Mary Barra: “Hybrids in the future will be” overboard “, there will be only electric cars”January 3, 2020
The head of General Motors Mary Barra in an interview with Motortrend said that the concern is going to switch to the production of electric vehicles alone as soon as possible. Attempts to “shove” two power plants into one car are obviously a losing strategy, she insists.
“[Global warming] is not a problem that can be solved in two years.” This is a problem for decades. Therefore, the sooner we come to zero emissions, the better, and electric cars will help us do this faster. So why spend a significant part of the capital and time of the engineers on the segment, which in the future will be “overboard” when we know what the transport industry will eventually come to? If you are a customer-oriented company and you believe in the science of global warming, then why not switch to electric cars as soon as possible? ”Said Barra.
In addition to this, the top manager noted that most consumers do not want to pay extra for the second power plant, which is why the popularity of hybrids is openly “lame” today: for example, the demand for hybrid Chevrolet Volt in the USA has fallen so much that General At the beginning of 2019, Motors decided to curtail their production and the production of other hybrids at its American enterprises and begin to work hard to create a new generation of all-electric Chevy Bolt.
Barra, however, did not name a specific timeline when all GM cars will become electric. But she clarified that in some markets her company will continue to produce hybrid models in the near future, because for the time being they help fit into local strict environmental standards. This is, in particular, China, where GM offers, among other things, identical Chevrolet Volt hybrids under the Buick brand.
The second component of the transport of the future, according to Barra, is autonomy. Cruise, a robotax company, is developing this with GM’s money. According to the head of General Motors, the first thing that engineers at a subsidiary startup pay attention to is safety. In second place is a public educational program.
“GM’s approach is safety first and foremost. [Before declaring the readiness of AI technology], we must be sure that the algorithms are able to drive cars safer than humans. The second point is working with potential customers. Robomobiles are a race not only for technology, but also for building trust. Testing our unmanned cars in San Francisco, we make sure that potential consumers understand what is at stake, understand the degree of development of autonomous driving algorithms and other technologies. We believe that this is very important, ”said Barra, adding that the company does not think about the specific dates when GM’s autonomous driving technology is ready for commercialization:“ In this case, the timing is not important. It is important that when the technology is released, we will not lose customer confidence. Nevertheless, robomobiles are one of the most complex technological challenges of our generation. ”
In conclusion, we note that quite recently quite the opposite opinion regarding electric cars was expressed by the head of Honda. According to him, in the near future, electric transport will not become mainstream due to problems with underdeveloped technologies and infrastructure. The way out of the situation, the head of the Japanese automaker sees it in hybrid cars.
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