Two EVs to be released by GM over the next 18 months
GM has announced the next stage in its plan to become “all-electric,” with at least 20 new EVs on the way over the next six years. This, it says, a part of its vision to create a world with “zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion.”
The first two all-electric vehicles shall arrive in the next 18 months, and will be based on learning from the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The Chevrolet Bolt went on sale at the beginning of the year and is now sold nationwide. The Chevrolet Bolt EV has a starting price of $36,620 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. Almost 12,000 Bolts have been sold in the US so far this year.
General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, Mark Reuss stated: “General Motors believes in an all-electric future.” Reuss added: “These aren’t just words in a war of press releases… We are far along in our plan to lead the way to that future world.”
This will include investment in both fuel cell EVs and battery-powered models, and in particular the “Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure” or SURUS for short. This is a fuel cell powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame, driven by two electric motors. Further details are short, but reports have suggested the SURUS platform could be used for utility vehicles like delivery vans, trucks or ambulances.
Reuss’ words seem even more relevant now than when he first announced GM’s plans. Ford followed GM’s press release a day later with its similar plans to revolutionise its EV development. This is only one of a list of competitors announcing new plans recently such as, Daimler, which has said it will offer electrified versions of all of its models by 2022. Volvo too will cease production of ICE-only vehicles by 2019, while Volkswagen says it will electrify its entire 300-car range by 2030.
Yet unlike the other companies, Reuss declined to give a date for the complete electrification of its vehicles. He explained: “Because of the different regulatory environments and the different duty cycles that our customers want, there isn’t a single year that I can give you on that.” Depending on one’s point of view, GM’s announcement may be the most realistic or the least ambitious.
General Motors will have a whole new range of electric vehicles over the next six years. However, it will have to speed up to keep track with other companies that plan to be fully electric when GM are only just getting started.