GM Joins Growing List of Carmakers Going Electric

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A lot of countries have been approving laws that will decrease the use of fuel cars for the sake of a better future.

The hastily called event was short on specifics, and it came just a day before the CEO of Ford Motor Co., GM's prime competitor, was to announce its business plan that likely will include electric and autonomous vehicles as priorities.

Not all of GM's electric vehicles will use batteries - some will use hydrogen gas for power instead, GM said.

The biggest United States automaker said it will introduce within 18 months two new models built on the learnings of the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, which was launched in December 2016.

GM also introduced a fuel cell powered, heavy-duty truck with two electric motors known as SURUS, which stands for "Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure".

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"General Motors believes in an all-electric future", Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, said of the commitment. "Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles". They'll be "based off learnings" GM has experienced from the Chevrolet Bolt EV, its fully-electric hatchback. GM has said in the past that it thinks fuel cells make sense in applications where battery packs would be too big and heavy, or when recharging times are critical - heavy trucks, for example, or vehicles used by first responders, which can't afford to be out of service for hours to recharge.

Photo provided by General Motors A Chevrolet Bolt appears surrounded by nine electric and fuel cell vehicles covered by tarps. Last year, GM and Honda announced plans to cooperate on fuel cell development, with plans for a joint venture dedicated fuel cell factory by 2025.

As of 3 pm EDT, GM's shares were trading at $42.19, up about 4.5% from Friday's close.

Major automakers besides GM are also stepping up efforts to broaden their electric offerings. Engineers and designers will build on GM's electric lineup from there, the automaker said. The first two of the series will rollout in the next 18 months.

"We're serious about battery electric vehicles", she said. SURUS is created to serve as the underpinnings for delivery vehicles, trucks or even applications like an ambulance.