While pure electric vehicles [EV] are having somewhat of a difficult time hitting their market stride, electrified vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles [HEV] and plug-in HEVs [PHEV], are having no such problems. They aren’t excessively priced, and they offer fuel economy ratings up to 100 mpg-e, which is very attractive to the fuel-conscious consumer.
General Motors [GM] already has six HEV models, including the popular Chevy Volt PHEV and the new Malibu Eco with eAssist, GM’s light hybrid system.
So far this year, GM is close to selling some 50,000 electrified vehicles in the US, and has announced plans to sell “up to 500,000 vehicles annually with some form of electrification globally by 2017,” said Mary Barra, senior VP of General Motors Global Product Development. Building on the success of the Chevy Volt, the Cadillac ELR will get the same HEV system next year, and soon, the Chevy Spark EV will get the full EV treatment.
Barra continues, “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. The unique propulsion technology pioneered in the Volt will be a core piece of our electrification strategy going forward.” GM has a great start going, and implementing its light hybrid technology, eAssist, is much easier than creating a full hybrid, yet still garners up to 25% fuel economy increases. Volt’s proven technology looks to be adapted into other vehicles as well.