Mike Stevens | Aug 16, 2011

Ten years on from the retirement of its pioneering and controversial all-electric EV1, General Motors is reportedly targeting a 2014 production debut for an all-new all-electric vehicle.

According to US-based website The Detroit Bureau, GM has partnered with battery manufacturer A123 to develop an electrified version of an existing global model.

The report adds that while GM has already partnered with LG Chem to produce the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid's lithium-ion batteries, this latest partnership is unrelated.

“It is not for the Volt or the next-generation Volt. This is for a different application, but we can’t get into what this is for or the timing," GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly is quoted as saying.

While details remain cloudy, it is believed that GM is planning to launch a range of electric models through a number of its brands, beginning with Chevrolet - a direction that could lead to a Holden-badged EV in Australia, beyond next year's Volt launch.

Which models will feature the all-electric powertrain is unknown, although GM has already launched a low-volume EV demonstration fleet in India, using the appropriately named Spark light car (although it is known as the Beat in India).

"General Motors is committed to providing customers around the world with electrification technologies that will reduce their fuel consumption, helping them save money," GM India boss Karl Slym said.

"We are delighted that Chevrolet selected India as an important market to test battery electric technology, while recognizing the capabilities of our engineering team to help identify ways to make this technology more affordable."

The Beat EV draws power from a 45kW electric motor and a 300-cell lithium ion battery pack, offering a driving range of around 130 kilometres.

With the arrival of an electrified GM vehicle on the market in 2014, the company will square off against the likes of Nissan's Leaf electric hatch, Mitsubishi's i-MiEV and offerings from Volkswagen and BMW - among others.

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