GM Aims for 500,000 Vehicles With Electrification by 2017

VoltPlug

Call it a power play in the electric-car market: GM projects that by 2017 it will have as many as half a million vehicles on the road with some form of electrification. Its next plug-in vehicle will be the Chevrolet Spark EV.

The focus will be on plug-in technology; GM's introduction of the extended-range Chevrolet Volt has energized the automaker to focus on the electric-vehicle market.

"What started out as a technology proof point … has turned into a real-world starting point to push EV technology further and faster than we thought possible five years ago," Mary Barra, GM's senior vice president of Global Product Development, said in a statement. "The unique propulsion technology pioneered in the Volt … will be a core piece of our electrification strategy going forward."

Not all of that experience has been positive, though. A report released by Reuters in September alleged that GM loses tens of thousands of dollars on every Volt due to development costs. Although the automaker disputed that figure, it acknowledged that Volt profits would not be immediate, but insisted that startup costs would be spread over future models.

Much of the knowledge gained in developing the Volt has been applied to the creation of the 2014 Spark EV, GM said. The plug-in car will debut in a few weeks at the L.A. Auto Show and is expected to go on sale in certain U.S. markets in the summer.

A major selling point for the Spark EV is its quickness — not just off the line but also in recharging time, according to Chevy. It will use a lithium-ion battery pack, and the automaker expects the motor to be good for around 130 horsepower with a zero-to-60-mph time of less than 8 seconds. The car's newly developed charger will allow DC fast-charging of up to 80% of battery capacity within 20 minutes. That will provide a range on par with the best among its competitors, Chevy says. Using a 240-volt outlet, the Spark EV can be charged in in less than seven hours, according to GM, and a 120-volt charging cord is standard. Like the Volt, charging can be managed using a smartphone app.

When GM's transmission plant outside Baltimore begins manufacturing the Spark EV's motor and drive unit early next year, it will be the first time a U.S. automaker has built both systems in their entirety for a modern electric vehicle in the United States, according to Chevy.

GM says it is on track this year to sell more than 50,000 vehicles with electrification. That estimate includes the Volt and eAssist gas-electric hybrid technology on the Buick LaCrosse and Regal and the Chevrolet Malibu. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala also will offer an eAssist model next year.

Related
Report: GM Loses Nearly $50,000 on Every Volt
Chevrolet Spark EV to Debut at L.A. Auto Show
More Chevrolet Volt News on Cars.com

Comments 

I'm all for electric cars and I'm looking forward to checking out the Chevrolet Spark EV. Charging in 7 hours and fast-charging in 20 minutes? Sounds impressive. I can't wait.

I wonder how much money is being wasted on the crappy cars. We waste like 5 times more electricity with the stupid ass cars.

Ivan

WBYUC,
The worst part about this is that in a few decades, when quite a lot of people drive electrics, people like you are still going to laugh, criticizing the people buying electrics when there is plenty of fuel. The only reason there will/would be is because people will drive electrics.

Highdesertcat

We won't run out of oil for at least the next 200 years. That said, EVs should be available so that any person who wants to buy one, can.

Adam

All Cars.com readers should avoid webuyusedcars.com as they're a TOTAL rip-off! They tried to rip-off my elderly neighbor by offering her 20% of the value of her car.

I think that EV's will only do well as long as the range is improved; around 100 miles before needing a recharge is just not enough range for most drivers.

Ivan

Well, I believe there are statistics done on the oil reserves, and they say that the current known reserves will last less than 50 years with the current consumption. So I'm not sure if 200 years is an estimate, or what?

Card13

I still can't understand people who argue that 100 miles is not enough range. If you drive more than 100 miles in your daily commute, you are in a tiny minority and should consider moving closer to work. A carpool buddy of mine has an abnormally long commute from San Francisco to San Jose in a Leaf (with charging at work). Log your daily mileage, I'm sure it's not as high as you think.

That is very good comment you shared.Thank you so much that for you shared those things with us.Im wishing you to carry on with ur achivments.All the best.

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