GM remains committed to electric and will introduce a natural gas-powered Impala.
While the Chevy Volt technology is perfectly engineered for most drivers—who, after all, can drive as far as they want—Akerson concedes that GM has failed to change the conversation about electric vehicles. “I’ll take the hit for that,” he says. As Tesla’s market value began gaining ground earlier this year, heading past $12 billion, Akerson took note. A special team was set up to study how Tesla might disrupt the industry.
Although GM has hinted that it’s working on a next generation of electric vehicle, Akerson says it’s aiming for a compact car that can go 200 miles on a charge and carry a generator, too. While it will be similar to the Volt, engineers are working on generators that could run on gas, diesel, or natural gas. The increased electric range is coming, in part, from advances in battery chemistry. GM is planning to bring the model out in 2016, for about $30,000, according to a person familiar with the idea who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public. It’s a project that the company doesn’t want to say much about but signifies how it’s been trying to move past inventing things to putting inventions into showrooms. “We want it to be a moon shot so we can surprise the competition,” Akerson says.Read Article