General Motors Pushes for Affordable Electric Vehicles

By | September 17, 2013
General Motors continues to push for more affordable electric vehicles to join its numerous brand lineup. A luxury Cadillac-badged cousin of the Chevrolet Volt is expected to launch soon, marking the first step of GM's plan. Currently, the Chevrolet Volt has a starting price of $35,000 before tax credits, which is being outsold by the Tesla Model S that starts at $71,000. GM will debut the Cadillac ELR later this year to close the gap between itself and Tesla Motors. Helping to close the gap even further will be improved performance and lowered costs to all GM electric vehicles in current and future models. "We're trying to put more stress on getting this right for the lower-priced vehicles," said Doug Parks, GM's vice president for global product programs, in a recent interview. For the next-generation Chevrolet Volt, expected to launch in 2015 or 2016, GM will lower the price between $7,000 and $10,000, getting it closer to the price range of the Chevrolet Spark EV. To help reach its goal of building 500,000 vehicles a year with some form of electrification, GM has formed a team to study Tesla more closely to better determine how much of a threat the company poses. With the electric automaker planning to unveil a more affordable electric vehicle within the next few years, Parks noted that GM will be sticking with its current strategy, focusing on the vehicles currently in lineups. GM has no plans to stop with the Cadillac ELR and has plans to produce other electric vehicles with higher price points, as well as some with a price tag over $100,000. "We may do a couple of cars up there too because that's a great place to be and we're a full-line manufacturer," commented Parks. Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)