General Motors (GM) senior vice president of Global Product Development told media attending the GM Electrification Experience in San Francisco this week that the company hopes to have up to 500,000 vehicles driving the roads with some sort of electrification by 2017. (Note: we’re not talking 500,000 vehicles that are 100% powered by electricity.)
“The plug-in offers a unique opportunity to change the way people commute,” Barra. “Plug-based solutions will play a significant role in our technology portfolio going forward.”
GM will be focusing on plug-in technology such as the Chevrolet Volt, introduced in 2010 and now a mainstay in the company’s electric vehicle space.
“What started out as a technology proof point… has turned into a real-world starting point to push EV technology further and faster than we thought possible five years ago,” said Barra. “The unique propulsion technology pioneered in the Volt – the same technology that will be featured in the Cadillac ELR – will be a core piece of our electrification strategy going forward.”
Future releases such as the Chevrolet Spark EV are benefiting from the lessons learned from the Volt, and will hopefully reach markets in 2013. “We’ll meet requirements set by certain regulatory agencies, but we’re not building the Spark EV to check a regulatory box,” Barra said.
GM is already on track to sell more than 50,000 electrified vehicles this year, including the Volt and vehicles with eAssist light electrification technology such as the Buick LaCrosse, Regal, and Chevrolet Malibu. “Our commitment to eAssist is unwavering,” Barra said. “In fact, our future portfolio calls for eAssist to be on hundreds of thousands of GM vehicles annually by 2017.”
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