GM Looking To “Transform Transportation,” Sell 500,000 Electric Vehicles By 2017

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Owing to the fact that the automotive industry, as it currently is, is likely unsustainable, General Motors recently announced that it is aiming to completely overhaul many of it operations.

Restructuring its global vehicle portfolio, reworking its manufacturing, and beginning collaborations with a number of new partners in order to advance a variety of different technologies/approaches is now on the plate.

Image Credit: GM/ChevroletChevy Spark EV. Image Credit: GM/Chevrolet

“Climate change, energy security, and congestion challenge our environment and our industry, but we see value in the disruption,” said Mike Robinson, vice president, GM Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “We are reimagining transportation using a long-term, customer-centric approach.”

The company, in its latest sustainability report, referred to its efforts as a move to “transform transportation.” That might seem to be over-selling it quite a bit, but GM has begun to make some solid moves in the last couple of years. Perhaps not worth calling a “transformation,” but interesting improvements nonetheless.

GM provides more:

From smaller and cleaner high-performing engines to mass reduction and improved aerodynamics, vehicle efficiency efforts will reduce carbon emissions and increase fuel economy while meeting a variety of customer needs. The company now has five models achieving more than 40 miles per gallon. GM progressed in all four of its product commitments in fuel economy, electrification and emissions reduction, and added another to tackle its biggest market. It has committed to reducing the average carbon emissions of its China fleet by 28% by 2020, which could result in an annual reduction of 2 million metric tons of CO2 and avoid the use of 1 billion liters of gasoline.

Not bad. But, that said, short of a complete and rapid shift to EVs, why bring up the issue of carbon emissions and climate change at all? Improved fuel economy standards are all well and good, but they in no way are effective enough to come close to addressing the issue of climate change. They probably shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence, imo.

GM has, of course, begun to make some notable moves with regard to EVs, though. And it is more or less on track to achieve its goals of 500,000 electrified vehicles on the roads by 2017 — there are currently 153,034 electrified GM vehicles on the road (as of 2013).

Aside from the early launch of the Chevy Volt, the company recently released the Cadillac ELR and the Chevrolet Spark EV, two vehicles that we’ve covered quite a bit here at CleanTechnica. (I recommend: Chevy Spark EV Lifetime Cost vs Chevy Spark Gas Lifetime Cost and Cadillac ELR Review (Owner Review).

On the subject of unusual partnerships, we recently covered an interesting new collaboration between Google and GM, one that will see a number of Chevrolet Spark EVs used in a ride-sharing program based around one of Google’s facilities. GM noted that such a program would help to expose more people to the benefits of the Spark EV, and it will do the same for EVs in general.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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