GM is leasing more than 10 million vehicles, with a combined fleet of more than 8 million, as it seeks to expand its fleet of electric cars in the U.S. The company has leased about 13.6 million vehicles so far, which equates to roughly 4.5% of the overall fleet.
The Detroit automaker said on Monday that it is looking at leasing opportunities in Grand Rapids and Detroit, Michigan, and that it has “taken significant steps to develop and accelerate the program.”
GM’s Detroit, which includes Grand Rapids, is currently home to the largest auto parts supply chain in the world.
A key goal is to build a fleet of 100,000 plug-in hybrids in a single year, according to GM CEO Mary Barra, who spoke at the Detroit auto show last month.
The automaker’s decision to lease more vehicles comes amid mounting pressure from electric car makers, particularly Tesla and Nissan, to expand their electric vehicles.
GM has sold more than 30,000 electric cars since last year, Barra said, and said the automaker is “well positioned” to expand production.
“We’re seeing the demand for our vehicles, and we’re excited about the opportunity to continue to grow our product portfolio with more electric vehicles,” she said.
Barra has previously stated that the automakers plan to bring electric vehicles into the market by 2025, and she said the company is working on building a fleet.
In addition to leasing, GM is looking to build new facilities to support the automaking program, according, with Barra telling analysts that the company has signed a deal with the National Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Co. to build battery factory in Grand County, Michigan.
It will also build a plant to produce battery packs for the Chevy Volt plug-ins in Grand City, Michigan and Grandville, Michigan for the next several years, the automicanaker said.
Barra added that the Chevrolet Volt plugless, plug-to-grid battery is expected to be released by 2020, and the company expects it to have “great traction” in the electric vehicle market.
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