GM lays out all-electric plan to go zero emissions

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle

"General Motors believes the future is all-electric", says Mark Reuss, the company's head of product.

GM will follow up its well-regarded Chevrolet Bolt EV with a slew of advanced new all-electric models, the company said on Monday.

On Wall Street, GM shares gained 4.4 percent to close at $42.15 - GM's all-time high closing price since the reorganized company started trading its stock in November 2010.

Chairman and CEO Mary Barra recently said the Detroit automaker sees a future of not just zero emissions, but also zero crashes and zero traffic congestion underpinned by autonomous vehicles. The plug-in Chevy Volt has outsold Ford's C-Max Energi by almost three to one so far this year, and the Chevy Bolt sold more units in August than the all-electric Ford Focus EV has sold in the first eight months of the year. The announcements are driven by nation states announcing plans to ultimately ban vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. "A world free of automotive emissions", Reuss said.

The new battery-electric vehicles will use a new-generation drivetrain that incorporates lessons learned from the Bolt, GM said. Through August, GM has sold 11,670 Bolts, which is less than 1 percent of GM's total US sales so far this year. Tesla, for example, has spent billions of dollars on its vehicles but has not profited overall.

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The unexpected shift puts GM in the company of Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin, which have all made plans to go all-electric. "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".

China has just laid out new guidelines for alternative propulsion and is now the world's biggest market for electrified vehicles.

GM introduced its first long-range EV, the Chevy Bolt, in December 2015. GM showed on Monday a prototype of a rolling, hydrogen-fueled platform called SURUS that could be used for multiple purposes.

Reuss avoided naming the particular year that the auto giant will cease producing gas and diesel vehicles, noting that the company is too large estimate, according to USA Today. While there are fuel cell based vehicles on the market already - like Toyota's Mirai and Honda's Clarity Fuel-Cell - there're only offered in limited markets, predominantly in pockets of California.

The Detroit automaker is promising two new EVs loosely based on the Chevrolet Bolt in the next 1 ½ years and more than 20 electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023.

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