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General Motors, Volkswagen Want to Go Straight to Fully Electric Cars

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【Summary】Instead of coming out with hybrids, General Motors and Volkswagen are only interested in bringing fully electric cars to the market.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Aug 24, 2019 6:00 AM PT
General Motors, Volkswagen Want to Go Straight to Fully Electric Cars

For the majority of consumers in the United States, electric vehicles are a tough sell. They're more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles, have less range, and are harder to fill up. To bridge the gap between gas-powered cars and electric cars, automakers have come out with hybrids. They offer the best of both worlds, offering both electric- and gas-powered powertrains, while getting people ready for the electric future. 

Volkswagen and General Motors, though, don't see the need to come out with hybrid powertrains. These two automakers are going straight to EVs.

EVs Are In GM And VW's Future
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, the decision by both of these automakers is because of the large amounts of money both GM and VW plan to invest in all-electric powertrains. As the outlet claims, General Motors has plans to introduce 20 fully electric cars within the next four years. For Chevrolet and Cadillac, these include a few plug-in models. 

On VW's side of things, the automaker has also set its sights on coming out with electric vehicles in the near future, including a plug-in SUV next year. An electric variant of the minibus is also on the horizon. Both of these vehicles are expected to use the automaker's new MEB platform .
 
"If I had a dollar more to invest, would I spend it on a hybrid? 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?" stated Mark Reuss, GM President, in an interview with the outlet.
 
This is a different take on electric vehicles than other brands, like Ford and Toyota . Both of these automakers have plans to continue offering hybrids, while simultaneously introducing electric cars. Neither Ford nor Toyota have a fully electric vehicle in their respective lineups at the moment, though Ford did offer an electric variant of the Focus as recently as the 2018 model year.

Why Waste Time?
 
Volkswagen and General Motors aren't interested in wasting precious funds during what they believe to be a transitional period for the industry. Coming out with hybrids and EVs would spread their resources across multiple areas instead of just one.
 
"Our strong preference is to go all-in where the market is heading, as opposed to hybrids as a way to hedge our bets," VW Group of America President Scott Keogh told the outlet. Volkswagen currently sells the Volkswagen e-Golf, which is an all-electric variant of the compact Golf. Porsche, which sits under the VW umbrella, sells plug-in hybrid variants of the Panamera and the Cayenne.  
 
GM and VW's strategy isn't necessarily a bold one, as every automaker has some kind of electrification timeline in mind, but it's a different one compared to the majority of other brands. 

There's a lot of uncertainty in the air when it comes to electric vehicles, specifically if there are enough resources to go around, whether consumers will actually want to pay more for the vehicles in the future, and if the U.S. will even continue to prioritize fuel-efficient cars down the road.

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