GM’s Barra Skeptical of Electric Car Mandates
by Keith Laing (Detroit News) General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday that Chinese officials should consider whether there is sufficient demand for electric cars before they move to ban gasoline and diesel engines.
Speaking at a conference in Washington honoring her for being named number one on Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women list, Barra said GM is “very committed to an all-electric future.” But she said drivers still have to be persuaded to want electric cars, even in places where the government is mandating their use.
“Clearly we believe that the Chinese market will have the highest electric vehicles most quickly because of the regulatory environment,” she said. “I think the point I was trying to make, and it kind of got spun into something a little different, is at the end of the day you still have to make customers happy and you have to fill their needs.
“We’ve encouraged the Chinese government to work with us and work with the industry to make sure we’re creating the excitement and demand for electric vehicles as opposed to it just being mandated,” Barra added.
Regulators in China and France have moved to enact bans on gas and diesel engines in a bid to boost the use of electric vehicles in recent weeks — and California is looking into following suit domestically.
“I really think it’s part of the solution. I think we’re getting cycles of learning and the experience to make it affordable. I think it’s going to be part of the solution, both from what customers want to drive because we look at what the customer really cares about, but also from a regulatory environment and doing the right thing for the environmental perspective.” READ MORE
Wither ethanol? (Storm Lake Times)
Do automakers dream of electric cars? (The Washington Post)
Are Electric Vehicles Pushing Oil Demand Over a Cliff? (Inside Climate News)