Company president Mark Reuss explained the automaker’s decision cease making hybrids in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, telling the newspaper that it would rather channel its green vehicle investments into EVs, as it believes they will eventually take over.
“If I had a dollar more to invest, would I spend it on a hybrid? Or would I spend it on the answer that we all know is going to happen, and get there faster and better than anybody else?” Reuss said.
WSJ notes that this strategy is a departure from other major industry players such as Toyota and Ford. Toyota sees hybrids as crucial to lowering green house gas emissions, as they are cheaper than EVs and thus carry a cheaper purchasing price and can be sold in greater numbers.
Ford, meanwhile, plans to invest heavily in EVs, but is also planning certain hybrid models, like the upcoming F-150 Hybrid. A Ford engineer explained the company doesn’t want buyers who desire a green vehicle to be forced into an EV, which are still more expensive than hybrids and have limited range.
GM isn’t the only automaker that sees hybrids as an unnesscary stop-gap between ICE and EV. WSJ also spoke to VW for its report, which echoed a similar sentiment to GM: if EV market share grows as it is expected to, why continue to invest in a stop-gap technologies like hybrids and plug-ins?
“Our strong preference is to go all-in where the market is heading, as opposed to hybrids as a way to hedge our bets,” Volkswagen America CEO Scott Keogh said.
Time will tell which automakers get this strategy right and which get it wrong. The winning strategy may depend on how quickly automakers like GM and VW can bring affordable yet profitable EVs to market with usable range. If EVs don’t end up accounting for a large chunk business, they may be forced to employ more hybrids in order to meet the 2025 government emissions regulations.
Source: Wall Street Journal