GM Plots All-Electric Future With 20 New EVs and Fuel Cell Vehicles Coming By 2023
Joann Muller, Forbes StaffOct 2, 2017
The Chevrolet Bolt EV (foreground) is just the beginning of GM’s upcoming battery- or fuel cell-powered electric vehicle lineup.
General Motors offered a sneak peak of the future Monday, briefly revealing three models that could be among 20 new all-electric vehicles it will launch by 2023.
The first two EVs will be launched in the next 18 months, GM said, and will be based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which went on sale about 10 months ago. Although GM would not provide details about the upcoming models, it showed reporters three different concepts: a sporty crossover, a larger wagon or SUV and a tall, boxy pod car that looked like a people-mover for cities. The three models were among nine vehicles that were covered with drapes in GM’s design dome at its technical campus in Warren, Mich.
“More to come,” was the common answer to many reporters’ questions.
GM executives did provide an important glimpse of the company’s future strategy, however, saying its “all-electric path to zero emissions” will require both battery-electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.
While new models are coming based on improvements to the Bolt’s platform, Pam Fletcher, executive chief engineer of electric vehicles, showed a glimpse of GM’s next-generation electric vehicle platform, which is being developed from the ground up, and said GM’s multi-brand electrification strategy will focus on electric crossovers and SUVs, the current heart of the market.
“We are much farther along than you might have expected,” said Fletcher, standing before the array of covered vehicles.
GM has also been busy developing next-generation hydrogen fuel cell stacks in partnership with Honda, and said it will have its first commercially available fuel cell vehicle in 2020. A hydrogen fuel cell-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 is currently being evaluated by the U.S. military and has received rave reviews for its stealth operation and instant acceleration, GM executives said.
The company also introduced SURUS — the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure — a fuel cell-powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame that’s driven by two electric motors. Capable and flexible, it could be used as an emissions-free delivery truck, power generator or self-driving ambulance, even in remote parts of the world.
Fuel cells for retail customers will be available within five years, the company said.
“General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers needs.”
To support that future, GM said it will work to accelerate the introduction of DC fast-charging stations and hydrogen filling infrastructure. It provided no details, but signaled its common refrain: “more to come.”
So fuel cells are going to be up and coming. I thought they were sort of like Blue Ray for DVD's lol