GM plans to focus on electric cars

General Motors Corp announced plans to introduce more fuel efficient models into China with the aim of reducing fuel consumption by 15 percent over the next five years.

Following a similar plan launched in 2008, the 2011-2015 Green Product Strategy launched by GM’s Chinese venture will include 12 new engines, focusing on small displacements, such as a 1.5-liter VVT engine and 1.4-liter turbocharged engine.

Shanghai GM said its goal is to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent, while enhancing performance by 14 percent by 2015.

Additional hybrids and electric vehicles will also be rolled out over the next five years, starting with a Chevrolet New Sail electric car prototype to be shown this year, it added.

In 2011, the new Buick LaCrosse hybrid and the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range capability will be introduced.

Auto makers, including Toyota, Volkswagen and China’s BYD Automobile, are expanding output of hybrid and electric vehicles with lithium ion batteries as China promotes electric cars.

The world’s largest auto market has announced up to 60,000 yuan (US$8,785) subsidies for electric vehicles in five cities, including Shanghai. Auto buyers will be given another 3,000 yuan if they buy cars that consume 20 percent less fuel.

Shanghai GM said vehicles with engines that have displacements of between 1.4 liters and 2.5 liters along with advanced transmissions will account for 95 percent of its sales in the future.

However, the competition is getting tougher. SAIC Motor Corp will market its first electric car in 2012 followed by other hybrids, while Daimler and BYD are to jointly make electric cars for the Chinese market.

Source: Xinhua,