General Motors is steadily working towards offering a variety of new electric vehicles, including the new GMC Hummer pickup truck and Cruise Origin autonomous taxi. Now, GM CEO Mary Barra has outlined what the automaker believes customers want from an electric vehicle.
Speaking at the recent GM Capital Markets Day event earlier this month, Mary Barra said that internal research has revealed that customers want a “no-compromise vehicle that is fun to drive.” Part of the fun factor is the instant torque offered by an electric motor, which makes for a unique experience behind the wheel.
Furthermore, Mary Barra said that the EV shouldn’t compromise on styling either, which isn’t always easy given the focus on aerodynamic efficiency most EVs bring to the table. Greater aero efficiency means more miles between plugs, but unfortunately, the constraints of aerodynamics don’t always yield the prettiest styling, which means finding the right balance between aesthetics and efficiency is critical.
Speaking of plugs, Mary Barra said that customers want “a robust, reliable fast-charging network that includes home, work place, and public solutions,” as well as “at least 300 miles of electric range on a full charge.” For the moment, two of the greatest hurdles to widespread EV adoption are charge rates and range-per-charge, but with a more available charge stations, quicker charge times, and more miles-per-charge via more-efficient design and new battery technology, the EV segment will no doubt flourish.
“We are aggressively working on all of these customer requirements and we believe our new battery cell technology and manufacturing joint venture with LG Chem will bring together two leaders in battery science, while creating jobs in Lordstown, Ohio,” Mary Barra said. “We plan to reduce costs to industry-leading levels and make EVs more affordable across a wide spectrum.”
Pricing is one of the final pieces to the EV puzzle. As Mary Barra states, customers want EVs that are in line with internal combustion-powered vehicles when it comes to cost, and “with every battery chemistry and scale improvement, [GM gets] closer to the tipping point of ICE and EV cost parity.”