GM aims for 500,000 electrified vehicles on the road by 2017

GM is looking to ramp up its production of vehicles that utilize electricity.

Despite declining consumer interest in electric vehicles, GM said this week that it expects to have 500,000 cars with some form of electrification on the road by 2017, with an emphasis on plug-in and eAssist technology.

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

With the plug-in Chevy Volt on the road since 2010, GM will look to apply insight gained from the Volt in the new plug-in Cadillac ELR and Chevy Spark EV.

GM will also ramp up use of its eAssist technology -- currently found in the Buick LaCrosse, Regal, and Chevrolet Malibu and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. According to GM, eAssist is an electric motor that works alongside a traditional gas-powered engine that stops and starts the engine during stop-and-go driving, improving fuel economy by an estimated 25 percent.

GM has a long way to go if it want to hit its target of selling 500,000 electrified vehicles by 2017. This year the company says its on track to sell 50,000 cars with electrification -- from the Volt to cars with eAssist.

Photo: Flickr/NRMA New Cars

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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