GM is planning a raft of new powertrain technologies, including new electric vehicles, as part of an initiative aimed at improving its image among environmentally conscious US consumers. 

A Reuters report says that GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will use an appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week to highlight a development programme that GM hopes will be seen as a strategic shift and help distance it from its reputation as a company focused first on gas-guzzling trucks and lagging in areas such as hybrids and electric cars.

The report added however that GM is likely to wait until the Detroit auto show in January to comment in depth on its future electric vehicle plans.

"Technology is an area where we have seen an acceleration in our efforts in the past few years, and it's safe to say we'll be providing more information on this," GM spokesman Chris Preuss told Reuters.

GN is expected to announce that it is developing a range of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles.