It's a big number, and one that needs a bit of a disclaimer.

Speaking (via satellite) to journalists at the General Motors Electrification Experience in San Francisco yesterday, Mary Barra, GM's senior vice president of global product development, announced that The General will have 500,000 "vehicles with electrification" by 2017. That's only five years away, and implies 100,000 such vehicles sold in each of the next five years. The asterisk is that Barra most certainly did not mean a half-million GM plug-in vehicles will be on the road by then, since electrification here includes everything from the small electric helpers in its eAssist vehicles to full electrics like the Chevrolet Spark EV. Using those parameters, GM will sell 50,000 vehicles "with some form of electrification" this year alone. As of the end of October, GM sold 19,309 Volts, and the final 2012 tally will likely be around 25,000.

But, the interesting aspect is that Barra says GM's future "focus" will be on plug-in technology. She didn't say that GM is leaving things like hydrogen and biofuels behind, just that, "The plug-in offers a unique opportunity to change the way people commute. Plug-based solutions will play a significant role in our technology portfolio going forward." The Volt, Barra said, is fulfilling its role as technology leader, spawning not just the Spark EV but also the planned production version of the Cadillac ELR concept shown above. Right now, only those privy to GM's secret future plans binders know how many "children" the Volt will have by 2017.

To read more about GM's proclamation, scroll down to read GM's official press release.
Show full PR text
GM Plans 500,000 Vehicles with Electrification by 2017
eAssist will be on 'hundreds of thousands' of vehicles


2012-11-14

DETROIT – General Motors will have up to 500,000 vehicles on the road with some form of electrification by 2017 with a focus on plug-in technology, the company's top product development executive said Wednesday.

"The plug-in offers a unique opportunity to change the way people commute," Mary Barra, senior vice president of Global Product Development told media attending the GM Electrification Experience in San Francisco. "Plug-based solutions will play a significant role in our technology portfolio going forward."

The plug-in Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle, introduced in 2010, has become more than a statement for GM in the electric vehicle space, Barra said by satellite from Detroit.

"What started out as a technology proof point... has turned into a real-world starting point to push EV technology further and faster than we thought possible five years ago," she said. "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."

Learning from the Volt is being liberally applied to the Chevrolet Spark EV, which will go on sale next year in the certain U.S. markets and South Korea with other markets to be announced soon.

"We'll meet requirements set by certain regulatory agencies, but we're not building the Spark EV to check a regulatory box," Barra said.

GM is on track to sell more than 50,000 vehicles this year with electrification – between the Volt and eAssist light electrification technology on the Buick LaCrosse, Regal and Chevrolet Malibu. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala also will offer an eAssist model when he debuts next year.

"Our commitment to eAssist is unwavering," Barra said. "In fact, our future portfolio calls for eAssist to be on hundreds of thousands of GM vehicles annually by 2017."

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 104 Comments
      carney373
      • 2 Years Ago
      "an electric car emits less electricity" oops I meant emits less POLLUTION, or just emits less. Lame AOL non-editable comment system.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ brotherkenny4 " Cost is really the cost of materials and labor " Of all the strange comments you have posted, I think this is the most absurd ! Why continue to display your absolute lack of knowledge ?
      timber
      • 2 Years Ago
      Despite appreciating angular cars I don't really like Cadillac's design theme but this particular looks SO SO SO great...
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM has the Volt, the Spark EV starts next year, and the ELR soon after that. That is 3 different plug-in models. Considering the current demand, you can't ask for much more than that. They are wise to be 'ready' to supply lots of plug-ins. Demand will probably remain weak but they are ready to handle a big increase in demand if it should materialize due to sharply higher oil prices due to an Iran war or China ******* up all the exported oil.
        n.bob2
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Consider how much cheaper flat screen TVs got in 5 years. Consider how much gas will cost in 5 years. 5 years is a long time in tech years.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @n.bob2
          I cringe any time people compare digital electronics to EVs. Yes, a bigger market will help lower prices. But batteries just don't get cheaper the way digital electronics get cheaper. (I wish they did.)
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Spec, please don't confuse a limited number production run, Spark, on the same level as vehicles they are actually attempting to sell, Volt and Caddy.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          If there is demand for them and they can make a profit then they'll build them.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          With solid mild hybrid and EREV technology in the bank and moving off the lot, they don't really need BEVs except for BEV compliance. GM's Volts have already saved more gas than all non-Leaf BEVs combined. And a similar calculation holds for Toyota's Prius doing more good than those same non-Leaf BEVs. BEV minimums are a purist compliance mechanism, not supportable by a real-world green results. GM is doing the right thing by dragging their feet on the Spark BEV, because there's a lot of customer resistance to BEVs. But Spec is basically right. GM is will be watching Spark demand pretty closely. If the Spark EV should surpass expectations, then one can expect GM to expand the program at some point and move to BEV sales.
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        There are likely to be even more plug-in models introduced in the next 5 years, particularly if the price of batteries drops (likely) or the price of gasoline continues to rise (also likely). There is a possibility of a high performance sports car (E-Vette, anyone?) , or a PHEV pickup, or a PHEV SUV, any of which would substantially improve the CAFE average for GM.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        GM is making eAssist standard in more and more models to push their CAFE numbers up. By 2017, that's a full-line refresh, so it's going to become standard or a moderate-cost option across practically everything GM sells. That's how GM is going to do it.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          "Pointless"? What a stupid thing to say. Things never change overnight, and broad adoption of incremental measures has a much bigger net impact than than micro adoption. "BREAK FREE FROM OIL"? And how will that happen? It'll happen via things like eAssist, HSD, EREV technology becoming standard. But that can't happen overnight, so as an interim approach, the broader, expanded adoption of reducing technologies is the correct approach. Whining without a real-world solution is pointless.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          I totally agree that GM should have eAssist on every model (at least as an option).
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Pointless. From 1976 to 1990 our national fleet average, thanks it part to CAFE, went from 13 mpg to 20, a whopping increase enabling going the same distance on much less fuel. But in that timeframe our annual gasoline consumption went from 89 to 103 billion gallons. The only relevant goal is to BREAK FREE FROM OIL.
      ebn.hahn
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is a laugher.... lets see, they wanted to sell 60K volts a year!!. how much they sold so far!!?? Less than 20k.. For a company who doesnt know anything about electric they sure talk big... I dont see Toyota talking the rubbish..
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ebn.hahn
        Original plans for the Volt, and its sales expectations, were made before the 2008 financial crash. All automakers have endured reduced sales compared with the pre-crash days. As for "not knowing anything about electrics", GM has sold more electric cars than anyone else.
          wrestleprocbt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carney373
          I thought according the current administration GM is now the greatest company on earth with record sales? HMMM did they lie about that too? Shocking!
        Smith Jim
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ebn.hahn
        It's true that GM is not selling as many Volts as they would like. It's also true that plug in cars in general are not selling as well as green car enthusiasts had hoped for. In GM's defense, the Volt is outselling (in the US market) every other plug in vehicle COMBINED.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Smith Jim
          It's even true that nobody in Europe is selling as many cars of any type as they would like. In a very short timeframe, GM has gone from a follower to the #2 seller of plugin/hybrid cars in the US. Only Toyota sells more, and that's almost entirely because of the Prius. GM has low-cost technology in the eAssist which will allow them to go very wide, along with EREV technology which is paying for itself at a very reasonable pace, plus new Volt-derived BEV technology coming to market. GM sells something like 2.5 Million cars annually. Over 5 years, that 12.5 Million cars. 500k is 4%. Last month, GM sold 5.7k "electrified" vehicles out of 195k cars = 2.9%. Over the next 5 years, with the ELR and Spark, and more eAssist, GM won't raise that by a single percentage point? Given that GM has raised it from well under 1% last year, and less than a half percent the year before? Really? You can't see a miniscule increase as being probable in the face of much increased new procuct?
      carney373
      • 2 Years Ago
      "She didn't say that GM is leaving things like hydrogen and biofuels behind" [...] GM -SHOULD- leave hydrogen behind. It's permanently non-feasible. But it should make biofuel compatibility a standard feature across the board. GM led the way in enabling E85 ethanol in many of its vehicle models, but its current CEO Akerson has denigrated ethanol and the company has backslid on this issue, despite having solemnly promised at the bailout hearings that half its offerigns would be flex fuel by this year. Given that the per-car cost of flex-fuel capability is so low ($100 per new car at the factory at most) there is NO excuse. In fact GM should make FULL flex fuel capability, the ability for its gasoline cars to run on ANY alcohol fuel (not just ethanol but also methanol, propanol, butanol, etc.)a standard feature across the board. And GM should drop its opposition to the Open Fuel Standards Act which makes full flex fuel a federally required standard for all new cars sold in America. It's such a cheap, easy no-brainer, compared to the mountain-moving effort of shifting to plug-ins, you have to wonder whether GM is trying to divert anti-oil momentum into more difficult terrain to derail the effort. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/291950/conspiracy-restraint-trade-robert-zubrin?pg=2
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        GM did E85 because it gave CAFE bonuses, not because the Ethanol is actually good, useful, or green. That $100 x 2M+ cars annually = $200M that Americans have basically flushed down the toilet to support Big Food conglomerates.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @moron - Big Food controls Congress. Idiot.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Big Food is tiny compared to OPEC. In 2008 we spent $350 BILLION with a B directly on OPEC oil, an amount bigger than the combined cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars. We spent more on the enemy than on our selves and it's a mystery why those wars dragged on and victory was so elusive. Pay attention to the giant sized real problem instead of the crumb-sized non-problem, Einstein.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Ethanol is good for making liquor. Liquor's a food.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          Ethanol is a remarkably useful substance. Booze, sanitizer, fuel, etc.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        @ Carney373 I feel a bit sorry for you. You have remained faithful to the ethanol dream long after everyone else did the sums, and worked out that it's an uneconomic, difficult technology with the draw back of being dependent of the uncertain fortunes of all agricultural crops. It's time for you to move on ! Look at the astounding progress made by Tesla. Look at the slow but gathering acceptance of GM's Volt/Ampera. Cadillac ELR, in the article would be an eagerly sought after, run away money maker for GM (and bolster Volt sales) . American's will never be happy being forced into purchasing a mandated, unpopular fuel. The vast majority of motorists see no value in using ethanol, as opposed to the exciting new EV technologies, with over 4 million vehicles employing some form of EV technology. Ethanol from corn is only viable in America due to the farm lobby. The oil companies are happy with ethanol since it allows a controlled and continued use of gasoline products, as they prepare for future depletion supply problems. Ethanol has a new competitor from LPG/CNG. This is 40 year old technology, and highly successful in those areas where NG is plentiful. But in the end, CNG/LPG, are just a slightly more plentiful, and cleaner fossil fuels. Hydrogen is still an unproven technology, but a lot of very serious scientists and engineers are working very hard with some very impressive funding, so I wouldn't dismiss FCV's out of hand. But none of these technologies are as practically advanced as EV technology ! C'mon, join in and Celebrate the amazing acceptance of Tesla among even die hard gasoline rev heads ! Enjoy the progress of GM's Voltec family, and leave the ethanol back on the farm !
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          I support EVs, and support tax breaks and other incentives for them. But the reality is that half of all people are below average, as they say. They pay attention much more to up front price, NOT down the road energy savings, let alone big picture issues such as the environment, national security, or the broader economy. They are particularly vulnerable to FUD on issues such as range, charge time, and charger availability. Alternative liquid fuels fit much better with in the paradigm we are all used to. Much less of a disruptive change. Fill up in 5 minutes, go hundreds of miles. There are over 2,400 E85 stations and millions of flex fuel vehicles. Electric cars are no less a result of government intervention than ethanol itself, and if any thing even more stigmatized.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          montoym, The Volt is not flex fuel due to the much lower shelf life of ethanol. That is also one of the reasons for the recommended high octane (along with higher efficiency vs price). Many Volt owners only fill up their cars once or twice a year. http://www.fuel-testers.com/expiration_of_ethanol_gas.html
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          I'm aware of why. I'm simply stating that it is something that many wanted to see available on the Volt and that it is planned that they will offer it on probably the next-gen version. It just makes too much sense.
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          The irony there is that that many people were angry that GM didn't incude Flex-Fuel capability on the Volt from the outset. It is planned however. You want to talk about cutting oil usage without resorting to a full-on EV, the Volt already cuts gasoline usage down greatly just by its very nature. Add into that a roughly 85% decrease in oil usage by running E85 and it's that much less oil used. There's not another mainstream gaoline-powered vehicle on the planet that will use less oil than a Volt running E85, period.
        diffrunt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Re: ethanol------biggest ripoff in the history of the car business. I,m so glad there's a real gas station just down the road from me. Don't ever let it set in your fuel injected outboard.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @diffrunt
          Instead of blaming the ethanol for its effects on your ethanol-incompatible boat, blame the boat maker for stupidly stubbornly willfully refusing to include ethanol compatibility to your boat, when the cost would be trivial. Personally I live on the water and I'm sick of the oily sheen on the water from gasoline. Ethanol dissolves completely in water rather than remaining floating and concentrated. Ethanol breaks down into harmless components thanks to being munched by existing present bacteria rather than needing expensive cleanup or chemical dispersants. Ethanol needs no carcinogenic or mutagenic detergents to prevent gunk or buildup.
      ApplePie
      • 2 Years Ago
      cadillacs look like boxes
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ApplePie
        Old people like boxes: Back in my day our cars were square and we liked it! Fortunately this car looks like it is a little more aerodynamic than the caddies of yore.
      Bc
      • 2 Years Ago
      What is the environmental benefit of an electric car recharged from coal fired power plants?
        mikeybyte1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bc
        It's my understanding the energy draw to charge these cars annually is pretty minimal. Like a refrigerator or other big appliance. And coal plants are not the only source of energy. So I think overall it is pretty minimal. Much lower than a normal gasoline or diesel powered car.
        n.bob2
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bc
        Why drive a 50 mpg car when you can drive an 8 mpg car? Pollution from a power plant and pollution from the hundreds of thousands of vehicles within the range of a power plant are not equal. Also most electric vehicle charging happens at night when there is a whole lot of electricity wasted in the grid.
        ViperRT10Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bc
        Even charged from a coal plant, an EV is cleaner than a standard vehicle. Of the energy in a gallon of gasoline, only about 20% of it goes towards moving a car down the road; it's that inefficient. That being said, coal is only 45% of the US' power grid, and is falling as natural gas gets cheaper. Furthermore, electric cars can be switched to different, cleaner source later, whereas an internal combustion engine will never be any cleaner than the day it was put on the road.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bc
        There is none. A car charged from coal emits about the same CO2 as a 30mpg gasoline car. And the coal plant emits a lot of other pollutants and radiation as well.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          That is from the Union of Concerned Scientists report: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/clean_vehicles/electric-car-global-warming-emissions-report.pdf
          Sean
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          Though 100% coal power is more worse than the power grid from anywhere in the United States (or any other country that I am aware of). So plugging is still better than a 30mpg gasoline car even in the most polluting power grid available.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          "Yes Dave, but it is pure domestic poison fuel for our EV's. Thus we do not have to import a poison fuel." According to the report, a $23,000 Prius emits less CO2 per mile than a $35,000 Leaf in 55% of the USA. If Toyota were to build a CNG powerd Prius it would still cost less than the Leaf and emit even less CO2 and it would run on 100% domestic fuel. So, we would have a ~$28,000 car that with unlimited range, running on domestic fuel, with a longer lifespan than a Leaf, emmitting less CO2 than a Leaf in at least 75% of the USA. It looks to me like its gonna take a long time for the grid to clean up enough to justify BEVs.
          mycommentemail
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          How much CO2 is emitted per gallon by a refinery? How much CO2 is emitted getting the crude oil to the refinery? Finally, update a single coal plant and suddenly thousands of electric cars are cleaner overnight (without their owners having to change a single thing)
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          Yes Dave, but it is pure domestic poison fuel for our EV's. Thus we do not have to import a poison fuel.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          BTW - France (for example) gets ~80% of their electricity from nukes. Unlike most of our grid, theirs is ready for BEVs.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bc
        Easy, I can make my own electricity - I can't put an oil derrick/refinery in my back yard. Coal use is dropping rapidly, so a durable good like a Volt will get cleaner every year. An ICE will get dirtier every year as more difficult to process oil deposits have to be used.
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bc
        Electric cars are very efficient, using 80% of their stored energy for movement, in contrast with internal combustion engines which waste 80% of their fuel energy on un-needed heat. That means that a coal plant emits less pollution in generating the electricity needed to charge an electric car with enough energy to move a given distance, compared with the pollution generated by a gasoline car moving that same distance. Again, for the same distance traveled, an electric car emits less electricity (via the coal plant that charged it) than a gasoline car does while moving. On top of that, to simplify a tad, it's a lot easier to clean up the emissions of a single coal plant and it than a fleet of gasoline cars. You can put filters, scrubbers, etc. on one or a few smokestacks a lot more easily than chasing thousands of tail pipes. Finally, while a gasoline car can only ever use gasoline, an electric car (like your laptop or cell phone) doesn't care what the source of electricity was that charged it. Thus you can choose to have cleaner electricity sources for your car, or policymakers can shift the local source of electricity to something other than coal, without any disruption to the cars.
      mycommentemail
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ElectricAvenue, Thanks for pointing that out. I'm surprised that this is hardly ever brought up when concerns about the grid are used to try and disrupt EV programs. I have read that a single gallon of gasoline uses about 6 Kw to refine.
      Ryan Andrew Martin
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugh, the Converj is so sexy.
      Eta Carinae
      • 2 Years Ago
      i cant wait til the Cadillac ELR enters production....it will be a stunning car !
      sensibility2
      • 2 Years Ago
      When are they producing this car? I love it!
        muspod
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sensibility2
        they wont.. they are gm.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sensibility2
        GM has stated that Cadillac ELR is slated to start production late next year - i.e. 9 months to a year from now. Introduction could be as early as Pebble Beach, and as late as the Detroit NAIAS.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @muspod: Are you blind or just stupid? In what way does the pictured 2-door ELR match up with a 4-door Volt? Are there any body panels or other visible components shared between the two cars?
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          The current gen Caddy ATS & CTS sedans/coupe are objectively competitive with anything in the world and any "best" is down to taste. The XTS is a fantastic "black car" livery hauler. There is no reason to think GM is still in the 70s or 80s. GM has been pushing the Converj / ELR coupe forward ever since the Volt platform showed sustained sales starting late 2011 and continued momentum growth into 2012. There is a lot of emotional hate toward GM, but the recent engineering work is pretty darn good. Lots of very solid product at not-unreasonable prices. GM has been playing things *very* safe - the Volt is the riskiest thing to come out of GM in the past decade. Going way upmarket like the on-again/off-again BMW i8 won't happen anytime soon - no volume and no profits in it, and high risk of failure due to issues outside GM control. When GM launches a true Cadillac flagship, it'll be like the Cadillac Ciel - a huge sedan with twin-turbo V6 hybrid drivetrain, versus the older V12 Cadillac Cien coupe and V16 Sixteen concepts.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @ SVX pearlie Hopefully you are correct ! ( I am eager to know when a RHD version will be available). I think the ELR, should be as upmarket as possible. In recent years GM has allowed the Cadillac marque to go down down market to the point where the once great Cadillac marque that in past eras compared with the best Mercedes or even Rolls-Royce in image, became little more than a bad taste Pontiac. Obviously, the ELR bears no resemblance to the Volt ! I think muspod is trying to say, is he fears GM may reduce the ELR to another cheaply badge-engineered vehicle, reminiscent of the worst practices of the 'old GM'. The ELR is GM's chance to show the motoring world that GM has really changed, and the old bad corporate practices are truly in the past !
          muspod
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          if they try to build it, all they will do is put a cadillac grill on a volt with some perf leather seats in it and call it a day...for 60K. or more
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