DETROIT — General Motors said it expects to fall short of its goal of putting half a million electrified vehicles on the road by 2017.
The automaker, in its annual sustainability report released late last week, said that it has sold 180,834 vehicles since 2010 with some form of electrification, including pure battery-electric cars such as the Chevrolet Spark EV, plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and a variety of models equipped with its eAssist mild hybrid system.
GM attributed the narrowing demand for hybrid and electric vehicles to "lower fuel prices and the surge in model offerings from all manufacturers."
The company said it remains "committed to electrification" and that "we continue to aspire to our stated goal," introducing new products such as the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.
The GM report echoes an April analysis from Edmunds that revealed a consumer shift away from hybrids and EVs back to SUVs.
Car buyers are trading in hybrid and electric cars for SUVs at a higher rate than ever before, according to the analysis.
About 22 percent of people who have traded in their hybrids and EVs in 2015 bought a new SUV. The number represents a sharp increase from 18.8 percent last year, and it is nearly double the rate of 11.9 percent just three years ago.
In the meantime, General Motors said it is focusing more investment on improving the fuel economy and reducing emissions on its internal-combustion engines, through such technologies as turbocharging, stop-start, direct injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation.
GM said it is rolling out a new "technologically advanced engine family" with modular architecture that will be used globally in 27 models from five GM brands by 2017.
Its investments in improving internal-combustion engines "underscore the reality that gasoline will be the fuel of choice for the vast majority of the world for the foreseeable future," said GM.
Edmunds says: The GM report underscores some major showroom trends that are true for most major automakers.