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GM Reveals Electrification Plans for China

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Chevy Malibu XL

China already has proven itself to be the largest car market in the world, but more recently has been rapidly showing itself to be the largest electric car market in the world, with new regulations and incentives from the Chinese government making electric cars look more and more attractive to both producers and consumers.

As a result, General Motors Executive Director for Electrification Larry Nitz revealed in Shanghai that the company will be accelerating the launch of EVs in China. The first portion of this will be in creating a battery assembly plant in Shanghai—this would localize its battery production through its SAIC-GM joint venture (SAIC stands for Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, a Chinese state-owned automotive design and manufacturing company based in Shanghai).

Another next step is the expansion of GM’s lineup of EVs in China with the introduction of the new Chevy Malibu XL Hybrid and the Buick LaCrosse Hybrid, as well as the already-announced Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid. Each is anticipated to produce exceptional fuel efficiency, with the Malibu XL Hybrid reaching 4.3 liters per 100 km (about 54.7 mpg to us in the US), the LaCrosse Hybrid reaching a segment-leading 4.7 liters per 100 km (about 50 mpg in the US), and the CT6 reaching an average of about 1.7 liters per 100 km (that’s 138.36 mpg in the US) thanks to its plug-in powertrain.

The Malibu XL Hybrid and LaCrosse Hybrid will share a powertrain, each using a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine connected to a two-motor electric drive unit and a 1.5-kWh battery. The CT6, for contrast, will feature 80 km (about 50 miles) of electric range, followed by the power of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.