Although General Motors admits it will miss its goal of 500,000 electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2017, the company says the future will be driven by electrification. That’s despite a resurgence in the popularity of trucks and SUVs, which have been cash cows as of recent for GM.
General Motors currently has 180,034 electric vehicles on the road. In comparison, Chevrolet and GMC sold 235,927 Silverados and Sierras in the first four months of 2015 alone, according to The Detroit Free Press. Consumers often have no problem paying anywhere from $45,000 to $80,000 to step into a full-size truck, or SUV but, have a hard time swallowing the costs of alternative propulsion even after federal tax incentives.
GM’s statements of a continued focus on electric vehicles despite the consumer preference are meant to appease its stakeholders and government regulators, making all parties aware GM is focused on reducing fossil fuels and painting a greener landscape.
“GM will take a leading role in the auto industry’s transformation as it undergoes an unprecedented period of change,” said Bob Ferguson, GM senior vice president for global public policy, said in the report.
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt, the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt, 2016 Chevrolet Hybrid and Cadillac CT6 plug-in are all small stepping stones in the continued allegiance to electrification from GM. And they’re needed if the company plans on complying with the 54.5 mpg federal standard to go into effect by 2025.
What does this mean? GM is being smart. Very smart. Responding to Americans love affair with big SUVs and trucks makes the bank. Included in GM’s $5.4 billion investment across U.S. manufacturing facilities is a $1.2 billion investment for the Arlington, Texas assembly, responsible for 300,000 GM branded SUVs just this year.
In the meantime, the focus on EVs allows GM to counter the thirsty SUV market, striking a harmony between fuel efficiency and what consumers currently want. Everybody’s happy.
But as consumers, we’re a strange group. As soon as gas prices rocket towards the “F” word, we’ll all want fuel-efficient cars again. But GM is covering its bases there too. Investments in mixed material usage like high-strength steel, aluminum and more are making even some of the largest cars lighter, and leaner.
And that’s a win-win for everyone.