China is the world’s fastest growing economy, which means that it has also become the world’s largest consumer of new automobiles. General Motors has its foot in the door already, with three flavors of electric vehicles.
“General Motors [GM] is a leader in the introduction of vehicles powered by electricity in China,” said Matt Crossley, GM China Director of Engineering and Electrification. “Our broad range of electrified vehicles are supporting a greener tomorrow for the country’s automotive industry.” Given that China’s economic expansion, at any cost, has led to unprecedented air pollution, smog, and premature deaths, electric vehicles are sorely needed to combat the growing problem except, of course, China’s main power supply is also coal powered, so it may not be such a great idea.
General Motors’ lineup of electric vehicles runs across the board, including mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, extended-range, and pure electric vehicles. The first is the mild-hybrid Buick LaCrosse eAssist, equipped with a 2.4ℓ internal combustion engine and 15kW electric motor, expected to get about 33mpg [miles per gallon], which GM says is about 20% better than conventional vehicles similar in size and performance. The full-hybrid Cadillac Escalade Hybrid joins the lineup representing hybrid electric vehicles.
The Chevy Volt will be the first extended-range electric vehicle [EREV] offered in China, with an electric-only range of 50 miles, and an extended-range of 305 miles. Finally, the Sail SPRINGO EV, produced locally in China, is a pure electric vehicle with a range of about 80 miles, a top speed of 80mph, and 510Nm torque, which is not far behind the Tesla Model S at 600Nm. Given that the Sail SPRINGO EV is a much smaller vehicle, no one is going to notice the difference.
Given that General Motors has steadily been increasing its sales numbers over the last few years, it seems that they’re well on their way to the top. GM’s expansion into China with updated electric vehicle powertrains is finally beginning to reflect some of the innovation that we’ve been missing in their lineup.
Image © General Motors