The Future Really IS Electric—Just Ask General Motors, and Volvo, and Daimler, and Ford, and…
10.04.2017 - by Joel Levin
The Future Really IS Electric—Just Ask General Motors, and Volvo, and Daimler, and Ford, and…

For more than a decade, Plug In America has been telling anyone who will listen that electric drive is the future. It is simply a better technology for getting from place to place. It’s cleaner, more convenient, more economical, safer, and a lot more fun to drive. Those of you with long memories will recall that Plug In America got its start protesting the crushing of the EV1 and other early electric cars.

This week, General Motors concurred, and declared its intention to move to an all-electric fleet, with at least 20 all-electric models by 2023, just five model years from now, barely a wink of the eye in the automotive product planning cycle. No doubt, the engineering and market success of the Chevy Bolt has helped that decision. (By the way, the Bolt sold a record 2,632 vehicles in September.)

General Motors joins Volvo which recently made a similar commitment. In the past few days, General Motors was quickly followed by a Ford announcement that it was scaling up its electric efforts and an announcement from Daimler (maker of Mercedes) that it would offer electric versions of all models by 2023. Can you spot a trend?

While we’d like to think that this is all just because Plug In America’s message has finally been heard by automakers, recent declarations from China—the world’s largest auto market—along with France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom about their plans to phase out internal combustion engine cars probably played a big role, too. California is now also hinting that it will soon be joining these other jurisdictions.

car at night via PixabayDoes this mean that our job is done, and after a solid 100-year run, the internal combustion engine is off to join its cousins, the horse and buggy and the eight-track tape? Not yet. All of the above commitments from countries and automakers will be difficult to keep and backsliding is bound to happen. Despite their potential, EVs still make up less than 1% of the U.S. auto fleet. These commitments show us that an electric future really IS possible, but our support will still be essential to ensure that it all comes to fruition.

These commitments show us that an electric future really IS possible, but our support will still be essential to ensure that it all comes to fruition.

8 comments on “The Future Really IS Electric—Just Ask General Motors, and Volvo, and Daimler, and Ford, and…”
  1. Stumpfy says:

    I said 5 years ago that everyone was going To jump on the bandwagon due to manufacturing reasons, Believe me it’s going to happen. For me it started with high-efficiency scooters with CVT and it just keeps getting better

  2. Ben Zuckerman says:

    I have had a Bolt since January. I love it, even more than I loved my 2011 Nissan Leaf. I’ve had a really difficult time finding places to praise the Bolt in print or otherwise. Perhaps someone knows how one can do this? For the price, the range is fantastic — the official EPA 238 miles is way too conservative if one drives carefully to maximize the regen. When I stay on city streets (Los Angeles) I regularly achieve at least 320 miles on a single charge. On the freeways, when driving in the low 60s/mph, the range is about 280 miles. So overall, about 300 miles per charge for persons who don’t accelerate like they are in a hotrod and who coast up to red lights whenever possible. And one-pedal driving is a delight. With one-pedal driving the brakes should easily last the life of the car.

  3. Stanislav Jaracz says:

    Getting major car makers on board is a great news. It is like winning a battle but not a war. Next step are dealers, then charging for people who don’t have garage/driveway. By that I mean overnight charging using street side EVSE and parking lot EVSE. We also need to rehaul taxation system to collect taxes lost by eliminating gasoline. We need to eliminate gas powered mowers, snow blowers, leaf blowers, backup generators. We need to electrify school buses, mail delivery vehicles, trucks, construction vehicles. Electric airplanes are not possible in foreseeable future. Ships?

  4. Storm Connors says:

    I would feel better about GMs prognostications if they demonstrated they really wanted to sell EVs. They are invisible in the GM lineup. Ever see an ad for the Volt. I keep running into people who have no idea the Volt has an engine. It is hard to believe that GM really wants to sell any. 20 GM EVs by 2020? I expect those programs to be axed because “no one is buying electric cars”. If GM was serious, they would already have an electric pickup and SUV.

  5. Terry says:

    I am sorry but now is the time to have an EV. Why Wait? Get the savings of not using gas and oil now. Also get the tax credit before the number of EV sales over 200,000. Also getting away from mechanical breakdowns and brake repairs Another news report said auto manufacturers will have to lay off auto workers when changed to EV production. EVs are easier to manufacture. All this info out there shows that EVs should cost less than gas guzzlers. As of now it looks like China will lead in showing that EVs are the way of transportation

  6. JIM Aydelott says:

    Sounds great, but we drive a 2014 Volt and love it but finding plug in for it is difficult! We have 52,000 mile with no maintenance visits, original tires and brakes and getting an average of over 56 mpg over the 52,000 miles. The gas backup means no worrying about traveling anywhere we want, = Volt not Bolt!

    1. Jennifer Sensiba says:

      The Bolt has 5x the EV range. Apples to oranges.

    2. Mark R. says:

      Looks like you’ve put on around 18,000 EV miles and 34,000 hybrid miles, 1/3 vs 2/3 which is opposite of the average Volt driver. So you’re right, if charging while traveling is your concern, you’d do even better with a longer EV range PHEV (gen 2 Volt?) rather than a battery only car like the Bolt. It’s good to have pragmatic choices to drive electric that reduce gasoline and maintenance! 🙂

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