• GM said that it “believes in an all-electric future.”
• The carmaker will introduce at least 20 new all-electric vehicles by 2023
• Two new EVs will hit the market by 2018, following the Chevy Bolt which was launched in 2016.
• GM will also pursue a hydrogen fuel-cell electric strategy, to address the needs to non-retail customers
General Motors unveiled on Monday an ambitious plan to become an all-electric automaker, using a strategy that would combine battery-electric and fuel-cell-electric vehicles.
The 109-year-old company made the announcement in Detroit. The move demonstrated that GM is serious about remaining not just relevant, but extremely competitive as the global auto industry is transformed by electrification and the arrival of upstarts such as Tesla.
“General Motors believes the future is all electric,” Mark Reuss, the carmaker’s Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, said on a conference call with reporters after sharing details of forthcoming designs and new battery engineering was revealed.
“These aren’t just words in a war of press releases” Reuss added, stressing that CEO Mary Barra has been linking GM’s zero-emissions and autonomous-driving objectives for several years. The company has demonstrated this by rolling out its all-electric Chevy Bolt EV and making progress on fully self-driving cars through its acquisition of Cruise Automation and the creation of its Maven ride-hailing and ride-sharing brand.
Reuss said that GM would follow the Bolt, which went on sale late last year, with two additional all-electric vehicles by 2018. At least 20 all-electric vehicles will arrive by 2023.
The auto industry has been abuzz lately as companies jockey to position themselves for full-electrification of their products, driven by regulatory changes and the possibility that major growth markets, mainly China, will ban internal-combustion engines.
Reuss took note of the moves made by carmakers such as Volvo to commit to an all-electric future, but on a conference call with the media he declined to detail GM’s timetable. He said that if an automaker was making those kinds of predictions, they probably don’t have a lineup that’s as large as GMs, which ranges from small car to heavy-duty trucks.