Multiple Hybrids and Electric Cars are Coming From GM

Could GM one day stand for “Green Motors”?

According to a recent Associated Press piece, the soon-to-retire Bob Lutz said that GM needs to hybridize its fleet to keep up with increasing fuel economy standards. This we already know, and there are plans in the works for hybrid rear-wheel drive vehicles, as well as the upcoming Volt.

But Lutz also let slip that GM was working on a line of all-electric vehicles, something the General hasn’t openly committed to yet, despite having more experience than other companies thanks to the short-lived EV1 program. Lutz’s statement seems to corroborate a recent remark by GM’s North American President that the Volt is a stepping stone to all-electric cars.

Most of us have heard about the EV1, or at least the documentary “Who Killed The Electric Car?” Long story short; GM did. While it isn’t what I would call an unbiased portrayal of the short life of the EV1, after that brief affair hybrids and electric cars disappeared from GM’s portfolio until the gas crunch made everybody step back from thirsty SUVs.

The Volt was pitched by Lutz as an alternative to range-limited all-electric cars, even though GM put out the Impact electric car concept (pictured above) back in 1990. It is a bit disheartening to consider what might have been if only GM had found the wherewithal to stick with the EV1 program.

GM did spit out a flurry of half-baked hybrids in the past two years, like the Saturn Vue and Malibu Hybrid, most of which have disappeared from their lineup quite mysteriously. For 2010 they offered just three hybrids; the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Silverado, and Chevy Tahoe which offer 2-3 mpg better than their conventional counterparts for between $40,000 and almost $90,000. Not cheap! GM seems to have gone back to the drawing board for something more feasible, though the sexy Cadillac Converj was recently killed for not being cost effective.

When GM will come out with an all-electric car, I certainly do not know. But with all of its competitors throwing their hats into the ring, GM had better be working on something.

Source: Associated Press

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.