General Motors in October announced plans to launch 20 electric cars by 2023, the first of which is due within the next 18 months.
We now have an idea of what one of those electric cars might be like thanks to an investor presentation given by GM CEO Mary Barra on Wednesday at the Barclays 2017 Global Automotive Conference in New York.
In particular, the presentation included a slide showing a crossover SUV based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV platform. The slide indicated that at least two electric crossovers will be launched by 2020, though it remains unclear if the depicted vehicle is actually a production-bound model or simply a mockup designed for the presentation.
Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car with future GM electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, Oct 2017
A GM spokesperson told Green Car Reports that the image was a “demonstration of an all-new [crossover utility vehicle] segment,” but not necessarily a new product.
The mystery crossover’s design and proportions are similar to those of the Bolt EV, though there are rumors circulating that it could herald a new Buick model.
During her presentation, Barra also revealed GM’s plans for a next-generation electric car platform arriving in 2021. According to GM’s estimates, cars based on the new platform will cost 30 percent less to bring to market and offer more range than currently possible with electric cars.
GM CEO Mary Barra and Chevy Bolt EV electric car image at 2016 Chevrolet Cruze launch, Jun 2015
The substantial cost reduction will be made possible by falling battery costs ($145 per kilowatt-hour to under $100), greater economies of scale due to modular platform design, and lower manufacturing cost by integrating the battery into the vehicle structure.
Meanwhile, the range increase GM expects is up to 300 miles from the current 238 miles of the Bolt EV.
Finally, Barra also reiterated GM’s promise to deliver fully self-driving cars. She said the arrival of a vehicle that doesn’t require a human driver is coming in "quarters not years," but gave no exact time frame.