GM’s Mark Reuss Makes the Case for Electric Vehicles

Gen­er­al Motors North Amer­i­ca Pres­i­dent Mark Reuss made a strong case for the future of elec­tric vehi­cles dur­ing his keynote address last week at the Auto­mo­tive News World Con­gress. He and his com­pa­ny believe that the pub­lic will accept and embrace EVs, and some peo­ple already have. While sales are still small, they near­ly tripled to 52,172 units in 2012, accord­ing to Auto­mo­tive News Data Cen­ter.

Reuss acknowl­edged the chal­lenges – high prices and signs that local gov­ern­ment sup­port for green car incen­tives might be wan­ing, such as the state of Washington’s recent deci­sion to charge EV own­ers a $100 annu­al fee. Giv­en that, GM is still very com­mit­ted to the Chevro­let Volt, he said. Reuss said the Volt took an “unprece­dent­ed polit­i­cal beat-down” last year dur­ing the elec­tion sea­son as it became the sym­bol of the Oba­ma administration’s sup­port for green ini­tia­tives. There were also unfa­vor­able press reports for miss­ing GM-set sales tar­gets since its 2010 launch. Sales still did well in the chal­leng­ing envi­ron­ment – tripling to 23,461 units last year. Cheap­er leas­es and stair-step incen­tives helped, as did the sec­ond straight year with top rat­ings in the Con­sumer Reports mag­a­zine annu­al own­er sat­is­fac­tion sur­vey.



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