When we last touched on General Motors' global battery electric vehicle (BEV) test fleet, we reported that the company would create a fleet of battery-powered vehicles that would be deployed in several regions around the world beginning in 2011. We also went with the words of GM's global vehicle engineering VP Karl Stracke, who stated that a prototype electric version of the Chinese market Chevrolet New Sail was being built and noted that this vehicle would likely become one of the test fleet products used by GM in China.
Our friends over at GM-Volt reached out to GM spokesperson Brian Corbett for more details on the company's BEV test fleet and he cordially offered up a wealth of additional information:
We're launching multiple BEV demo fleets in various regions around the world using different types of vehicles. We'll have more details going forward. We have many partners with these BEV demo fleets and can't disclose everything at this time. The partners do not include another automaker. In fact, the BEV demo fleet strategy mirrors our battery strategy - we're partnering with suppliers, universities and government agencies. This allows us to share costs, resources and learnings.The primary goal of the BEV demo is to continue to develop our core vehicle electrification components: batteries, power controls and motors. These components are needed for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles such as the Volt. The BEV demo fleets will also provide real world data of customer acceptance of BEVs and use patterns and charging operations.
But as Corbett wrapped up his brief interview with GM-Volt, he closed with a statement that might upset some readers. As he remarked, "Going forward, we will disclose the specific vehicles, number of vehicles and location of these demonstration fleets, although I will tell the U.S. is not included." We're not entirely certain why GM has chosen to exclude the U.S. from its EV test fleet program, but at least some of you are probably quite upset and disappointed right now, right?