General Motors, the largest US automaker is going to unveil later on today during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit the second generation of the Volt plug-in hybrid model.
The automaker is also expected to restate its continued pledged towards having another model in the category – an affordable long-range electric car as it strives to kick EV sales into high gear for the group. The segment has not accomplished the forecasted auto revolution, leaving automakers that invested billions of dollars with scarce sales and even smaller profits. The global vehicle market has less than 1% electric cars and plug-ins such as the Volt and even though carmakers are on a never before seen product offensive in both segments the falling gasoline prices are widening the cost gap. If once the upfront cost of an electric car could be easier mitigated by not paying pricey gasoline, today only die hard fans of the electric sector have reasons to buy one such car.
For example, Volt’s current generation has seen deliveries not rising to meet expectations and brings losses to the company, according to analysts, especially since the price has continuously dropped since the model’s introduction. And well known merger architect Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne last year asked the buyers to stay away from the group’s only electric offering on the US market – the Fiat 500e, marketed in select regions, such as California – to meet low-emission targets. The reason car companies still persist in offering electric cars and plug-in or traditional hybrids are the ever tougher fuel emission standards and mileage requirements.