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GM Eyes 500,000 Electrified Vehicles

November 20, 2012 in Companies, Electric Drive by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

That’s the Goal for 2017, ‘With a Focus on Plug-In Technology’

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 firm said last week. GM is standing by its vaunted Chevy Volt, and will introduce the Spark 100% battery electric compact at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the media November 28 and the public November 30.

Richard Harrison of Keego Harbor, Mich. charged his 2012 Volt on September 22, 2012 at Serra Chevrolet in Southfield, Mich. At right is a new Chevrolet Spark battery electric vehicle near the Golden Gate Bridge outside San Francisco.

“The plug-in offers a unique opportunity to change the way people commute,” GM senior VP for global product development Mary Barra said in a release. “Plug-based solutions will play a significant role in our technology portfolio going forward,” she said.

“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,” Barra said of the Volt. “The unique propulsion technology pioneered in the Volt – the same technology that will be featured in the Cadillac ELR (F&F, October 19) – will be a core piece of our electrification strategy going forward.”

Learning from the Volt is being liberally applied to the Chevrolet Spark EV, GM says. The Spark, which is to be DC fast charge-capable with the J1772 SAE Combo charge port, “will go on sale next year in the certain U.S. markets and South Korea with other markets to be announced soon.”

GM Insists that Spark Is Not a Compliance Car

The new little Chevy is not a compliance car, GM says. “We’ll meet requirements set by certain regulatory agencies, but we’re not building the Spark EV to check a regulatory box,” Barra said.

The Spark will have an oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor that produces at least 100 kilowatts, or 130 horsepower “and instantaneous torque of about 400 lb.-ft. with the coaxial drive unit, resulting in 0-60 mph acceleration in less than eight seconds.” It will have a 20 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack. The DC connector will allow charges of up to 80% in about 20 minutes.

GM said it’s on track to sell more than 50,000 vehicles with electrification this year, counting the Volt and cars with eAssist light electrification technology including the Buick LaCrosse, Buick Regal, and Chevrolet Malibu. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala also will offer an eAssist option.

“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.”

Reneé Rashid-Merem is global product development director.

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GM, Reneé Rashid-Merem, 313-665-3128; mobile 313-701-8560;;

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Source: multiple GM press releases with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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