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.