General Motors Vice President for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, Ken Morris, believes the automaker will eventually make a complete transition to electric vehicles.
Speaking to Automobile Magazine, Morris said the automaker’s long-term future is all-electric and that eventually, all of its products will be battery powered. While this may seem like it’s far in the future, Morris believes it could happen relatively quickly.
“I see for sure a day when we’re all-electric, and how many years is that from now? Maybe sooner than people would think,” he added.
While GM is targeting a full electric lineup, the automaker still has a long way to go. The only electric vehicle in its lineup right now is the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which was introduced in late 2016. However, it plans to introduce 10 all-new EVs before 2025, which will include the refreshed Bolt EV, the new Chevrolet Bolt EUV crossover, the Cadillac Lyriq crossover and the GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV.
Morris also noted that many vehicles are being discontinued to make way for new crossovers and SUVs, and said that if these products ever return, they will likely be electric only.
“You’ll start to see some vehicles going away and frankly, it’s already happening a little bit,” he said. “Industry-wide, sedan lineups are really, really shrinking. We’re replacing those sedans with CUVs and SUVs, and things that the customers really are wanting more than they want sedans. I think you’ll see a natural evolution. There may come an end of the run for certain vehicles, and they’re replaced with an EV versus us redoing it as an ICE. And you know the life cycles on cars. It’s not like this is going to happen overnight.”
There’s one elephant in the room for GM’s EV ambitions, however. Electric vehicles are often more expensive than their ICE equivalents, which may drive some customers away – especially with the budget-friendly Chevrolet brand. However, Morris assures GM fans the automaker is working on bringing battery costs down, and says it plans to offer a wide variety of EVs covering many market segments.
“It’s going to have a broad band of price entry points,” Morris said. “That’ll come very quickly between now and 2025.”
In the near-term, however, the automaker is focusing on high-priced EVs to offset some of the cost and ensure it makes money on its EV programs from the outset. The Lyriq, Hummer EV and Cadillac Celestiq sedan (which may cost $200,000 or more) will help the company recoup some of the cost of developing EV battery technology.
“And I do think the price of vehicles that are higher in the food chain, like the Cadillacs and Hummer EVs and the bigger SUVs, makes a more palatable business case,” Morris said. “What we have to do is evolve over time like I said, where we can hit top-to-bottom in our portfolio.”