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GM Reveals Plans to Electrify Fleet in China

Company will have 10 NEVs in country by 2020.

by on Jun.05, 2018

Matt Tsien, left, and chief engineer of GM China Electrification Jennifer Goforth discuss GM's electrification plans for China.

General Motors plans to deliver 10 new energy vehicles according to its newly outlined a path for electrification in China, supporting its vision of a future with zero emissions laid out by the Chinese government.

The announcement made in China notes the 10 NEVs will arrive between now and 2020, and is likely to complicate GM’s discussions on emission standards in the U.S. where the State of California has taken the position that what’s good for China will also work in the automakers home market.

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From 2021 through 2023, GM will maintain momentum by doubling the number of new energy vehicles available even as it pleads for relief from federal fuel economy standards in the U.S. that were set by the Obama administration as it left office in 2017.

“China is playing an essential role in driving toward a future of zero emissions, and General Motors is intent on helping to make it happen,” said Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China. “We will continue to grow our electric vehicle portfolio in China with diverse solutions that encompass various electric ranges and body styles.”

(China phasing out JV rule limiting foreign auto plant ownership. Click Here for the story.)

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said last fall consumers in China will need government enticements to buy EVs in the numbers it wants.

Tsien added, “We are integrating GM’s global expertise in electrification with our local research, development and manufacturing capabilities. Our focus is on delivering safe and reliable products that are tailored for our customers across China.”

GM’s roots in China go back to 1908 and it now has 10 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 58,000 employees in

China. By the end of last month, GM’s new energy vehicles in China had logged more than 75 million electric kilometers.

GM has been a pioneer in electric vehicles and electrification technology for more than two decades. With the ground-breaking EV1 introduced in 1996, GM gained a first-mover advantage. It has rolled out other cutting-edge models, such as the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle and the Chevrolet Bolt – the world’s first affordable long-range electric vehicle.

(Click Here to see more about the expansion of China’s electric vehicle investment.)

The fundamental building block of an all-electric vehicle is the battery. GM began developing in-house battery research and development expertise early on. It now possesses battery development, validation and testing capabilities in the United States and China.

“Our 20-year journey has led to the successful introduction of new critical components, new propulsion systems and entirely new vehicle systems,” said Jennifer Goforth, chief engineer of GM China Electrification. “Every researcher and every engineer is fully engaged in each step of the process to ensure we gain our customers’ confidence by continuing to meet their expectations for electric vehicles.”

The battery lab at the GM China Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai is an important member of GM’s global battery lab network. It develops, validates and tests battery systems to ensure the quality of GM’s electrified vehicles in China. It also carries out work on battery fundamentals, such as chemistry and cell design, to advance their performance capabilities.

The Shanghai Battery Assembly Plant operated by GM’s SAIC-GM joint venture will support GM’s expanding electric vehicle portfolio in China. It utilizes the same global assembly processes and follows the same strict technical standards as GM’s other facility, the Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant in the United States.

(Geely’s Li Shufu says partnerships key to automotive growth. Click Here for the story.)

“For GM, driving toward a zero emissions future is more than just about building electric vehicles,” said Tsien. “We are committed to driving increased customer usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions, and to bringing the future forward to benefit generations to come.”

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