GM CEO Akerson Says Automaker is Working on 200-Mile Range Electric Vehicle (Video)

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 14

CEO Dan Akerson Says GM is Working on Both a 100- and 200-Mile Range Electric Vehicle

CEO Dan Akerson Says GM is Working on Both a 100- and 200-Mile Range Electric Vehicle

General Motors is engaged in a “dual play,” according to CEO Dan Akerson.

Spark EV In Motion

Spark EV In Motion

What’s a “dual play?”  It’s when you develop and test two different types of technology because you’re not quite sure which one will work or be a fit in the future.  At least that’s how we’ll define it here.

It’s reported that CEO Akerson unleashed this “dual play” terminology during a presentation at the IHS CERAWeek 2013 in Houston, Texas.

Here’s Akerson’s remark:

 “There will be breakthroughs in battery technology, they’re on the horizon.  We’re actually developing a car today which is really anathema to the way the auto industry works: We’re running a dual play on the technology to see which one will succeed. One will result in…a 100-mile range…the other will be a 200-mile range.”

A 100-mile range electric vehicle, though not common today, is available right now, so too is a 200-mile electric vehicle.  But none of those wear a badge from one of General Motors’ brands.

Akerson offered no further details on the vehicles or battery technology in play for either the 100- or 200-mile electric vehicles, so the CEO’s statement leaves us with more questions than answers.

If a 200-plus mile electric vehicle is what you desire, then there’s already an existing solution sitting in the showroom at your nearest Tesla store…Just sayin’

Check out video of Akerson’s remarks about GM’s push to integrate higher fuel efficiency vehicles into their lineup:

via Bloomberg

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14 responses to "GM CEO Akerson Says Automaker is Working on 200-Mile Range Electric Vehicle (Video)"

  1. Nelson says:

    A 200 mile EV from an established auto manufacturer could mean serious competition for Tesla. Na… I don’t think so.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

  2. Bloggin says:

    Here is what I think GM is up to..

    – 100 EV mile plug-in car

    With 100 EV miles it can be driven like a an EV 99% of the time, but able to travel longer distance as a hybrid when necessary. Clearly the best of both worlds.

    – 200 EV mile electric car

    The natural evolution to the current 100 mile EV.

    1. Schmeltz says:

      Bloggin, when you say “100 mile plug-in car”, do you mean essentially a Volt with a 100 mile all electric range rather than the 38-40 offered today? Because that was sort of what I was envisioning from what Ackerson was saying. Otherwise, I’m not sure what he meant. His comments can be taken a few different ways if you think about it. To me, it seems pretty pointless to pit a 100 mile range Electric car (without range extender) vs. 200 mile EV. Now a 100 mile + range extender vs. a 200 mile All Electric EV would be an interesting experiment.

      1. Bloggin says:

        Exactly…..a 100EV mile Volt and a 200EV mile pure electric car. Batteries have dropped in price quite a bit now. And the 100EV mile Volt should still be close to the current $40k.

        1. Schmeltz says:

          Nice! I second the motion. All those in favor….

  3. Airton says:

    Unfortunately it’s too little too late from GM for me and the Spark just falls short. My Volt lease ends 12/15/13, it looks like the BMW i3 REX may be my next car…

  4. Anthony says:

    The 100/200 mile EV plan just sounds like they want a back up plan – the 200 mile range is probably the Envia batteries (400Wh/kg), while the 100 mile one is just using state-of-the-art carbon anode batteries (~200Wh/kg). If the Envia batteries don’t work out for one reason or another (technology, cost, mass production, etc) then they can use the traditional batteries.

    I’d argue 100 miles isn’t enough, and 200 miles is too much for the 2016 time frame when the D2XX platform launches. I think the optimal range is 150 miles for most people in a two car household, as long as the car actually has 150 miles of range on a regular basis (maybe a little less in winter, but no more than a 20 mile range penalty). Less battery would allow GM to deliver a cheaper car that will sell in higher volume.

    1. Brian says:

      Why do you pick 150 miles for most people? You already concede that those people have a second car. The Leaf only really gets 50 miles in winter, yet it works as one of two cars for many people. I personally think that 100 mile range (worst case – heat blasting in the winter, at highway speeds) is the sweet spot. It seems that Nissan thought so to, and they tried to make the Leaf a 100-mile car.

      One of my favorite plots can be found on http://www.VoltStats.net under the “Daily Driving” tab. It clearly shows that there is a steep drop off above 40 miles/day. The plot mostly tails off by 100 miles, and it almost disappears by 150 miles. Granted, this data all comes from Volt drivers, but at the same time, they can drive their car as far as they want/need.

  5. David Murray says:

    Obviously, the price-point is going to be the ultimate decider. But assuming the price was right I could see both technologies selling side by side.

    – A Voltec vehicle with 100 miles electric range, combined with a gas engine.

    – A pure electric with 200 miles electric range.

    Either vehicle could be successful if the price was right. It would really depend on a person’s needs.

  6. evnow says:

    The answer is obvious.
    – Have a REx option, like BMW i3, but a full powered engine
    – Have multiple battery options, like Tesla

    It would be just one vehicle, not two.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I with you on this one.

      The “EV-Flex” platform is really what everyone wants I think. Optional kWh/range choices and optional range extender options. Obviously, there is a lot of logistic/hardware/software issues to doing that.

      I imagine OEMs are looking at projected volume levels of these plug-ins and are deciding the added costs of these kind of features don’t merit the investment right now…but the day is coming. I think the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S are the tip of the sword…if you will.

      1. evnow says:

        The question is – is it costlier to make 2 different models or costlier to offer the options in the same model. I don’t know the answer to that.

        But what I do know is, those manufacturers who are more flexible will get better results. Even Apple offers choices !

    2. Future Leaf Driver says:

      Bingo! +1

  7. shawn marshall says:

    We have so much oil and natural gas to fuel vehicles that batteries will have to improve in a hurry to make EVs tenable in the marketplace. The little scooty vehicles for urban congestion may be the real fit for EVs. Also no smog and very quiet. It would change the whole complexion of urban living.