GM to take on Tesla in mainstream EV market

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DETROIT – GM CEO Mary Barra called the EV “an affordable solution.

“The Bolt EV concept is really a natural flow from the work that we've done, the expertise we have in electrification, and listening to our customers,” Barra said.

Tesla Motors said it would have a mass-market EV on sale by 2017 at US$35,000.

While Barra wouldn't guarantee the vehicle would go into production, she said the all-electric vehicle would be sold across the U.S. and in select global markets. She declined to say which markets GM is considering.

“Building on the experience gained from both the Volt and the Spark EV Chevrolet is committed to once again raising the bar by bringing an affordable long-range, all-electric vehicle to market,” Barra said.

GM's head of global product development Mark Reuss hinted production would start in the next few years.

Michael Simcoe, executive director of global design for GM's international operations, said the Bolt was in development for about two years.

The Bolt’s size is more of a subcompact but the interior is roomier, up a segment size,” Simcoe said.
The batteries in the vehicle are flat, allowing for more passenger and utility room, Reuss said.

At US$40,000, critics say the GM’s Volt is too expensive for buyers, even with a US$7,5000 federal tax credit and more so because of falling gas prices. But the Volt lives! GM is unveiling the next generation of the plug-in hybrid.

The 2016 Volt will feature hand-controlled brake regeneration via paddle shifters on the column.  

With files from the Detroit Free Press.