GM’s Barra Accelerates ‘Full Pursuit of Global EV Leadership’

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GM’s talk to investors focuses on the company’s Ultium battery technology, which GM says will now offer electric range of up to 450 miles on a single charge, up from 400 previously.


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GM plans to increase spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $ 27 billion by 2023

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Mary Barra, Managing Director of General Motors Co, said the Detroit automaker is accelerating a “full pursuit of global electric vehicle leadership,” challenging electric vehicle leader Tesla Inc with increased spending and vehicle production targets accelerated. Over time, GM plans to offer EVs across its range, from under $ 30,000 (£ 22,665) to over $ 100,000, with the goal of “getting everyone in an electric vehicle”. Barra told investors Thursday at a conference sponsored by Barclays.

Barra said electric vehicles could help GM increase US sales to 280,000 vehicles per year in coastal states where the company’s brands are weak. “We want to be # 1 electric vehicles in North America,” said Barra.

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GM plans to increase spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $ 27 billion by 2023, up 35% from previous leaked plans, she said. The automaker also plans to accelerate the launch of a dozen new electric models.

GM’s ambitions to be the world’s leading electric vehicle maker have put it on a collision course with Tesla and German automaker Volkswagen AG, which last week presented a plan to invest $ 86 billion in vehicles. electric vehicles. GM and VW go head-to-head in China. GM shares returned to positive territory after Barra presented his EV strategy. Tesla shares rose 3% on Thursday, pushing the automaker to a market cap of $ 475 billion, nearly eight times that of GM.

Some investors have pressed Barra to separate GM’s electric vehicle business from the automaker’s profitable, internal combustion legacy business. Asked about a spin-off of GM’s skateboarding or battery operations, Barra said: “We don’t think we have to separate.”

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Instead, Barra highlighted the benefits she sees in integrating internal combustion and electric vehicle businesses, noting that electric vehicles can share up to 70% of the components used in traditional vehicles.

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GM will increase battery manufacturing capacity at the plant it is building in northeast Ohio with South Korean LG Chem and increase the number of factories it builds electric vehicles in, Barra said. .

Tesla’s skyrocketing market capitalization and increasing pressure from regulators to phase out carbon-emitting gasoline engines have prompted established automakers to step up production of electric vehicles, although at the moment these models promise less. more profits than current trucks and SUVs.

GM was criticized by Democrats and environmentalists last year when it sided with US President Donald Trump in supporting efforts to stop California from setting its own vehicle emissions rules and later Trump’s decision to reduce the efficiency demands of the Obama era.

GM has confirmed that it will accelerate the deployment of new electric vehicles and offer 30 models globally by 2025, expanding an earlier target of 20 electric models by 2023. Barra said GM wants to exceed its earlier target of annual sales of 1 million electric vehicles in the United States and China by 2025.

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GM’s talk to investors focuses on the company’s Ultium battery technology, which GM says will now offer electric range of up to 450 miles on a single charge, up from 400 previously.

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The second generation of Ultium batteries, available in the middle of the decade, are expected to close most of the cost gap with gasoline engines, GM’s head of global product development, Doug Parks, said at a call with journalists. GM also said it is creating an umbrella organization for its electric vehicle and digital marketing efforts called Ultifi.

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