General Motors Co. is jumping more aggressively into EVs, with plans to field 20 models worldwide by 2023 and sell 1 million by 2026. It’s joining forces with South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. to build a $2.3 billion battery factory in Lordstown, Ohio, where the car manufacturer stopped building gasoline-fueled Chevrolet Cruze compacts last year.
“Customers aren’t interested in hybrids,” Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, said during an industry conference in November.
But a study released by Deloitte this month found 27% of U.S. consumers are actively considering a hybrid, while just 8% are looking at pure electrics. Some 59% of Americans still want gasoline-powered cars, the highest of any country Deloitte surveyed globally.
Government mandates have made China the world’s top market for EVs, and European regulators also are stimulating demand with incentives to help reach more stringent goals for reduced emissions.
But in the U.S., where President Donald Trump has sought to ease car-pollution rules and fuel is cheap, consumers are in no hurry to ditch the gas pump. The Deloitte study found consumers in the U.S. are most concerned about a lack of charging stations.
“Most people are looking for a crossover utility vehicle these days,” Brannon said. “Now, we’re seeing some of those coming, and that’s what it’s going to take. It has to be something people want to drive and can get excited about.”