GM is stepping up its commitment to electric vehicles, and it’s providing a clearer view of its strategy in the process. The automaker revealed at a Barclays conference that it’s boosting its combined EV and self-driving investment from $20 billion to $27 billion, and it currently plans to have 30 EVs on the market by the end of 2025. The company said it “accelerated” its plans for GMC’s Hummer EV (from 50 months to 26), the Cadillac Lyriq and other unannounced models that include GMC and Chevrolet pickups as well as a Chevy compact crossover.
The cars will cover “all price points,” GM added, and over two thirds of those models will be available in North America.
These EVs should be more capable, too. GM now expects cars based on its Ultium batteries to get up to 450 miles of range on a charge versus the previously claimed 400. It’s also prototyping second-generation Ultium packs that could offer twice the energy density at “less than half” the existing cost. It won’t be ready until the middle of the decade, so you may have to wait a while to see what the new cells can do.
These are good moves for proponents of electrification, although GM might not have much choice. States like California are banning sales of new gas-based cars by 2035, while the UK confirmed plans to ban new combustion-powered car sales by 2030. If GM didn’t have a flurry of EVs in development, it could have a rough transition.
There’s also the not so small matter of competition — Tesla alone is boasting of battery breakthroughs that could lead to lower-cost, longer-ranged cars in the next few years. GM may need to keep a similar pace if it wants to avoid ceding ground to rivals.