General Motors “Believes The Future Is Electric”


The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Is Expected To Launch In Early Fall(Photo: InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney @ NYAIS - April 2015)

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Is Expected To Launch In Early Fall(Photo: InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney @ NYAIS – April 2015)

General Motors notes a lot of demand and profits for selling pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers, especially after oil prices decreased.

GM promises that it will switch a big part of the profits to develop electrified cars like the next generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt and future all-electric Chevrolet Bolt.

“The company believes the future is electric, with billions (of dollars) of investment to support an all-in-house approach to the development and manufacturing of electrified vehicles.”

According to the GM sustainability report, they sold 180,834 electrified vehicles in the U.S. out of which we count over 80,000 plug-ins (76,136 Volts, 2,960 Spark EV and 1,731 Cadillac ELR).

Sales of conventional cars are much higher and GM will balance investment in future technology and ongoing business:

“But Chevrolet and GMC sold 235,927 Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks in the first four months of this year alone. Of $5.4 billion GM is investing in its 40 U.S. factories over the next four years, $1.2 billion, or more than 20%, is targeted for expansion of the Arlington, Texas assembly plant that will produce nearly 300,000 fullsize SUVs this year.

The company acknowledges it will fall short of its goal of having 500,000 vehicles on U.S. roads by 2017 with some form of electrified powertrain.”

“While the company doesn’t disclose the profitability or losses for individual models, analysts believe that none of the electrified models are making money.”

GM sustainability report

GM sustainability report


Category: Chevrolet


76 responses to "General Motors “Believes The Future Is Electric”"
  1. Big Solar says:

    hurry up, whats the hold up?

    1. Gsned57 says:

      Unfortunately demand.

      But if they put a voltec drivetrain into a truck they’d have a home run. 20-30 miles AER to start would be enough.

      1. LuStuccc says:

        Demand is created at will by marketing.
        Electric cars do not need big investments to be developped. They are way simpler than ICE cars.
        Big B.S.

        1. kubel says:

          It’s not BS. Electrified vehicles are a manufacturers least profitable product, hands down. No one wants to market a loser product like the Volt, Spark, or Bolt when you can spend your marketing budget on selling a product that clears $13,000 for each one that rolls off the assembly line (Silverado/Sierra). Why waste your marketing budget trying to convince a small handful of people to purchase a product that costs you money when you can crank out pickup truck commercials?

          Listen, I’m a huge EV fan- I think the Volt is an absolute electrical and mechanical engineering marvel- it’s the prime example of GM innovation and forward thinking- and I think it looks great even today- but the sales of the Volt are as disappointing as the Aztek.

          All American automakers are suffering with their small cars. If GM made a volume product that people actually want (compact SUVs), they would sell.

          1. Stimpacker says:

            If you’re not in liberal California, home of EVs, you might be shocked to note that in suburbia California, the pickup truck and SUV reign supreme. I daresay more so than even Texas.

        2. Fool Cells says:

          Demand is not created by marketing. ROFL. If that were true, GM would be dominating car sales. GM needs to get the marketing droids out and let the engineers run the company….people who know stuff about cars.

      2. David Murray says:

        I agree. While I personally like small cars (and love our Volt and Leaf) I also recognize the market potential for an EREV pickup truck, especially if that truck is marketed as a high end product with electric 4 wheel drive.

    2. Braben says:

      The answer is quoted in the article: Electrified vehicles aren’t profitable. And if the federal tax credit didn’t offset some of the added cost of the vehicles for the consumer, even less would be sold.

      1. kdawg says:

        “While the company doesn’t disclose the profitability or losses for individual models, analysts believe that none of the electrified models are making money.”
        But is this based on that voodoo math where they are counting all the R&D against the sales of the vehicles? Voltec has already been spun off onto other models, including the upcoming Malibu Hybrid.

        1. kubel says:

          Volt could have been a profitable product if it sold in sufficient volume, but because of weak sales, it didn’t come close to becoming profitable. The articles that came out saying GM was losing $49,000 with each Volt sold were based only on first year sales and not on the lifetime volume of the product.

        2. pjwood1 says:

          “Analysts believe” is Mark Kane’s reference. It wasn’t in the sustainability report. Maybe he can cite which analysts? As GM doesn’t publish, there is a strong likelihood these analysts don’t know. “Less profit”, is more likely.

          GM had nothing going on, with its older hybrids. Voltec is beginning to pay dividends in Malibu, Cadillac and the Volt, and input costs are falling (and they chose not to lower the price excessively). Fuel efficient vehicles are a segment GM was otherwise losing, at a cost that matters.

          1. Londo Bell says:

            I see a lot of wishful thinkings in there (your logic). Let’s back up some of these by facts – or shall I say counter facts.

            Since GM actually doesn’t reveal the cost of its electrified strategy, it’s pointless to debate if the strategy is actually money making/losing. However,

            – if one refers to Malibu as an advantage point, one needs to reveal the sales data of a Malibu, let alone the historic sales of Malibu hybrid (the e-Assist).

            – if one points to Cadillac, the only Cadillac under this strategy has really bad sales, which leads to its cancelation. There will be other Cadillacs that will fall under the strategy, but these are “will” so no sales so far. One also needs to look at the sales number of Cadillac as a whole too.

            – current Volt sales, and very likely future Volt sales, well, how many sales would one expect for a niche vehicle as categorized by GM?

            These 3 examples used actually point out the fact that it’s going to be a long road for GM to recover the cost of R&D. In another point of view, the way that GM’s placing its strategy…it’s more like a “we’ll wait and let’s see what’s going to happen.”

            Oh, for those who points out that GM has sinked billions into the program, do remember that the program was started by someone who are no longer in GM. Thus, to the current management and executive team, they can simply wipe their hands dry and say, “not my problem.”

            And for those who keep suggesting PHEV vans or trucks. They are available for GM vehicles – via VIA Motors. VIA’s strategy, imho, is to hope that GM will buy it (no sales for the previous several years, and only limited sales just recently). If GM is really interested in making those vehicles, GM would have bought that company already. Seriously, do you folks know how much GM (or any manufacturer) and its dealers makes on a typical truck sales using the current technology? If you know, like I do, there is “0” incentive to make a PHEV truck, as long as the vehicles are under the exemption group. An example would be to explain the 4 wheel steering (and canceled) GM trucks some 10 years ago.

            1. kdawg says:

              I think the opportunity cost of not doing the R&D would be much more.

    3. bbock says:

      If you read the article they said they’d take profits from ICE vehicles and plow them into electrified vehicles. So the hold up is money. EVs like the Spark and Hybrids like the upcoming Malibu and PHEVs like the Volt aren’t selling all that well yet and probably won’t be profitable for awhile. I know on some forums people like to throw around “compliance vehicle” to try to discredit efforts by anyone but Tesla. But I do believe what GM is saying here. Spark might be a classic compliance vehicle, but I think it was also a good way for them to dip their toes into the BEV market to figure out how to build a better vehicle at a reasonable cost. I suspect they are rolling what they’ve learned from the Volt and the Spark into the Bolt. The other thing that tells me GM is serious about this is the redesign of Voltec. Clearly some of the changes they made weren’t only made for the benefit of Volt. They were updating the drivetrain to make it easier to adapt for other things, including the Malibu Hybrid. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did a Hybrid crossover or SUV using a beefed up battery pack. (Although I hope they can get rid of the hump or greatly reduce it.) They didn’t spend all that R&D to redevelop Voltec just to get a compliance car. If that were the case they’d just use the same configuration as Gen1.

  2. Foo says:

    Note they said “electrified”, not “electric”.

  3. Lad says:

    We are all waiting for a mass produced traction battery that will satisfy driver’s needs and also allow the auto companies to make a profit while meeting EPA required mileage standards. This delay has forced some auto companies to create Plug In Hybrids(PHEV) and others to seek hydrogen-powered cars as an answer.

    I see two possible entities that can produce the battery we need fairly timely; Tesla’s Gigafactory and/or Argonne Lab’s JCESR project.

    1. DonC says:

      The Gigafactory is, as it names implies, a factory. One that makes standard Li-ion cells. JCESR is a research project for the next generation battery cell.

      JCESR was initially focused on a 400 mile battery but based on conversations with auto manufacturers it has switched focus to a cheap 80 mile battery. Not sure if that’s all the different.

      1. Sublime says:

        If you can build a battery based on cheap materials like graphite, sulfur, sodium, aluminum, and iron (instead of expensive ones like copper, cobalt, and lithium), the specific energy density can stink and still accomplish your goal. Plus power density and cycling are much more important on smaller packs.

  4. lewl says:

    The Malibu hybrid is step one.
    Replace every conventional automatic with that drive train.

    Forget expanding to 8, 9, plus gears like other manufacturers. Unnecessary complexity, when their existing product is simpler and offers more refined/smoother performance.

    Then they can easily expand the battery size and add charging ports to make any model have a plug-in option (built by demand, as the vast majority of the car is the exact same)
    Let the people decide if they want a plug or not, like ford does.

    1. David Murray says:

      Disagree. I think every hybrid should have a plug. Once you have the hybrid drive train it doesn’t really cost that much more to add a plug and a good 15-20 miles of EV range. So every car should have a plug. The real question for the consumer is how large of a battery they want. Offer the low end hybrids with 15-20 miles of range and then a larger battery pack for a few thousand more to give 40-60 miles of range.

      1. lewl says:

        Baby steps.
        They need to maintain the low end price point and offer up from there.
        A plug isn’t just a plug. Its a charger module as well. At least a couple grand all-in for the associated components. And unless its a pitiful PIP, you’re going to want to make that plug useful with more batteries than what is found in a non plugin hybrid.

        As prices come down, I’d agree that any hybrid should have a plug. But in a first transitory step, having many non plugin hybrids using the same power train paves the way for more PHEVs down the road.

        Especially so if they designed it smartly such that one could add the required modules after assembly and someone could get a dealer installed upgrade to plugin at a later point. E.g. empty slot under the hood for a charger module, and replace the side panel beside it with a charge port panel.
        Obviously at higher cost than from the factory. But options is key.

        Of course none of this would ever happen, and it sounds so easy from an outsider’s perspective.

  5. DonC says:

    CARB may be a four letter word but without it we wouldn’t be seeing any electric cars. Not from GM. Not from BMW. And not from Tesla.

    1. Anon says:

      I agree with your statements that traditional car companies like GM and BMW think of CARB as a four letter word, but disagree completely with you lumping Tesla in there.

      Tesla Motors was motivated to create the fully electric Roadster after Auto Lobbyists manipulated CARB to remove the ZEV requirement, which resulted in GM crushing 99.9% of the EV-1’s.

      Tesla would likely still be making sustainable, long range BEVs, due to rising global carbon emission levels, even if CARB did not exist.

      1. DonC says:

        Tesla wouldn’t be in business without CARB for two reasons. One is that financailly Tesla depends on the sale of ZEV credits. Two is that, without the CARB mandate and the expectations that other companies would need components for electrics, Tesla would never have been able to enlist suppliers like Bosch. Since it takes a village of suppliers to make a car, without major suppliers Tesla would never have been able to produce a vehicle.

        So yes, no CARB no Tesla.

        1. Nick says:

          Tesla made initial use of technology from AC propulsion, and makes their own high voltage drive train components.

          The other stuff comes from the same parts bin as gas cars.

          I agree on the CARB ZEV credits point.

        2. Anon says:

          I can see the folks at Tesla resorting to building what they needed to accomplish their goals, regardless.

    2. Lensman says:

      If carbon credits went away tomorrow, Tesla would have to raise their prices by perhaps 10%. If you think that would put them out of business, you need to think again. It would only slow the company’s growth a bit.

  6. Bill Howland says:

    I’m more than a little interested in the 200 mile range BOLT. Its a shame that no other manufacturer has a low-cost model in the pipeline.

    I think even Tesla has been sketchy on the details of the model 3 and the final price, whereas GM has committed pretty much to a guaranteed 200 miles and a low price. Bravo GM.

    So where are all these other car companies? As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, GM EV’s are currently the only new vehicles acceptible for my driving habits. The Roadster qualified, but they don’t make new ones.

    The I3 would qualify, but I refuse to carry around a smelly gas can.

    1. Anon says:

      GM has already started backing off it’s earlier 200 mile range PR statements, since the prototype Bolt was first shown…

      2017 / 18 seems to be when you’ll see more longer range BEVs from multiple automakers. Without global emissions regulations (like CARB) and Tesla to break the status quo, this would not be happening at this point in history.

      1. kdawg says:

        I have not seen any evidence of them backing off. Do you have an example?

        1. Brian says:

          Sure, don’t you remember when they “backed off” to a mere 198.8 mile range? It was no way a rounding error when converting from 320km 😉

          1. Bone says:

            In fact, it wasn’t a rounding “error”. It was correctly rounded to 320 km (precision should not be increased in unit conversion.

            1. Brian says:

              Allow me to reword. The rounding error would have occured on the metric side, and not during the conversion. 200 miles and 320km are – for the purposes of describing the Bolt’s range – the same distance. The difference is just in how you round the number to get a clean value. The problem was than the 200 mile number was converted to metric, and then back to miles. In the process, it got rounded down, and some people drew the conclusion that GM back tracked on their range target. I am personally not convinced.

              1. kdawg says:

                There was an article here that covered this. GM backed their original claim of more than 200 miles.

                “UPDATE: We contacted General Motors immediately on the change of wording surrounding the range expectations of the Chevrolet Bolt from China, and they put the focus on a “incorrect” statement on the part of the “team in China”. The press release has now been corrected to reflect GM’s earlier assumptions.

                “Lightweight materials – including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh – add to the design while keeping down the curb weight to give the Bolt EV a range of more than 320 km (200 miles). “

                1. Brian says:

                  Yes, that’s the story that I was referring to, tongue-in-cheek. Thanks for pointing out that GM had backed up their claim, I had not seen the update to the article. It was pretty clear to me that it was just a translation issue. But the fact is that little things like this just circulate around the internet until they are repeated so many times that they “become true” in the minds of too many people. GM has done zero backing off of the 200 mile statement that I know of.

                  1. Anon says:

                    We’ll all see when it hits the market. Personally, I’m not expecting a real 200, but something in the 180ish range.

    2. Alan says:

      “I’m more than a little interested in the 200 mile range BOLT. Its a shame that no other manufacturer has a low-cost model in the pipeline”

      When I collected my Outlander PHEV a couple of weeks ago, the Sales Exec told me Mitsu have this

      which he said was a Graphene battery 200 mile car and he saw it being charged up in very little time, he said it will be on sale next year and will not cost much more than a leaf !

      1. Ambulator says:

        With a 28 kWh battery I don’t think the concept will get much over 100 miles on the EPA test.

        1. Alan says:

          Who said it was a 28kwh battery ?

          The car in the link is what it looks like apparently but as for the battery, that’s a different story.

          According to the guy who actually saw it and who said it charged up very quickly reckoned it would do around 180 miles even though it was supposed to be un/officially 200 or more.

          I can only tell you what he told me !

          1. bbock says:

            Do you think the engineering on the Bolt is done? No. There’s no way for anyone to know the exact range. Even GM doesn’t yet know. Software and the final design of the car will matter. GM is very conservative about their battery buffer as well. So depending on the work being done at their battery partner, they can also squeak out a few more mlles from the battery buffer to use more of it if they determine it an acceptable trade off. Also, the number they are likely estimating is the screwy EPA number. I would take GM at their word on this. They were pretty honest abut the Volt’s ranges.

      2. Scramjett says:

        OT: How are you liking your Outlander?

        1. Alan says:

          It’s really nice, it does around 32 mile on Electric on the flat at speeds of up to 50mph and about 26 miles on hilly terrain.

          I did a round trip of 280 miles recently and averaged about 65mpg at 55mph.

          Am averaging around 80mpg with a number of shorter journeys.

          It’s really quiet in Electric only and has pretty good road holding with not much roll round corners.

    3. drpawansharma says:

      What about Tesla Model S 70D? its much cheaper than a roadster and if Roadster did fit your driving habits, i see no reason why 70D should not?

    4. Brian says:

      Hi Bill! I do believe that Nissan will have a strong competitor to the Bolt with the next generation Leaf. It will be similar in range and price, and hopefully a little less dorky looking. The reason Nissan hasn’t announced it yet is because they want to sell the current Leaf for another year or two whereas GM doesn’t sell its EV (the Spark) in high enough quantities to worry about jeapordizing sales. FWIW, Nissan has made comments to this effect, you just have to read between the lines (or avidly read Inside EVs and let them do it for you 😉 ).

      VW seems to be in a similar boat, promising to increase range on the eGolf by 2017. I personally hope that they can match the Bolt in range, because to me the eGolf is much better looking. I also got a chance to drive one, and it is a solid car, handles well.

      So yes, GM is the most vocal, but I do believe that in 2017/2018, we will have at least 3-4 competitors in the “affordable” BEV (<$40k price range) with at least 150-200 mile EPA range.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Response to the Dr. and to Brian:

        I’m not interested in the Tesla 70D, seeing as the S has had reliability problems. Twice as many drive trains can’t help that issue. Also, is the issue of ‘charge retention’. The S seems to be ok while driving, but its ‘quiescent drain’ in very cold weather would make its use in Buffalo, NY problematic.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          If you think Chevy competes among new cars that interest you, I wonder what mileage pattern would make a Bolt better than a 50 mile Volt, in Buffalo, NY? Is it BEVs only?

        2. Bill Howland says:

          This thing cuts short my posts.. Anyway, I’m having extreme difficulty finding out basic information regarding the Model S, but from what I’ve seen so far it is very expensive from a maintenance point of view, and, I dislike things I constantly have to fiddle with. My Roadster overall wasn’t too bad, but having it in the shop for 4 months in 2014, and over a month in 2015 soured me toward Tesla. Part of that was Buffalo is just too out of the way to try to get Teslas repaired. But whoever buys my Roadster ultimately is going to get a good deal, whether local dealer Robert Basil is going to keep the car for himself, or intends to sell it to a rich football player at a $15,000 profit. There’s plenty of life left in the car, especially since all the nagging problems I’ve paid to have fixed.

          Door handles that won’t work on the S after 3 years of trouble is *NOT* a trivial matter. I know CR loves the car anyway (why I have no hard information), but after spending $127,000 you would think they would insist on perfection, but with my experience now behind me, it looks more and more like the typical experience and not a freak occurence.

          Green Car Reports’ Noland did try to give real world battery range and charging cost information, but then he was plagued by a bad battery (as most other S users were), and to my knowlege there hasn’t been a follow up report. Then the editor put out a blanket story that people with my opinions aren’t welcome on GCR. That ‘story’ wasn’t directed at me personally, but I honored his request. No other blog site has even attempted what Noland tried to find out.

          So when I’m shopping for a car, I don’t feel I want much.

          1). I want reliability. I don’t push cars very hard in general and therefore expect them to last.

          2). I dislike surprises and hate it when I hear manufacturers constantly brag about how great their engineering is then have what are totally silly problems, I call them ‘bone-headed’ or ‘brain-dead’ designs, crop up constantly.

          The Volt and ELR meet those points. Both seem substantially designed, proven technology products which of course people criticize, unfairly in my view. Yes, they have ‘old fashioned’ engines in them (which happen to give 40 mpg of premium at 70 mph – probably wont be quite so good with the ELR, but that car is 2 feet longer than the VOLT – I was surprised at how LARGE a car it really is), and they have old fashioned 3300 watt chargers, which are boring in that they just work.

          I hate the ELR’s smart-phone-esque controls, but its a learning experience and I’ll get along with the dopey controls eventually. The Volt is a marvel of simplicity by comparison. But it is a comfortable car, fit and finish and materials are Excellent in anyone’s book, and surprisingly it is getting almost as many looks as the Roadster used to, which to me is very surprising. I suspect its because the car is so B I G..
          The car therefore isn’t perfect, but I did get it for an even swap, and, in addition another $7500 federal income tax credit. So in that sense it was a ‘bargain’.

          Now Brian, the reason I trust GM is that the other companies have kept putting their feet in their mouths.

          My ELR gets around 45 miles per charge in around town driving. It is ‘supposed’ to get 37. THAT is a huge difference.

          The Leaf is supposed to get 100 miles, and some people say it doesn’t even get what a volt on its battery alone gets. And of course, if you feel your bars are being lost, Andrew Parker was there to helpfully adjust your gas gauge so it would show 10 bars all the time until you got stranded.

          VW has come out with more electric models, and were the most important ev maker ever, according to themselves.

          The EV GOlF looks ‘ok’ to me, but is far from what you’d expect in view of VW’s hype.

          GM is the only manufacturer to date where the cars seem actually BETTER than advertised. The biggest PLUS in my view is that they are *NOT* cutting corners with their offerings. Therefore, with GM I’m expecting to be pleasantly surprised with the BOLT.

          I expect to be at least mildly disappointed by the other manufacturers if they stay true to form.

          1. kdawg says:

            I’m having an internal battle deciding on a Bolt or a Model 3 (that is, if a Model 3 even becomes available in the next 5 years).

            I love the fact the Model 3 could use the Supercharger network, but I have a lot more confidence in a product made by GM.

            I won’t consider a Nissan or VW.

            1. Brian says:

              I guess I just don’t share your enthusiasm for GM overall. I love the Volt as an idea, but in practice it unfortunately does not work for me, for reasons I’ve expounded on ad nauseum, so I will spare you a recap. The Bolt is also a great idea, but it looks to fall short for me for similar reasons – particularly size and look/feel. In my experience, GM has a lousy track record for quality, particularly in their small cars. I just don’t trust them to last. Then again, the same could be said for VW. And who really knows what to expect from an “affordable” car from Tesla. They certainly don’t have a track record either way there.

              1. kdawg says:

                I feel GM has put more effort into testing/engineering their EVs than the others. They also have a longer history with them and baby their batteries as well. As far as the rest of the car, I’ve had good experience with my GM cars. I like the looks of them over the competitors too. Again, I’m just one data point, but I’ll rely on my own personal experience before other data.

          2. Lensman says:

            “I’m having extreme difficulty finding out basic information regarding the Model S…”

            If you were really interested in learning about the Model S in detail, you could visit…


            …and read the many, many detailed forum discussion threads there. Everything is gone over in great detail, the relatively few problems as well as the many virtues of the Model S.

            Perhaps the reason Consumer Reports isn’t giving the sort of reviews you think they should is because you have an outlier opinion, not reflecting the results of the approx. 600 Model S owners they have surveyed.

            I’m sorry if you think your Roadster was a “lemon”, but you can find owners of literally every model of car who have similar complaints. I’m not trying to deny the reality of your experience, but I am suggesting that it’s not typical.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Noted. I’ll spend my CA$H the way I want to, thank you.

              Also, slight correction on charging rates: I’ve erroneously been stating the GM chargers can go to 16 amps. That’s apparently not true: 15 amps is tops.

              Note to Brian:

              The volt is no Vega or Chevette, or a trouble pron 5 cylinder Colorado.

              And with the ELR in view of its list price, extra care was taken with Fit and Finish. I’ll demonstrate one of these weeks.

              Now we’ve all speculated as to precisely why GM does not come out with more electric models….. I think they could do this with existing, proven designs. But GM has traditionally been a slow mover, but I like the direction I currently see them going.

              They’ve taken more cues from customer input with the 2016 Volt than I thought they would have, not withstanding the criticism articles here.

  7. miggy says:

    Is GM a global company? you would not think so reading this, no EV’s for the world market.

  8. Priusmaniac says:

    As long as people can get untaxed pollution, untaxed global warming, untaxed oil spills the greedy part in most of them will keep their reptilian brain chose for gas guzzlers. One rarely care of the consequences when they don’t apply to them directly.
    The only solution to this dilemma is applying the consequences directly by adding to gas and gas cars a pollution tax, a global warming tax, an oil spill tax and so on in order to make people pay the complete and true price of their gas guzzling cars.
    Suddenly ev will look way cheaper in comparison with those complete true costs.

    1. PVH says:

      As part of those fitted with this reptilian brain (about +/-98% of the population unfortunately) I agree that such a tax would make me swap my diesel with an EV. Although proceeds would of course need be used to expend share of electricity production using renewable energies. No point of charging EV’s with coal produced electricity. In absence of such an incentive I will not swap to an EV before energy density of EV batteries is above 300 Wh/kg for a price that makes EV competitive with ICE. That is below 25K EUR for a range of about 300 miles. City range is OK with current EV’s but highway (75Mph) range is currently just way too small.

      1. Foo says:

        “No point of charging EV’s with coal produced electricity.”

        Hmm, why? A “coal-powered” EV, by some estimates, is no more polluting, perhaps even somewhat less, than a gasoline car. So, given a choice, why not take the EV?

        Moreover, any given “coal-powered” EV at least has the potential to become less polluting over time (by simply switching the source of electricity). On the other hand, a gasoline car will always be exactly as polluting as it was the day it sputtered off the lot (actually, it probably gets a bit more polluting with time).

        1. PVH says:

          There is no question than EV’s are better for the environment it is just that technology is just not mature enough for mass acceptance. I am however sure it will come sooner than many people expect otherwise I wouldn’t hang around an EV site. I am excited by this technology however just conscious it is some way yet before mass acceptance. Just like GM I believe EVs are the future but it will take time. More than EV enthousiast think but less than most people think.

        2. Fool Cells says:

          not to mention we are 100% energy independent with electricity. We do not import coal, natural gas, or enriched uranium.

      2. przemo_li says:

        LOL man.

        Why do You need daily 300 miles commute?

        That is 450km commute.

        Why do You need even 300km range ONCE in a year?

        Seriously point out single trip in a year that You make that have 300km.

        Or we can just assume that You have UNORDINARY driving needs 😉 And general public need far less.

        1. PVH says:

          I would agree with you that my “range needs” are not average. in last 60 days I made 2 trips exceeding those distances by far (one 1800 km round trip, one 1000 km roundtrip). Flying is often not an option, either no airports at destination or need to rent a car upon arrival makes it an expensive option. Moreover no flexibility when flying, one has to stick to a schedule.

          1. przemo_li says:

            That must be very interesting work You do 🙂

            Such long distances probably make for last segment of car market that will go fully electric.

      3. Mister G says:

        New Delhi India had above average temperatures close to 122F…what good will come from waiting for the right EV incentives when you will spend $100’s more per month on keeping your home cool?

    2. Braben says:

      I’m not convinced that higher taxation does a lot. For example, in Germany the average price for gasoline is currently about 1.57 Euros per litre, or roughly $6 per gallon. And EV sales are even worse there than they are in the US …

      1. przemo_li says:

        EU wants to limit harmful exhaust gases.

        This will do the trick for EV sales in EU.

        However Norway example show that immediate taxes are better as incentive.

        Just tax new ICEs through the nose 😉

        1. Braben says:

          The EU is far behind the original targets for EVs. The incentives in Norway are being dialed back because they too expensive for the tax payer. There are no ifs, buts and whens: Battery cost has to come down dramatically for EVs to succeed.

          1. Lensman says:

            I agree with you, but battery costs are coming down dramatically. That’s why we’re going to have a new crop of nominally “200 mile” EVs starting in 2017.

            Certainly a lot of people (including me) would like this to happen sooner, but it is happening.

  9. Just_Chris says:

    The question of cost and making money interest me. If I can buy a kit on the internet and turn a glider into an ev for say $10-20k why can’t GM make an ev for $20-30k and make money? Yes the plugin vehicles they make are much nicer than the one I would make but really they are a massive multi-national company with thousands of employees

    1. Lensman says:

      The new car market is highly competitive, especially in the USA. GM has a lot of experience and expertise, and has invested billions and billions of dollars in equipment for making, compelling gas guzzlers at a competitive price.

      Not so much with EV tech; that’s still in the “early adopter” stage, much as we EV enthusiasts would like it to be otherwise.

      Is it impossible to make a compelling EV at an affordable price? Apparently the answer is “yes”. Tesla has shown it’s possible to make a compelling EV and sell it at a profit… but only at an upscale price. If it was possible to make one and sell it for the price at which GM is selling the Volt, then Tesla would already be doing that.

      Instead, Tesla is investing more than $2 billion of its own money (and likely eventually a lot more) to create a battery factory which they think will let them sell the future Model ≡ for half the price of the Model S. But that won’t happen for at least 2 years, and more realistically not for 3 or possibly even 4 years.

      It may or may not be reasonable to take GM to task for not building their own large scale battery factory, so they can reduce battery prices and make EVs at a more competitive price. Tesla has to make that gamble; GM does not. If I was a GM stockholder, I very much question that I’d want them to make that multi-billion-dollar bet now, rather than hold off for a few years and see what advances come along in the field of EV batteries.

      But either way, it’s rather pointless (and unfair) to criticize GM for not making and selling EVs which cost as much or more to make than the price at which they can sell them.

  10. Martin T says:

    Dear GM, If you truly believe this …. Well build LHD & RHD and keep selling, don’t throw the rattle out like a baby in the RHD markets!

    Built up points with new technology adopters not Crap on &run and hide – like now in Europe and Australia.

    Look long term… (Yes I know it hard for a US company dictated to by short vision bean counters)
    But do try! There just might be some sales and profit long term instead of handing it your competitors on plater.

  11. Warren says:

    I am really looking forward to seeing the new crop of 200 mile range EVs. But I am afraid they will be a huge disappointment to me…inefficient cars stuffed with enough batteries to guarantee they will be sold at a loss, or too expensive.

    When I hear people call Leafs and Volts “small cars”, and how they like the look of the VW Golf, I despair of ever seeing affordable, long range EVs.

    1. Alan says:

      Be patient, they are on the way !

      If Nissan can sell a new battery for $5k, in theory they could just put two under the floor and add 5k to the price and still make money and that’s without any battery improvements.

      The next 12 to 18 months should be quite exciting !

      1. Warren says:

        If you think Nissan is making money on those $5.5K replacement packs, you have drunk the koolaid. They are selling replacement packs at a loss in an attempt to prop up the value of the thousands coming off lease. Try buying a pack outright, and see how much they ask.

        The cars that Nissan and GM come out with will either have a real range of 120 miles, or they will sell at a loss while praying for a battery breakthrough.

        1. Alan says:

          I didn’t say they would money on the battery, I said they make money on the leaf now, if they broke even on a battery or made a small loss they could still make money on a leaf.

          1. Warren says:

            Ok. Say they double the pack size, and run up the base price from $29K to $34.5K. The EPA range will be slightly less than double what it is now, say 160 miles. Assuming they made it as aero as a Tesla S they could get to 200 miles with another 12 kWh, so add another $1.8K. Now we are at $37.5K, which gets you a $30K car after tax credits. Still way more than most can afford and only looks sane compared to ICE vehicles, which have driven us to a 1 in 10 chance of catastrophe in 100 short years. Not really a rational response, given the scale of our problem.

  12. Joseph says:

    They have seen the light! Thank You. Can’t wait for the BOLT!