GM Planning to Triple or Quadruple Electric Car Volumes by 2015, LG Chem Says Batteries Not a Constraint
[ad#post_ad]We have heard before that GM’s newest CEO Dan Akerson is particularly bullish about electric cars. It is clear he feels the Volt is a very significant vehicle for the company and projects that the currently high demand will continue to grow.
Thus far GM has committed to producing 15,000 Volts in 2011 and at least 45,000 in 2012.
There is also evidence the company is developing a crossover Voltec vehicle, a 2-mode plugin Cadillac SUV, and possibly a third Voltec car. The crossover may be called the Chevy Amp and could be unveiled next month at the Detroit Auto Show.
Akerson told reporters previously that GM was studying ways to double or triple electric car capacity. Bloomberg now reports that GM sources say Akerson has asked a team to look for ways to triple or even quadruple 2012 electric car production rates by as early as 2015. These volumes potentially of 250,000 vehicles would be spread across several different vehilce types and brands.
Spreading the technology across brands and vehicles will help to lower costs. Lower costs are needed to increase sales volume. Only 7% of the US car buying public has been determined able to afford the Chevy Volt at its current price.
Akerson’s production plan aims to make GM the recognized global leader in electric vehicles, and is devised to prepare for higher gas prices in the future.
The new electric vehicles under development for the US will all be larger than the Volt and may include an SUV.
Aside from consumer demand and cost the only other theoretical limitation for increasing production is the availability of the lithium ion batteries.
Volt battery supplier LG Chem, however, has massive production capacity, has already started building one Michigan factory and has a second under development. In fact, LG Chem Power CEO Prabhakar Patil tells GM-Volt that battery supply isn’t a limiting factor.
“GM will have to speak to their plans for future volumes,” said Patil. “But LG Chem stands ready to support them and does not expect battery capacity to be a constraint.”