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GM Details Its Electrification Plans with SUVs and Crossovers Galore

It's safe to say General Motors tested the waters with the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, and given it had to boost the price and cut any new orders for its European version - the Opel Ampera-e - the exercise was probably considered a success.
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Given the nature of the car - a rather small hatchback - Europe was bound to give it a warm reception, particularly since the only other options were the Nissan LEAF and Renault ZOE (and the more expensive BMW i3), which all had inferior ranges. Besides, the Bolt/Ampera-e proved to be a very well thought out package as a whole, not just a good electric powertrain on wheels.

Earlier this year, General Motors made it clear it intends to capitalize on the Bolt's success by offering several other all-electric models, though the company didn't go into much detail. All we know is that two EVs are supposed to launch over the 18 months, and 18 more during the next five years, but we didn't know much about their nature.

To be fair, it wasn't that hard to guess that a large portion of them would be SUVs and crossovers, but speculating is one thing, and having solid information from an official source is completely another. Well, they don't get more official than GM CEO Mary Barra, so here's what she revealed about the carmaker's plans.

Barra admitted that the first two EVs, the ones coming in 2018, are going to be crossovers and that one would sell under the Buick brand. They are both based on the Chevrolet Bolt platform, which - together with the Buick revelation - suggests they might be the same car sold under different brands.

The following 18 models will use different platforms, the second of which should be introduced in 2021 when, GM thinks, the cost of batteries will drop significantly. The company did not disclose their nature, but they should cover virtually all market segments, including sports cars or minivans.

A growth chart in Barra's presentation shows that GM doesn't expect to sell that many EVs over the next couple of years, with the target set at roughly 100,000 for 2018. However, by 2026, they plan to deliver 1,000,000 battery-powered vehicles per year, a target Tesla, for example, hopes to reach a lot sooner than that.

In 2016, GM sold nearly 10 million cars worldwide, meaning the forecast for 1,000,000 EVs by 2026 still doesn't show the company is convinced about the switch to alternative propulsion. One million would only represent ten percent of its figures, which is way below the market share most analysts believe the electric vehicles will hold more than eight years from now.

 
 
 
 
 

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