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GM Plans To Pre-Empt Tesla With A New Electric Van: Reuters

GM Plans To Pre-Empt Tesla With A New Electric Van: Reuters
A new model of electric van is being developed by General Motors Co with the aim of targeting it for the business users, said a report published by the news agency Reuters. With this development GM now become part of the group of car makers that target the same segment of customers with electric vehicles. The list of targeted customers includes companies such as Inc and United Parcel Service Inc., the report said quoting sources with knowledge about the issue.
Even though this strategy, which would run into billions of dollars, would help car makers GM and Ford Motor Co as well as at least two EV startups to develop and produce more electric vehicles, the actual demand for such electric powered vehicles still remains a small proportion of the overall sale of cars in the world. However GM and Ford will be able to target that is not only lucrative but one that has yet to be targeted by the United States based electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc.
There have been no previous reports of any plans of GM for development of an electric van. The news was not confirmed by GM, the top auto manufacturer of the US. The company however has confirmed that it would come up with at least 20 new all-electric vehicles by 2023 which would include vehicles with a range of body styles such as sedans, trucks and crossovers.
According to the Reuters report, suppliers of the Detroit automakers Gm and Ford who are aware of the plan say that the auto companies “don’t want to leave the door open for Tesla” as they did in consumer passenger cars. Both the companies count on trucks and commercial vehicles as being their most profitable businesses.
Electric vans have the potential to disrupt the commercial market, said Scott Phillippi, UPS senior director of fleet maintenance and engineering. “It’s going to be similar to what the Model 3 has done for the consumer market,” Phillippi said while referring to the near-luxury electric sedan form Tesla.
The report said that GM plans to start production of its new electric van – called BV1 – by late 2021. The report noted that the components used for the new BV1 van from GM will be similar to the company’s future electric pickups and SUVs including the company’s new Ultium advanced battery system.
According to sources, Gm is currently contemplating about the delivery of the new electric van – whether through its traditional truck brands - Chevrolet and GMC - or use a different brand altogether such as Maven. The Hummer brand will be used for selling of GM’s first electric pickup truck which is expected to hit the market in late 2021 , through its dealers.
It is “committed to an all-electric future and is implementing a multi-segment, scalable EV strategy to get there. At this time, we do not have any announcements to make regarding electric commercial vehicles,” GM said in a statement.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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