American auto giant General Motors (NYSE:GM) is stepping up its commitment to electric vehicles.
Speaking at an energy industry conference on Wednesday, GM CEO Dan Akerson predicted that major advances in battery technology were coming soon. He noted that GM was developing electric cars that could drive ranges of 100 miles and 200 miles on a charge, Bloomberg noted.
Akerson also said that GM planned to introduce an electric version of its Chevrolet Spark with a battery range of between 75 miles and 80 miles by the end of this year. In addition, the company will unveil a diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze.
GM expects to have roughly 500,000 at least partially electric vehicles in the hands of American consumers by 2017.
The company’s current electric car, the Chevy Volt, has so far failed to live up to sales expectations. In January, a GM executive said the Volt’s price would fall significantly as it switched to a new specially-designed body platform.
Shares of General Motors slipped fractionally in Thursday morning trading.