GM CEO Mary Barra reiterated the company’s commitment to zero-emission vehicles and announced that they are increasing Chevy Bolt EV production.
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Barra made the announcement at the annual CERAWeek energy conference in Houston today:
“We are encouraged by this momentum, and because of increasing global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, we are announcing today that we will increase Bolt EV production later this year at our Orion Assembly plant north of Detroit.”
She didn’t specify the level of production that they plan to achieve with the Bolt EV, but the previous target has been around 30,000 units per year.
Recently, GM has been delivering fewer than 2,000 Chevy Bolt EVs in the US per month – down from highs of over 2,000 units in 2017.
GM says that it delivered about 26,000 units globally last year.
The Detroit-based automaker has also been delivering a few hundred units per month to Canada and Europe. The company also confirmed plans to deliver 5,000 units in South Korea this year.
During her speech, Barra also said that they need to focus more on infrastructure:
“We also need to remove barriers to consumer acceptance of EVs. For example, we believe the energy industry and other stakeholders must partner with us on a robust charging infrastructure that drives consumers’ confidence that they can drive their EVs anywhere at any time.”
She didn’t release details on any actual charging station deployments, but she called for partnerships with energy companies.
Last year, GM announced an expansion of its electric car plans to add 2 new electric vehicles based on the Bolt EV platform within the next 18 months and then 18 more electric vehicles on new platforms within the next 5 years.
That’s overall good news and I’m sure that if GM would actually try to sell the Bolt EV, they could easily double the production to 50,000-60,000 units.
But I’m disappointed about the lack of details in today’s announcement, which makes me wary of the actual significance of today’s news.
I’d like to have some concrete numbers and of course, a real commitment to charging infrastructure would go a long way for GM.
Maybe they can also try to get around their issues with Opel and the PSA Group, which sell the Bolt EV as the Ampera E in Europe, and bring the vehicle to European markets themselves under their own brand.
If possible, I think that would be a good strategy for them.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.