General Motors Doubles Down on an All-Electric Future

Auto buyers have yet to show much love for electric cars. Sales of the Tesla Model S and Model X have stalled at around 25,000 per quarter. The company has yet to prove it can make and sell the lower-priced Model 3 in large numbers, saying Monday that it had produced only 260 of the cars through Sept. 30. Chevrolet sells only a few thousand Bolt EVs a month, despite rave reviews. Electric cars total only about 1% of total passenger vehicles sold in the U.S.

Yet on Monday, auto giant General Motors announced it will begin selling two new all-electric vehicles in the next 18 months, and will have at least 20 new zero-emission electric vehicles in its lineup by 2023.

The announcement follows similar plans revealed by major automakers around the world.

Volkswagen Group, which last year was the world's top automaker, has said it will offer 80 new electric vehicles by 2025, and will electrify its entire fleet by 2030.

Mercedes-Benz similarly promised to make all its cars available with electric drive trains by 2020, while Volvo and Jaguar have stated they will stop building gas-burning automobiles.

"This latest event by GM regarding 'all electric' is further proof of a rapidly changing industry, whether the consumer wants it or not," said Rebecca Lindland, analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

If the consumer doesn't want it, at least not to date, who does?

China, India, France, the United Kingdom and California. All are reviewing plans to severely limit or ban regular gas and diesel engines between 2030 and 2040. Although details are scarce, automakers need to get ready.

This is especially true in China, which is both the world's largest auto market and its fastest growing. General Motors now sells more of its cars in China than in the U.S.

"China is their biggest market," said Michelle Krebs,...

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