GM sees electric, other cars sharing parts

Sept. 11, 2007 at 11:13 PM
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FRANKFURT, Germany, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- General Motors Corp. hopes to launch a family of electric vehicles sharing mainstream GM parts, its vice chairman said in Germany Tuesday.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker is developing a version of its "E-Flex" architecture for electric cars so they share components with high-volume, mainstream, front-wheel-drive cars, Robert Lutz told The Wall Street Journal at the Frankfurt auto show, the world's largest.

"The hope is certainly to proliferate E-Flex over a wide variety of brands," he said. "It is a goal to be able to build E-Flex vehicles in the same plants as our mainstream models."

GM would ideally like to use a common chassis accommodating either a traditional gasoline engine and transmission or a battery-powered E-Flex powertrain, the newspaper said.

GM still needs suppliers to develop batteries for electric vehicles, and is not sure the suppliers will come through, Lutz said.

The company, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, already is mapping out plans to produce a wide range of electric models beyond the Chevrolet Volt, which it has vowed to launch in three years or so, the Journal said.

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