General Motors will add 1,000 engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years to significantly expand its vehicle electrification expertise and lead in the development of electric vehicles from hybrids to electric vehicles.
The new jobs will build on GM's strategy to develop, validate and manufacture automotive battery, electric motor and power control technologies in-house as core competencies, the statement said.
GM is going to lead the industry in the adoption of various vehicle electrification technologies, whether its electric vehicles with extended-range capability, like the Chevrolet Volt, or the recently introduced eAssist technology that will debut on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, Akerson said.
We want to give our customers energy choices other than petroleum and to make the automobile part of the solution when it comes to the environment.
Deep experience and expertise in batteries, electric motors and power controls will ensure GM provides the best possible electric vehicle choices to customers around the world, Akerson said.
Earlier, GM had said that it is planning to ramp up its Chevrolet Volt's production to 60,000 units by 2012 from the current 10,000 to 15,000 units.
The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with an extended driving range of up to 375 miles (603 kilometers), based on US Environmental Protection Agency estimates.
For the first 35 miles (56 kilometers), the Volt can drive gasoline- and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, the company says.
When the battery runs low, a gasoline-powered engine/generator kicks in to extend the driving range another 340 miles (547 kilometers) on a full tank.
Chevrolet Volt electric car will cost $41,000 when it goes on sale in the US in November. The company has said that it will offer a $350-per-month lease deal that's essentially equal to the Nissan's Leaf. That will put the battery-powered Volt within reach of many people. As an all-electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit. Taking the $7500 tax credit into account the net cost will thus be $33,500.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, plug-in electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, have the potential to make up 9% of auto sales in 2020 and 22 per cent in 2030 (1.6 million and 4 million vehicle sales respectively).