General Motors is switching gears on its EV strategy

As the demand for EVs start to slow amid concerns about range, charging infrastructure and other problems related to EVs, hybrids have emerged as a viable option for those looking to adopt the plug without sacrificing mobility. 

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Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, speaks during an interview with David Rubenstein, the President of The Economic Club, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Dec. 13, 2023 in Washington, D.C. 

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As per a report by CNBC, General Motors’  (GM) – Get Free Report CEO Mary Barra revealed a new strategy the big three automaker is going to pursue in the changing automotive landscape — a return to plug-in hybrids.

During GM’s Q4 earnings call, she noted that though the automaker remains committed to its 2035 goals, plug-in hybrids will help them get there.

“Let me be clear, GM remains committed to eliminating tailpipe emissions from our light-duty vehicles by 2035, but, in the interim, deploying plug-in technology in strategic segments will deliver some of the environment or environmental benefits of EVs as the nation continues to build this charging infrastructure,” Barra said during the earnings call. 

A 2014 Cadillac ELR is seen during New York Men’s Day Presented By Cadillac on Feb. 5, 2014 in New York City. 

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GM is a company that is not unfamiliar with plug-in hybrid technology. Previously, the Big Three automaker produced notable plug-in vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt, as well as its luxury coupe derivative, the Cadillac ELR. The Caddy would last in its production run from 2013 to 2016, while the Chevy would end production in 2019, citing a lack of demand. 

Currently, GM makes only one hybrid in the United States — a $104,900 hybrid version of the Chevrolet Corvette called the E-Ray.  

The shift in strategy comes as Americans looking to adopt the plug are weary about issues plaguing battery-electric vehicles such as range anxiety, a lack of charging infrastructure and high MSRPs. 

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During a company event held by one of GM’s Japanese automotive rivals, Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda predicted that EVs would only make up no more than 30% of the market, with the rest taken up by hybrids or hydrogen-powered cars. 

“The important thing is not to convert to [EVs] or [Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles],” Toyoda said. “The enemy is CO2. So, let’s all think about reducing CO2 right away.”

GM CEO Mary Barra did not release any specific details about any new vehicles during the earnings call.

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