Citing high production costs, a GM source revealed that the automaker had cancelled plans to build a plug-in hybrid version of the popular Cadillac SRX crossover.
Back in January, GM CEO Dan Akerson indicated that launch of a plug-in hybrid SRX was likely, and that he expected electrified vehicles to make up 10 percent of GM’s production in as few as 10 years.
Since then, GM’s had a change in strategy, withdrawing their application for $14.4 billion in low-interest loans from the Department of Energy. The loans would have been used for upgrading plants to build fuel efficient vehicles (like the plug-in hybrid SRX), but GM wants to move away from government funding and the negative connotations it brings with it. Thanks to the company’s economic turnaround, GM executives are confident that required factory updates can be self-funded.
The plug-in hybrid SRX had already begun development testing at GM’s Milford proving ground when the project was cancelled. Those close to the development feared that the vehicle could only be sold at a substantial loss, negating any financial benefit the automaker would have received from boosting their corporate average fuel economy.
GM already has the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle (or series hybrid, if you prefer), and is expected to launch a small minivan using the Volt’s powertrain for the 2013 model year.