GM's new green strategy to focus on plug-in hybrids with "I-car" project

Bloomberg is reporting that they received word from auto industry insiders that GM's yet-to-be-publicly-announced, new, green strategy will include improved gas engines, hybrid pick-ups, fuel cell vehicles and that the centerpiece of the plan will be plug-in hybrids.

The automaker has allegedly compiled a team of engineers that will develop the plug-in hybrid project which has been dubbed "I-car" (for Icon car). Chief executive officer Richard Wagoner is said to have stressed that GM is now fully committed to the hybrid drivetrain and other green technologies in recent meetings. Industry analyst John Casesa says that this is a major shift for the automaker considering its past efforts of going out of their way to criticize the financial viability of hybrids.

Spurred by lost sales to Toyota, GM is planning to invest an undisclosed portion of the $9 billion in savings they realized from cost cutting this year. Toyota has already announced it will be spending a record $7.9 billion on research and development. Last year, GM spent $6.7 billion.

As with nearly all brow-raising news, don't get too excited just yet. Kicking Tires,'s blog, is showing a bit of skepticism in the "I-car" by saying that "these projects often don't come to fruition and we wouldn't be surprised if some other technology or trend came along to divert the research."

[Source: Bloomberg via Kicking Tires]

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