The increasing momentum for the Chevy Volt—which has now set three monthly sales records in a row—has GM increasingly optimistic about the future of plug-in vehicles. The company’s senior vice president of Global Product Development, Mary Barra, recently told the media that: “I want to state clearly, here and now, that a major focus of GM’s electrification strategy will center on the plug. … Traditional hybrid technology is important, of course. But we think plug-in technology will play an increasingly important role in the years to come, and that’s where a significant part of our focus will be.”
Barra was speaking to the GM Electrification Experience in San Francisco, where select members of the press gathered this month to learn about the General’s plans for future high-efficiency vehicles like the Chevy Spark EV—slated to debut at the coming Los Angeles Auto Show and go on sale in the summer of 2013.
Other highlights from Barra’s speech include:
- “The unique propulsion technology pioneered in the Volt—the same technology that will be featured in the Cadillac ELR—will be a core piece of our electrification strategy going forward.”
- “Our plan calls for producing up to 500,000 vehicles annually with some form of electrification globally by 2017.”
- “Our commitment to eAssist is unwavering. In fact, our future portfolio calls for eAssist to be on hundreds of thousands of GM vehicles annually by 2017.”
In addition, the automaker will look to further enhance the benefits of its electrified powertrains, as well as boost fuel efficiency in more traditional vehicles, through a concerted effort to reduce weight across its vehicle lineup. Here, the model will be the all-new Cadillac ATS sport sedan that’s the lightest vehicle in its segment.
“The result is a car that is both strong and lightweight… both quick and fuel-efficient,” according to Barra. “And that’s the kind of focus you’ll be seeing from us in this area in the months and years to come.”