GM plans fresh move into electric car market, says WSJ

By CARSIFU | 12 January 2015

WASHINGTON: General Motors Co plans to offer a new electric vehicle with a style and price-point that can compete with the forthcoming Tesla Model 3 car due out in two years, says the Wall Street Journal.

The US$30,000 (RM107,000) electric car called the Chevrolet Bolt, expected to debut commercially in 2017, will be able to drive 200 miles on a charge and is intended to cut into a market where Elon Musk's Tesla Motors Inc has been an investor darling.

Electric car purchases badly lag sales of gas-powered vehicles but the market is growing and GM will show off an early model of the Bolt at the Detroit auto show this week to stake a stronger claim in the space, the newspaper reported.

The Chevy Bolt will boast a stronger battery manufactured by South Korea's LG Chem Ltd,  the paper reported on Friday.

The rapidly falling price of oil has put gas-guzzling cars back to the fore, at the expense of electric vehicles, and Tesla shifted 18,750 cars on the US market in 2014, down 3.1 percent year on year. It had a target of 35,000 deliveries worldwide last year.

Morgan Stanley, one of the few US banks that believed in Tesla’s lofty ambitions, is now doubtful.

“We continue to view Tesla as a niche player,” it said in a note to investors late last year, saying that it expects the company to deliver closer to 300,000 electric vehicles by 2020 - far short of its 500,000 target.

Tesla’s ambitions rest on its ability to manufacture a battery at a competitive price, which seems difficult in the current environment, where oil is plumbing record lows with each passing week, Morgan Stanley said. - AFP/Reuters