The largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world is bracing for a missed forecast – its 2017 electric vehicle goal might be off by thousands of units, despite efforts to increase the amenity of the range.
The carmaker has recently introduced the second generation of the Volt plug-in hybrid, which the company calls an electric car with a range-extending motor and the first generation saw continued price drops throughout its lifespan. Even the smallish Spark EV has seen price cuts. That’s because the automaker still wants to fight its way to its publicly set target of having half a million vehicles that use electricity in some form on the roads by 2017. But so far, they’re way off target. For example, after the first four months of the year the Volt has dropped in demand by more than 46 percent and the pure electric Spark has also slid 4.2 percent. At the end of last year the automaker had in the US a little over 180,000 autos that have at least in part electric propulsion and the figure was up just a little from 2013’s total of more than 153,000 units. “For our commitment to electrification, our forecasted outlook currently projects us, along with the broader automotive industry, falling short of expectations for 2017,” accknowledged the situation the company in its 2014 Sustainability Report.
The automaker is not alone in setting the EV targets too tall – back in 2011 President Barack Obama was calling for one million plug-in hybrids to hit US roads by 2015 and even with the federal subsidies (worth $7.9 billion through 2019) the government had to admit defeat as early as 2013. General Motors is still doing its part to promote electrification – it will bring new hybrids and also introduce the Chevrolet Bolt electric car in 2017 at an attractive price point.