DETROIT — General Motors said Wednesday that it is committed to deliver at least 500,000 vehicles “with some form of electrification,” such as a hybrid drive system, by 2017.The announcement was timed to coincide with an event in San Francisco where GM is showcasing its electric-vehicle strategy.
GM, which has stopped providing annual production estimates by vehicle, said that within five years, it would have 500,000 electrified vehicles “on the road.”
The statement provides a benchmark with which to measure GM’s alternative powertrain progress over the next half decade.
The company said the Chevrolet Volt would play a key role in hitting the electrification targets. The Volt’s lithium-ion battery pack allows it to travel 38 miles on a single charge of electricity before a gasoline engine kicks in.
GM sold 19,309 Volts in the first 10 months of the year, putting the company on track to come close to 25,000 units in 2012.
In 2013, the company plans to unveil the Cadillac ELR, a luxury electric coupe based on the Volt powertrain. And GM plans to reveal the production version of the Chevrolet Spark EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. The Spark EV will go on sale in some markets in 2013.
In the 500,000 figure, GM is counting vehicles that integrate eAssist, a mild-hybrid system that boosts fuel economy with stop-start capability, regenerative braking and an electric motor. GM said it would sell more than 50,000 vehicles with electrification technology in 2012.
But GM said plug-in electric vehicles are its key electrification focus.
“The plug-in offers a unique opportunity to change the way people commute,” Mary Barra, senior vice president of global product development, said at an event in San Francisco, according to GM. “Plug-based solutions will play a significant role in our technology portfolio going forward.”
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