GM Invests in an EV Future: $449 Million to go Towards Electric Vehicles
Are electric vehicles the future of personal transportation?
GM seems to think so with its latest round of investments into the EV market. While the company has seen only tepid sales for its Chevy Volt, GM will be hunkering down and making some major investments in electric vehicles over the coming years. It seems one of the world’s largest automakers does not want to be left behind when it comes to EVs.
At the Automotive Press Association the other day, GM announced an investment of $449 million into advanced technology. $384 million will be going to GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility, the plant which makes the Chevy Volt, while the remaining $65 million will go to the Brownstone Battery Assembly facility, where all the company’s lithium-ion batteries are made.
The investments come just ahead of the release of the next generation Chevy Volt, which has an anticipated release date of 2015 or 2016. Although the company is remaining quiet about the forthcoming Volt, some speculate it could feature an all-electric range of 50 miles and a much smaller range-extending engine.
Don’t forget GM is also planning to release the first affordable 200 mile range all-electric vehicle. One of the sticking points is creating an affordable battery with that range, but the company is confident it can be accomplished in the near future. Such a vehicle would be a direct competitor with Tesla’s upcoming Model E, which will be geared more towards the average American.
GM has invested nearly $1 billion in EV technology, suggesting the company takes its electric vehicles seriously. It has just released the Cadillac ELR, to compete on the luxury EV stage and is now looking for new opportunities in the growing EV market. It will be interesting to see how GMs EV investments will pay off down the road.
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Joseph Tohill is a freelance writer and online communications specialist for organizations in the sustainability sector. He has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia and spent most of his academic career studying sustainable urban development; namely the interdisciplinary relationship between built form and natural environment.