“The electric car is not dead”. Well yes, we know that, but for some reason, General Motors President Mark Reuss, felt it necessary to spell it out clearly for the fraction who seem to doubt the EVs steady progress upwards.
While sales for the car giant’s Chevrolet Volt range-extended EV (also sold as the Vauxhall Ampera in the UK) have remained below projections, not helped by the continued suppressed state of the global car market and the whole fire debacle early last year (see story); things are nearly as gloomy as such might have us believe.
In the UK alone, sales of electric and plug-in cars are expected to show that they near doubled in 2012 under the Plug-in Car Grant scheme. There is a similar story told in the US, where sales tripled; selling about 53,000 plug-ins in 2012, compared to about 17,500 in 2011.
GM lead the way, selling 23,461 Volts in 2012– up 205.8 per cent on the year before– giving it a dominant position in the market.
Nonetheless, the GM chief made the statement to confirm that the electric car is still alive and kicking at a conference as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opened this week.
According to NBCNews.com, Ruess added that he “couldn’t be happier” with Volt despite the plug-in hybrid missing its sales target for the second year in a row.
The Detroit-based carmaker is expected to follow in Nissan’s lead too, by slashing the cost of a second-generation model, as Nissan has done with its new LEAF electric car.
But we will have to wait until 2014/2015 to see a new, lower cost version of the plug-in hybrid Volt.