GM, VW forsake hybrids, go all-in on EVs
Other automakers believe hybrids still have room for growth.
General Motors and Volkswagen apparently have little interest in developing more hybrids as the market shifts toward all-electric vehicles.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, both automakers voiced confidence that EVs represent the better long-term bet and will help keep up with fleet-averaged emissions regulations.
"Our strong preference is to go all-in where the market is heading, as opposed to hybrids as a way to hedge our bets," said VW chief Scott Keogh.
GM president Mark Reuss agreed, noting that it makes more sense to allocate development funds to "the answer that we all know is going to happen." The automaker hopes the decision will help it quickly establish a more competitive position as EVs take center stage.
Other automakers apparently disagree, viewing hybrids as a critical element in the transition from internal-combustion powertrains to all-electric vehicles. The hybrid-focused strategy is likely rooted in skepticism that mainstream buyers will readily embrace EVs out of the gate.
"We can't say to the customer 'You have to take an all-electric vehicle,'" opined Ford powertrain engineering VP Dave Filipe.
Ford is still quietly working to bring the F-150 hybrid to market, yet the company has already kicked off a teaser campaign for its all-electric pickup. The F-150 has long held the crown as the best-selling nameplate in the country. The company consequently faces a significant risk if it expects truck buyers to be anti-EV despite the performance and durability advantages offered by battery power.