Following yesterday's Los Angeles Times article on GM's development of a new kind of gasoline-electric hybrid, Reuters is reporting this morning that the plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) car is likely to make its first appearance at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January. The unveiling will come exactly 10 years after the launch of the ill-fated EV1 electric car (pictured), which GM discontinued in 2002 citing lack of public interest. Since then, GM has taken a hammering at the hands of overseas automakers who have been early adopters of hybrid technology.
Recent initiatives such as the unveiling of the Chevrolet Sequel hydrogen fuel cell concept car and a confirmed timetable for rollout of the Equinox Fuel Cell have signaled GM's reemergence on the alternative-fuel scene, with the new plug-in vehicle (the EV2?) the first sign of a "full" or series hybrid. (While the Saturn Vue Green Line and certain Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras are nominally hybrids, they cannot run solely on electric power).
GM boss Rick Wagoner recently said that discontinuing the EV1 program was his biggest mistake in the job: it is unlikely he will be so quick to pull the plug on this latest car, which will arguably justify the costs of its development in terms of positive, environmentally friendly PR alone.