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General Motors has finally admitted it––EVs aren't exactly what buyers are looking for right now. A higher premium over the already-inflated prices of gas cars, paired with an immature charging infrastructure, steep battery costs, various software bugs, and some detrimental UAW strikes, means the the public has been turned away from what automakers have billed as the future of transportation––in turn hurting the companies that have invested hefty sums in EV development. As new EV inventory piles onto dealer lots, it's now clear that GM's pledge to go all-electric by 2035 is nothing but a daydream.



While CEO Mary Barra announced in GM's latest earnings call that the company will continue to work towards meeting its emissions-free goal by 2035, the headline-grabbing statement was that GM will be pumping the brakes on its frenzied EV onslaught, instead bringing plug-in hybrids to the top of the priority list for the time being. This change most directly stems from dealers pleading for GM to add more hybrids back to its lineup, as there hasn't been a single plug-in hybrid model available in the U.S. since the Chevy Volt made its exit in 2019.


However, there's much more to this move than meets the eye.


As Edmunds reports, GM appears to be seizing the perfect opportunity to pull itself out of the EV script in order to avoid further hurting itself financially, using buyers' slow adoption as its admittedly frank excuse. "It's hard to not read this as GM taking advantage of a current wave of EV skepticism to slink away from an increasingly unlikely, or at least unprofitable, electrification target. (You can almost hear the echoes of 'Don't be suspicious, don't be suspicious ...' in the transcript.)," the outlet said in a recent article.


Slipping sales charts aren't the only reason given by GM, though it's evident that the company is willing to call out on anything but its own EVs. During the earnings call, Barra used America's fledging charging infrastructure as the scapegoat to justify the company's slowdown in its EV efforts. "Let me be clear, GM remains committed to eliminating tailpipe emissions from our light-duty vehicles by 2035. But in the interim, deploying plug-in technology in strategic segments will deliver some of the environmental benefits of EVs as the nation continues to build its charging infrastructure," she stated.




GM's move in favor of hybrids could prove to be a major hit with buyers, just as the company's recent budget-friendly Chevy Trax and Buick Envista have already seen impressive sales numbers in the short time they've been on the market so far––proof that people are still buying cars, as long as it's what they want.


However, there are still some roadblocks ahead for GM's own budget. Adding new hybrid models to its North American lineup would require additional spending, and the significant amounts of money lost in GM's EV craze has us doubting whether the company would be able to swallow the extra costs. But on the bright side, GM already offers hybrid variants of existing gas models in other parts of the world, so the expenses wouldn't be quite as high as creating a whole new powertrain.


As for which models will be getting the hybrid treatment, Barra hasn't disclosed any of those details yet, but we expect to hear more by the year's end.


Image Credits: Cadillac, Chevrolet
Report
Feb 8, 2024
 •

GM Announces Plans To Bring Back Hybrids As EV Sales Dwindle

What buyers really want are hybrids, and GM is acting accordingly.

General Motors has finally admitted it––EVs aren't exactly what buyers are looking for right now. A higher premium over the already-inflated prices of gas cars, paired with an immature charging infrastructure, steep battery costs, various software bugs, and some detrimental UAW strikes, means the the public has been turned away from what automakers have billed as the future of transportation––in turn hurting the companies that have invested hefty sums in EV development. As new EV inventory piles onto dealer lots, it's now clear that GM's pledge to go all-electric by 2035 is nothing but a daydream.



While CEO Mary Barra announced in GM's latest earnings call that the company will continue to work towards meeting its emissions-free goal by 2035, the headline-grabbing statement was that GM will be pumping the brakes on its frenzied EV onslaught, instead bringing plug-in hybrids to the top of the priority list for the time being. This change most directly stems from dealers pleading for GM to add more hybrids back to its lineup, as there hasn't been a single plug-in hybrid model available in the U.S. since the Chevy Volt made its exit in 2019.


However, there's much more to this move than meets the eye.


As Edmunds reports, GM appears to be seizing the perfect opportunity to pull itself out of the EV script in order to avoid further hurting itself financially, using buyers' slow adoption as its admittedly frank excuse. "It's hard to not read this as GM taking advantage of a current wave of EV skepticism to slink away from an increasingly unlikely, or at least unprofitable, electrification target. (You can almost hear the echoes of 'Don't be suspicious, don't be suspicious ...' in the transcript.)," the outlet said in a recent article.


Slipping sales charts aren't the only reason given by GM, though it's evident that the company is willing to call out on anything but its own EVs. During the earnings call, Barra used America's fledging charging infrastructure as the scapegoat to justify the company's slowdown in its EV efforts. "Let me be clear, GM remains committed to eliminating tailpipe emissions from our light-duty vehicles by 2035. But in the interim, deploying plug-in technology in strategic segments will deliver some of the environmental benefits of EVs as the nation continues to build its charging infrastructure," she stated.




GM's move in favor of hybrids could prove to be a major hit with buyers, just as the company's recent budget-friendly Chevy Trax and Buick Envista have already seen impressive sales numbers in the short time they've been on the market so far––proof that people are still buying cars, as long as it's what they want.


However, there are still some roadblocks ahead for GM's own budget. Adding new hybrid models to its North American lineup would require additional spending, and the significant amounts of money lost in GM's EV craze has us doubting whether the company would be able to swallow the extra costs. But on the bright side, GM already offers hybrid variants of existing gas models in other parts of the world, so the expenses wouldn't be quite as high as creating a whole new powertrain.


As for which models will be getting the hybrid treatment, Barra hasn't disclosed any of those details yet, but we expect to hear more by the year's end.


Image Credits: Cadillac, Chevrolet

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