While President Obama’s goal of getting a million electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2016 may fall well short, some automakers are feeling more bullish for their own prospects on a global sale. In a recent interview, a General Motors executive said that worldwide, GM hopes to sell about 500,000 electrified vehicles annually. But that quote should come with an asterisk.
Rather than focus on out and out hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius, GM is taking a different course. The General wants to build more plug-in hybrid vehicles, like the Chevy Volt, as well as pure electric cars and traditional cars outfitted with mild hybrid systems. All told, GM believes that of the 9 million-ish cars it sells every year, by 2017 about 500,000 will be electrified in some way.
Indeed, GM is well on its way to that goal. Chevy Volt sales have been steadily gaining momentum, and GM now offers its mild hybrid eAssist system on many Buick models as standard equipment. eAssist is also standard equipment on the new Chevy Malibu Eco. These vehicles will go a long way towards that 500,000 vehicle mark. Keep in mind, that is 500,000 vehicles worldwide, including places like China and Europe, where plug-in car sales are growing month after month.
I am surprised to hear that GM also wants to focus on pure electric cars as well. The upcoming Chevy Spark EV is the only pure electric car on my radar coming from GM, and other efforts across the GM empire to build a pure EV have been cancelled because of rampant costs.
Still, I think with GM hedging its bets, and focusing on the areas it feels strongest, they could easily reach sales of 500,000 electrified cars by 2017. Do you think they’ve got it in them?
Source: Automotive News