Auto Executives: Electric Cars Will Soon Offer Range of 200 to 300 Miles

General Motors is working on a new pure-electric car that it expects will go 200 miles on a single charge. That’s according to Mark Reuss, GM’s global product chief, who confirmed the project last week during a presentation to investors.

As reported in Automotive News, a trade publication, two other people familiar with GM’s plans, said it would be based on the Sonic subcompact model (shown above). While Reuss didn’t offer specifics about the nameplate or timeline, the unidentified sources said an electric car based on the Sonic is scheduled for about 2017.

Today’s electric cars have the capacity for between about 80 and 100 miles per charge—except the expensive Tesla Model S, which already offers between 208 and 265 miles per charge, depending on the model.

If Reuss’s comment about a pending 200-mile EV sounds optimistic, then consider what Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, chief of powertrain development at Volkswagen, said earlier this month. Speaking at a conference, Neusser said that a range of between 300 and 370 miles is possible in about five years. Until then, we should expect suite of plug-in hybrids from VW and other automakers. Plug-in hybrids are capable of combining grid-supplied energy and petroleum—an approach characterized by Neusser as a “bridge technology.”

Plug-in hybrid versions of the Golf and Passat have recently been introduced to European markets, and might come to the United States in the next couple years.

The 2015 VW E-Golf goes on sale in the U.S. (in select states) later this month. “We can look [today]to the E-Golf, which has an operating range of around 115 miles,” said Nuesser.  “I expect the next generation in 2015-17 will increase to around 185 miles, and the following step will be around 300 to 370 miles.”

If EVs can offer 200 to 300 miles on a single charge, while keeping costs in check, then the popularity of battery-powered cars will rapidly increase.

Article by Brad Berman, appearing courtesy ebay Green Driving.

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