GM, Volkswagen to Pull the Plug on Hybrids

Automakers to focus on electric vehicles
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2019 5:48 PM CDT
GM, Volkswagen to Pull the Plug on Hybrids
This undated photo provided by General Motors shows the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.   (Courtesy of General Motors via AP)

General Motors and Volkswagen have decided to go all in on electric vehicles, at the expense of the hybrids in their US lineups. That's a major change for the automakers. Both have invested in hybrids, which have a gasoline engine and an electric motor. It's also a recognition that it's most important to get to fully electric vehicles soon. "If I had a dollar more to invest, would I spend it on a hybrid?" GM President Mark Reuss told the Wall Street Journal. "Or would I spend it on the answer that we all know is going to happen, and get there faster and better than anybody else?" The high price got some of the blame when GM dropped the Chevrolet Volt last year, though it came with a $7,500 federal tax credit, per Fox Business.

Volkswagen plans to spend billions on battery-powered models, including an electric version of its storied minibus that's a couple of years away. For next year, the automaker is developing a small plug-in SUV for the US market. GM has 20 electric models scheduled to launch globally in the next four years, including Chevrolets and Cadillacs. China's new minimums for the number zero-emissions vehicles sold there are another reason for the companies to focus on electrics. Toyota and Ford aren't giving up on hybrids, however, as an appealing incremental step for consumers. Both still plan to develop electrics, per the Journal, while relying on hybrids to boost fleet mileage. "We can’t say to the customer, 'You have to take an all-electric vehicle,'" a Ford engineering boss said. (Read more electric cars stories.)

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