NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Motors (GM) recently introduced the Cadillac ELR, which is a 2-door coupe that builds on GM's current Chevrolet Volt. It enters production in the second half of 2013; the first deliveries are expected no later than January 2014.
It is now clear that the Cadillac ELR is not the Chevrolet Volt 2.0 under the skin. The changes, in terms of the drivetrain, from the current Volt are simply relatively minimal. Basically, there was some relatively modest tinkering in terms of how the battery interacts with the main electric motor, so as to squeeze out a little more power, that's all. But really all the essential parts of the current Volt drivetrain remain the same in the ELR.
The reason you want an ELR over the current Volt has to do with styling and an upgraded, plush interior of the highest caliber. The ELR loses back-seat space, and perhaps some luggage flexibility, but gains huge 20-inch wheels and spectacular "Bat-mobile" looks.
Cadillac has yet to announce how much it will charge for this new beauty, but it will surely be more than $50,000, especially considering that it looks as if it will only come one way: Fully loaded. The ELR will be in a class of its own in the market, and that gives it some pricing power. Cadillac hopes to sell 5,000 to 10,000 per year, and the car will be made on the same assembly line as the Chevy Volt.So what does this mean for the Chevy Volt 2.0? It is now clear that the Volt 2.0 will be something completely different than the Cadillac ELR. What is the No. 1 gating factor delaying the release of the Volt 2.0? The cost. Its battery, for one, costs several thousand dollars. GM's chief objective with the Volt is to trim at least $4,000 off the cost of the Volt's battery. This will be possible -- the question is just when, and which supplier will help GM do it. Surely GM has been working on this for years already, the Volt 1.0 having entered production in November 2010, after engineering started in 2006-07. Once GM has decided on this new lower-cost battery, the rest of the car is relatively easy to put together around it; it takes typically around 2-3 years. At this point, it's not yet known whether the Volt 2.0 will enter production in 2014 or if it will take all the way to 2015.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV