GM planning car to rival Tesla's Model S

General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson speaks with the media before addressing the 2012 GM annual meeting of stockholders at GM headquarters on June 12, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. 

Automaker General Motors announced that it is joining its competitors in the pursuit of an all-electric car with long-range and a low price. GM’s goal is to develop a car that can travel 200 miles on a single charge, priced around $30,000. If GM can pull that off its electric vehicle would cost less than half the price of Tesla’s Model S, the only electric car on the market with a range of 200 miles.

GM doesn’t just want to sell an affordable long range electric vehicle. It wants that vehicle to run on in-house technology.  

“It’s much like developing your own gasoline engine,” says Edmunds senior auto analyst Michelle Krebs. “That is the heart and soul of the vehicle and they believe that it’s important that it be their own.”

Unlike Toyota which owns an stock in Tesla and uses Tesla’s technology in its RAV-4, GM and its competitors are in a race to develop a breakthrough technology that delivers affordable long rage electrics.

“Nobody has really been able to claim that -- put their stake in the ground yet,” says David Sullivan with Auto Pacific.

GM Global Development VP Doug Parks did not give a timeline on when consumers could expect a long range vehicle. The company does offer the Chevy Volt priced at $35,000 but with a range of 38 miles it relies on a gasoline generator to go further. 

About the author

David Weinberg is a general assignment reporter at Marketplace.

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