General Motors rolled out its plans for an all-electric future in the years to come and promised 20 new electric cars by 2023. Two all-new electric cars will arrive in the next 18 months. Although Chevrolet will absolutely be a major part of the strategy, Buick will become an important leader in the electric vehicle segment, mostly due to its relevance in China.
WardsAuto reports the brand will roll out its first all-electric car in 2019 based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. News of this car first broke earlier this year, and Buick will likely position the car as an upscale alternative to the Bolt EV. “Buick will play a huge part” in GM’s broad electrification strategy, Duncan Aldred, Buick chief, said.
He admitted, however, legislation and regulations will drive a lot of vehicle electrification. This is especially true in China where the country will require new-energy vehicles (zero emission cars) to make up 10 percent of an automaker’s sales in 2019. The regulation will climb to 12 percent in 2020. All the while, China continues to build a plan to phase out the internal-combustion engine in the near future. And China is incredibly important to Buick, and GM as a whole, so it’s easy to understand why Buick will follow the electron trail.
“We’re GM’s biggest brand in the world’s biggest market, Aldred added. “You’ll see a number of different technologies to go toward (our) zero-emissions objective.”
One major setback in Buick’s electrification goals is the brand’s luxury status. Things like leather seats, premium materials and other niceties add weight; adding weight to an electric car is never a positive attribute with regards to range estimates. Aldred said GM’s next-generation battery technology won’t sacrifice premium appointments in the name of range.