Economy

US Auto Makers Step Up Plans for Electric Vehicles

US Auto Makers Step Up Plans for Electric Vehicles

More information about GM's new electric cars will be revealed down the road.

The all-electric and fuel cell vehicles represent a "two-pronged" approach to the automaker's vision of an autonomous, zero-emission future that was recently announced by GM CEO Mary Barra.

Fuel cell vehicles will also play a role in GM's future, the company said.

General Motors on Monday said it plans to create at least 20 new all-electric vehicles on its path to a zero-emissions future for the company. By 2023, GM plans to introduce a total of 20 electric vehicles, saying the company's entire lineup will be electrified at some time in the future.

The company is "committed to an all-electric future", said Mark Reuss, the vice president of global product development for GM.

The nation's largest automaker will build the battery-powered cars based on the Chevrolet Bolt, an electric hatchback that went on sale earlier this year.

Car companies are investing heavily in all-electric vehicles as officials from China to Europe emphasize the need for more energy-efficient vehicles, even as today's fleet remains overwhelmingly populated with conventional autos. But at the very least they want to make some progress like many other companies have.

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New Delhi has said it wants all new vehicles to be electric by 2030.

GM stock opened sharply higher - after the company's event had been scheduled but before its announcement had been made - and was up nearly 4 percent in afternoon trading.

She also added that GM will help with "accelerating" the deployment of rapid-charging stations for its customers.

Charles Freese, GM executive director of global fuel cell business, said SURUS is designed for a "wide range of applications", including freight and emergency rescue vehicles such as ambulances and military vehicles for disaster relief efforts.

The new battery-electric vehicles will use a new-generation drivetrain that incorporates lessons learned from the Bolt, GM said.

GM showed us the broad plan on Monday, but - aside from a few hints - it was short on specific details on the upcoming all-electric models. California regulators first launched a zero-emissions mandate two decades ago but rolled it back when it became clear the technology of that era would not meet consumer demand.

The news helped push GM's stock up 4.4 percent to a record closing price of $42.16 on Monday, besting the old high of $40.99 set on December 20, 2013.