Just a few days ago there were several individual stories floating out there – each potentially unrelated but important nonetheless. First, the news that Opel was killing its Ampera plug-in hybrid, then LG Chem announced that it was working on a 200-mile-range EV with one automaker (but not confirming which one). Next was the bit about Opel confirming that it will offer a — wait for it — pure-electric successor vehicle to the Ampera.
Beyond that, The Truth About Cars was informed by an un-named source that the LG Chem batteries will be put into an all-new Chevrolet Sonic-based EV around 2016. TTAC’s source also said the new EV will be built in Michigan, helping earn “regulatory credits” and positive publicity for making and selling it in the United States.
Whatever form it takes, and whether this is, in fact, the new Opel everyone’s been talking about, don’t expect it until at least 2016, if not later, says TTAC.
And, assuming the U.S. Sonic EV does come to pass as TTAC’s reports unequivocally states, EV fans can hope GM sells it in more than only Oregon and California as is the present case for the Spark EV.
Rumors from other-state dealers saying they’ll get the Spark EV have come out; GM presently says no plans are being announced, but the move to offer more than mere regulatory compliance electric cars – including presumably the Sonic EV – appears more a matter of when, not if.
GM has also said it would be there and ready with a competitor when Tesla launches its entry level car with 200 mile range, and $30,000-plus entry point it’s now calling Model 3.
Some are conjecturing the Sonic EV is to be GM’s Tesla fighter. Whether that’s the case, or GM has more tricks up its sleeve remains to be seen.