General Motors North America president Mark Reuss isn’t ready to give up on electric cars. In fact, he’s adamant about their progress.
Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress on Wednesday, Reuss defended electric cars, which while still slow to sell, managed to triple sales since last year to 52,172 units according to Automotive News.
“The electric vehicle is not dead,” Reuss said. “I believe, and we at GM believe, that the public will accept and embrace electric vehicles. Some people already have.”
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Much of that acceptance, Reuss said, will take time. “We will see the day when we have an affordable electric car that offers 300 miles of range with all the comfort and utility of a conventional vehicle.”
A more diverse lineup will play a part in GM’s push to promote electric cars in a market that turned out to be less receptive to EVs than originally expected. Cadillac unveiled its Chevrolet Volt-based ELR sport coupe which offers slightly less range but a sportier and much more premium take on the Volt.
Just like other products on the market, Volt sales have seen steady albeit small increases. Last year Chevrolet sold 23,461 units – triple what it did the year before. Nonetheless, cost remains a major concern.
Cost and product diversity are problems that spread far beyond the slowly expanding GM electric product line.
The Obama administration announced a commitment to exclusively buy alternative fuel fleet vehicles by 2015. Those purchases started out strong but shrunk by almost 66 percent from 2009 to 2011.
It’s an issue GM is well aware of and aims to address. “It’s going to sell even more,” he said, “and the next generation will be even better,” likely because the next car will be cheaper.
Reuss said for the next generation Volt, GM can cut down “thousands of dollars” in costs with a better designed battery pack and electric motors.
[Source: Automotive News]
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