GM, meanwhile, reckons it is close to a ‘green’ solution to make use of Ampera batteries when they have come to the end of their vehicle life of between seven and ten years. It is understood the company is considering a scheme to buy them back from car owners and then bundle them together to create an energy storage system.
This system would then be sold to the National Grid, which could use it as an emergency back-up in case of a general electricity failure.
GM has calculated that 33 used Ampera batteries would have the ability to generate enough electricity for 50 households for several hours during a power cut.
And Nissan has invented a device that allows the battery of the Leaf to also provide domestic electricity.
‘I believe that by the end of the decade 20 per cent of all car sales will be electric,’ he said. General Motors North America President Mark Reuss announced the launch of two new luxury cars for Cadillac in 2012 and the pricing for a fuel-saving feature on the Buick Regal as he outlined parts of a plan to help GM attract more customers.
Cadillac next year will launch the XTS large luxury sedan and a compact luxury sports sedan codenamed ATS, models that will bracket the CTS Sedan, Coupe and Wagon family, Reuss said at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars.
GM is investing $117 million to make the XTS at its Oshawa Assembly Plant in Ontario where 400 jobs will be created or retained.
In addition to the two new Cadillacs, Reuss said the eAssist feature on the 2012 Buick Regal will be a $2,000 option. The light electrification technology delivers an estimated 25-percent improvement in fuel economy, giving Regal eAssist an EPA fuel economy rating of 36 mpg highway/25 mpg city.
“GM has moved beyond a stage of simply surviving and is now clearly focused on thriving with a line-up that’s stronger in more segments than it has ever been,” Reuss said. “Whether it’s the new fuel-efficient Buick eAssist system or Cadillac’s entry-level luxury car, we’re giving customers compelling new options for their next automobile.”
Some of those potential customers are “millennials,” a target of Chevrolet to reach the next generation of buyers though a partnership with MTV.
Regal eAssist, which goes on sale this fall, captures energy created during braking to charge a 115V lithium-ion battery that powers a 11-kW (15 horsepower) motor-generator, augmenting a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine.
The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions, saving additional fuel. It has underbody aerodynamics and special tires to further improve fuel economy. Based on $4-per-gallon gasoline, the eAssist option on the Regal should pay for itself in about 3½ years.
The Cadillac XTS, which will be launched in spring of 2012, is based on the XTS Platinum Concept unveiled at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will offer an advanced front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive system.
The Cadillac codenamed ATS, which will be launched in the summer of 2012, will give the brand a rear-wheel drive luxury sports car to compete head-to-head with the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 in the luxury market’s largest segment. GM today released its first sketch of the car.
GM previously announced a $190 million investment to build the compact luxury sports sedan at its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan that will result in 600 new or retained jobs. Lansing Grand River already makes the mid-size CTS family of cars honored by Car and Driver, AUTOMOBILE Magazine, Motor Authority, Edmunds Inside Line and Popular Mechanics.
“The Cadillac Renaissance that started with the CTS is still going strong,” Reuss said. “The XTS continues Cadillac’s heritage as the leader in large luxury cars while the car we’ve codenamed ATS starts a new chapter for Cadillac in the luxury market’s C-segment. We’re confident it will attract luxury car buyers who previously would not have considered Cadillac.”
General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 208,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.