 150 units of RAM 1500 PHEV prototype with the support extended by the Department of Energy (DOE) and began road tests in 2011.

Chrysler: Launching the Fiat 500 EV in 2012, the Chrysler 300 HEV in 2013

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
HEV Dodge Durango Discontinued
in 2009
Chrysler Aspen
Chrysler 300 (Note 1) Launch
Minivan (Note 1) Launch
Hydraulic Hybrid (Note 2) Start
Road tests
EV Fiat 500 (Note 3) Launch
in U.S.
PHEV Dodge Ram 1500 (Note 4) Road tests with 150 units of prototype
Town & Country (Note 5) Road tests in the second half of 2011
Source: Chrysler press release 2011.1.19, Automotive News 2011.2.14
(Notes) 1. Announced by Chrysler CEO Marchionne at 2011 Detroit Auto Show. The system combines the V6 Pentastar engine, ZF's 8-speed AT and a motor and is built into the Chrysler 300 and minivan. The system may likely be made available on the sister model, the Dodge Charger, and other models powered by the Pentastar engines.
2-1. Hydraulic hybrid technology was originally developed by the EPA. Nitrogen gas is compressed by the engine and brake energy regeneration and stored in a pressurized accumulator. The pressurized gas is released at starting or acceleration to activate the motor to assist drive. The system does not require costly batteries and contributes to 30 to 35% improvement in fuel efficiency but requires a large space for installation.
2-2. EPA is cooperating with Eaton Corporation in applications to large-size delivery vans and refuse trucks. Eaton has commercialized the system under the trade name of Hydraulic Launch Assist.
2-3. Chrysler and EPA are aspiring to commercialize the system on large-size passenger cars and light-duty vehicles. Chrysler plans to produce experimental models based on the Town & Country minivan and use them in road tests in 2012.
3. Chrysler will produce the Fiat 500 EV in its plant in Mexico and sell them in the United States in 2012. Lithium-ion batteries will be supplied by SB LiMotive jointly established by Korean Samsung SDI and Bosch. The EV is likely to be produced in a limited quantity.
4. The Ram 1500 PHEV has the V8 5700 cc gasoline engine, a two-mode HEV system and 12.9 kWh lithium-ion battery supplied by Electrovaya, and will be subjected to a three-year road test starting in 2011. Chrysler was granted a $48 million subsidy from the U.S. Department of Energy to produce 150 units of the Ram 1500 PHEV. The company has not announced plans for volume production.
5. Chrysler is also developing 25 PHEVs based on the Town & Country and starting road tests in the second half of 2011.


EV/PHEV plans among emerging American automakers

Tesla Motors: Launching the midsize Model S in mid-2012

 Tesla Motors launched the Tesla Roadster EV in the fall of 2008 with a price tag of $109,000 and sold a total of 1,500 units in 30 countries by the early 2011. The company plans to launch its second model, the Model S priced at $49,900 in mid-2012, the Model X (Crossover EV) in 2013, and a small EV in a few years with a price tag of $30,000 or less.

 Tesla Motors is said to discontinue production of the Roadster in the second half of 2011 to focus on models that are more affordable. The company had accumulated deficits of $523 million as of the end of June 2011 and net losses are expected to last in quarterly results until the Model S sales (20,000 units planned for production in 2013) get off the ground (see Note 3).

Tesla Motors: Launching the Model S in mid-2012 priced at $49,900

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
EV Roadster 2008
Model S (Note 2) Volume
Model X (Crossover EV) Launch
Small EV Launch in a
few years
Source: Tesla Motors press releases 2011.1.10/2011.1.11/2011.6.8, Automotive News 2011.8.8
(Notes) 1. Tesla Motors had a series of important events to be dealt with during 2010 including the public offering of its stock.
1-1. May: Tesla Motors announced having joined hands with Toyota for EV development and Toyota invested $50 million in Tesla.
1-2. May: Purchased the site where GM-Toyota joint venture plant NUMMI stood. Tesla will start volume production of the Model S in 2012.
1-3. June: Publicly offered stock and earned over $200 million.
1-4. October: An agreement was reached for Tesla to cooperate in the development of Toyota's RAV4 EV. The RAV4 EV to be launched by Toyota in the United States in 2012 will use a battery system consisting of an array of 18650 type lithium-ion batteries for consumer use supplied by Tesla.
1-5. November: Panasonic invested $30 million in Tesla Motors. Tesla is buying batteries from several manufacturers including Panasonic and will now buy lithium ion batteries from Panasonic prior to others. The two companies plan joint sales activities where Tesla will take supply of and pack lithium-ion battery cells from Panasonic and sell to other automakers.
2-1. The Model S is a seven-seat sedan (five adults and 2 children) with a price tag of $49,900 and accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h in less than 6 seconds. The range may be chosen from 260 km, 370 km and 480 km types.
2-2. Tesla plans to produce 5,000 units in 2012 and 20,000 units in 2013.
3. Tesla Motors ended the first six months (January to June) of 2011 with the revenue of $107 million and expenditures that included $94 million spent for research and development activities, resulting in a net loss of $108 million. In addition, Tesla has a cumulative deficit of $523 million as of the end of June.


Fisker Automotive: Launching the Karma PHEV in 2011, starting production of midsize sedan PHEV in 2012

 In July 2011, Fisker Automotive launched the Karma PHEV that the company refers to as the world's first premium PHEV. The company plans to sell 15,000 units yearly in the world including China starting in the fall of 2011.

 Fisker Automotive plans to launch a total of six models, including derivative models, by 2016.

 The company will start production of midsize PHEVs in the fourth quarter of 2012 at Wilmington plant in Delaware that the company purchased from GM. Fisker announced it will buy gasoline engines from BMW.

Fisker Automotive: Launching midsize sedan PHEV in 2012 to follow the high-end sedan PHEV

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
PHEV Fisker Karma (Note 1) Launch
Mid-size Sedan (Note 2) SOP
Coupe & Convertible
based on Midsize Sedan
by 2016
Source: Fisker Automotive press releases 2011.3.1/2011.7.26/2011.9.1, Automotive News 2011.8.8
(Notes) 1-1. In July 2011, Fisker Automotive launched its first model, the Fisker Karma PHEV, a four-seat car with 4996 mm overall length, 1984 mm width and 1330 mm height and a price tag that starts from $95,900. The purchase is subject to a government aid worth $7,500. The PHEV is produced by Valmet Automotive, an assembler in Finland.
1-2.  The Fisker Karma PHEV uses a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery, GM's 2000 cc direct-injection turbocharged engine, a 175 kW generator and two 150 kW drive motors and has an EV-mode range of 50 miles, extendable by another 250 miles with engine-driven generation. It has maximum speed of 125 mph or higher and accelerates from standstill to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The car reportedly has 100 mpg fuel efficiency.
1-3. In December 2010, Fisker Automotive formed a partnership with China Grand Automotive Group that operates 200 dealerships in China selling vehicles under 40 brands including high-end ones (Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, etc). The Fisker Karma was exhibited at Auto Shanghai 2011 and is being released for sale in November 2011.
2-1. Fisker Automotive will produce, starting in the fourth quarter of 2012, its second PHEV model, a midsize sedan ("Nina Project" in Fisker's internal code) at the Wilmington plant that the company bought from GM.
2-2. In September 2011, Fisker Automotive announced the company would purchase four-cylinder turbocharged engines from BMW for its midsize sedan PHEV. The purchase agreement is signed for up to 100,000 engines in a peak year.


Coda Automotive: Launching the Coda Sedan EV by the end of 2011

 Coda Automotive has developed the Coda Sedan EV. Bodies, produced in China by Hafei Automobile will be combined with the EV powertrain in the United States and the car will be released for sale starting in California by the end of 2011. The company plans to produce 14,000 units in the first 12 months.

 The launch was originally planned by the end of 2010 but had been postponed due, according to the company, to short funding and additional time required for preparing the sedan EV production.

 In August 2011, Coda Automotive announced a separate partnership with Great Wall Motors regarding EV development that would be sold globally.

Coda Automotive: Launching the Coda Sedan EV by the end of 2011

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
EV Coda Sedan Launch
Based on Great Wall's model New
Source: Coda Automotive press release 2011.8.15, Coda website, Automotive News 2011.8.22
(Notes) 1-1. Coda Automotive has formed a partnership with Hafei Automobile Group in China to produce the body of a four-door five-seat Coda Sedan EV. The body, made by Hafei, will be combined with the EV powertrain in Coda's plant in California, U.S.
1-2. Powered by 36 kWh lithium-ion battery and has 120 to 150 miles range. Battery is developed by Coda and produced by a joint venture company formed by Coda and Tianjin LiShen Miles Power Battery Systems in Tianjin, China. Coda has plans to build a battery plant in Ohio, U.S., in the future (conditional on a $400 million aid from the U.S. DOE).
1-3. The EV has a price tag of $44,900 or $37,400 after $7,500 government subsidy. An additional aid of $5,000 is available in the state of California that lowers the actual purchase price to $32,400.
2. In August 2011, Coda Automotive and Great Wall Motors, a Chinese corporation, agreed to a joint development of electric vehicles combining bodies made by Great Wall and Coda's drive system, and selling the EVs in global markets. The EVs will be sold under Coda's brand in the United States and under Great Wall's brand in China. The new agreement with Great Wall is entirely separate from, and does not affect, Coda Sedan plan with Hafei.


Li-ion Motors: Starting production of the Inzio supercar EV and the Wave Commuter EV in 2011

 Li-ion Motors has developed the Inzio supercar EV and the Wave two-seat commuter EV. Both are waiting for an official approval of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and volume production may start in 2011 as soon as the approval is granted.

Li-ion Motors: Starting production of the Inzio and the Wave in 2011

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
EV Inzio (Note 2) SOP
Wave (Note 3) SOP
Source: Li-ion Motors press releases 2011.6.10/2011.6.21
(Notes) 1. Li-ion Motors has been converting the PT Cruiser, Mini Cooper, Yaris and other gasoline-fueled cars into EVs.
2-1. The company has capacity to produce 10 to 18 units of the Inzio supercar EV in a month.
2-2. The Inzio is a two-seat car with 4445 mm overall length, 1981 mm width and 1168 mm height and comes in three models. The Rally model is powered by 40.32 kWh lithium-ion battery and priced at $139,000. The Rally Touring model has a 96.78 kWh battery and 250 miles range and is priced at $180,000. The Rally Touring Extreme model has a 80.64 kWh battery and 170 mph maximum speed and is priced at $249,000.
3. The Wave is a two-seat car with 3860 mm overall length, 1828 mm width and 1320 mm height. It is available in two models. One is powered by a 33.6 kWh lithium-ion battery (with 150 miles range) and the other by 40.3 kWh (200 miles range) battery. Both have a maximum speed of 90 mph.


Bright Automotive: Starting volume production of the commercial van IDEA PHEV in 2012

 Bright Automotive will start volume production of the commercial van IDEA PHEV in 2012 with an annual scale of 50,000 units. GM Ventures has invested $5 million in Bright Automotive.

Bright Automotive: Producing 50,000 units of commercial van IDEA PHEV in 2012

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
PHEV Bright IDEA Volume
Source: Bright Automotive website
(Notes) 1. Bright Automotive will start producing the commercial van Bright IDEA PHEV in 2012 in an annual quantity of 50,000 units with a plan to hire 5,000 workers. The van has a 1-ton payload and 180 cubic feet of luggage space.
2. According to Bright Automotive, the similar light trucks sold in the United States has fuel efficiency less than 15 mpg in average while the IDEA will give 100 mpg performance.
3. GM has invested $5 million in Bright Automotive via GM Ventures that was established in June 2010. GM has a policy of investing, even in small amounts, in emerging high-tech companies to acquire new technologies that will complement GM's business. Under this policy, GM has invested, among others, in SAKTI3 that is developing solid batteries.


Wheego Electric Cars: Launching LiFe two-seat EV

 In April 2011, Wheego Electric Cars headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., launched the LiFe EV built for two passengers. It has been reported, however, the company is unable to start volume production due to short financing.

Wheego Electric Cars: Launching the LiFe EV built for two passengers

-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
EV Wheego LiFe Launch

Source: Wheego Electric Cars press releases 2011.4.15/2011.8.10, Automotive News 2011.8.8
(Note) In April 2011, Wheego Electric launched the Wheego LiFe, a two-seat car with 3010 mm overall length and 1605 mm width, 30 kWh lithium-ion battery, 100 miles range and maximum speed of 65 mph. The LiFe EV is a full-speed car subject to FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) of NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and is priced at $32,995 (with optional air conditioning system priced at $1,995). The purchaser can count on the U.S. government subsidy of $7,500 overall and additional $5,000 in Georgia and many other states in the United States.

<Automotive Industry Portal MarkLines>