GM’s EV program will still focus on affordable electric vehicles even if the automaker plans to launch a luxury Cadillac as companion to the Chevrolet Volt.
The Cadillac ELR coupe, which will hit the market later this year, will make GM a tougher competitor for electric automaker Tesla. Doug Parks, who is GM Vice President for Global Product Programs, said that the company aims at improving the performance and also reduce costs of the Volt model and its future siblings.
“We’re trying to put more stress on getting this right for the lower-priced vehicles,” Parks told reporters at the company’s global battery systems laboratory outside Detroit.
Volt’s base price starts at $35,000, while Tesla’s Model S begins at $71,000. During the first eight months of the year Tesla has managed to sell almost as many Model S vehicles as GM has sold Volts. Besides the Volt, GM also sells the Chevy Spark EV small car, starting at $27,500 and offers discounts for the Volt to increase sales. The automaker said that the 2014 Volt model will cost with $7,000 to $10,000 less.
GM plans to manufacture 500,000 vehicles annually by 2017, all with some form of electrification. Among these vehicles will be the Spark EV, the Volt and also vehicles fitted with the eAssist hybrid system.