GM's Mark Reuss said the company will be the first to build a profitable electric vehicle. He didn't predict when that would happen.

General Motors will be the first auto company to make a profit on selling an all-electric vehicle, a key GM executive predicts.

Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president for product development, echoing remarks by GM CEO Mary Barra, said the General Motors is the industry’s leader in reducing the cost of electric vehicles and ultimately offering an affordable electric vehicle.

“That’s the mantra inside product development. That’s what all our engineers are all working toward,” Reuss told reporters during a visit to Flint. Michigan.

“What we’ve been working to do is taking mass out. What that sets us up to do is have more efficient batteries because it doesn’t take as much power to (move) the vehicle,” Reuss said.

(To see more about GM returning to its roots in Flint, Click Here.)

Reuss also said as GM increases production of electric vehicles, particularly in China where GM has plans to introduce 10 different electric vehicles by 2020, the price of battery cells will be driven down. “We own our own battery chemistry. We integrate the pack and we have our own electric motors. We own all that design.

GM EVP Mark Reuss predicted that the company will produce the first profitable EV.

“We know the customers would like to drive electric cars but are unwilling to pay any more for them. That’s why we’re going to be the first company to sell electric vehicles that people can afford at a profit,” Reuss said. However, he declined to say when GM’s EV operations would be profitable.

“The integration piece of that is something no one else has,” he noted, adding that GM has found not outsourced the development of the various elements in an electric vehicle.

“You have to integrate the whole car. We feel really good about that,” said Reuss, who noted GM will soon introduce a plug-in electric vehicle that can run on pure electric power that is based on the Cadillac CT6 and a Buick extended range electric vehicle similar to the Chevrolet Volt

(Click Here to see more about GM hustling to get its first EV on the road in China.)

“Those are really deep integration projects that are good engineering exercises,” he said.

Other carmakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, PSA, Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co. as well as Tesla are promising to bring out additional electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles will serve as we have a platform for GM’s efforts to launch autonomous vehicles, Reuss said. GM has already begun testing self-driving tests in San Francisco, Phoenix and Detroit, GM chief executive officer Mary Barra said last week.

Reuss noted that all-electric autonomous vehicles and also would help lower the battery costs.

(GM focusing on profitability rather than volume. Click Here to see how that strategy paid off in the first quarter.)

“if you can increase (usage) drive the operating cost you can open the door to ride sharing,” added Reuss, who spoke with reporters after helping dedicated a new archive of historical material related to the auto industry that will be housed in a restored carriage factory in Flint, 60 miles north of Detroit.

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