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GM plans 500,000 vehicles with electrification on roads by 2017

Automaker will focus development activities on plug-in technologies, says product development boss.


DETROIT—General Motors (GM) expects to have up to 500,000 vehicles on the road with some form of electrification by 2017 and will focus its development activities on plug-in technologies, the company’s top product development executive said.

“The plug-in offers a unique opportunity to change the way people commute,” said Mary Barra, senior vice president of global product development. “Plug-based solutions will play a significant role in our technology portfolio going forward.”

The plug-in Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle, introduced in 2010, has become more than a statement for GM in the electric vehicle space, Barra said.

Learning from the Volt is being liberally applied to the Chevrolet Spark EV, which will go on sale next year in the US and South Korea.

GM is on track to sell more than 50,000 vehicles this year with electrification – between the Volt and eAssist light electrification technology on the Buick LaCrosse, Regal and Chevrolet Malibu. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala also will offer an eAssist model when it debuts next year.