General Motors is committing to an all-electric future as the automaker gears up to introduce a handful of new EVs. Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, spoke at Goldman Sach’s tech conference, claiming, “We want to provide EVs for everyone,” explaining their strategy to get there, its Ultium platform, and plans for scaling production.
At the conference, Mary explains, “At General Motors, our vision is to create a world with 0 crashes, 0 emissions, and 0 congestion,” as she leads into the automaker’s vision of making electric vehicles accessible to everyone.
GM is going all in on mass market EVs again after its first attempt, releasing the Chevy Bolt in 2016, was less successful than the automaker had hoped for.
Although sales began building momentum, reaching a record 3,619 in June 2021, GM recalled all Chevy Bolt models after a series of battery fires resulting in a massive drop in sales. GM vowed to make it right, but despite its best efforts, the incident ruined its reputation.
The automaker’s CEO even went as far as to say she is confident GM can catch Tesla, the current EV leader, by 2025.
A year later, GM is determined to claim its share as almost all new and legacy automakers are racing to introduce their own EVs.
GM’s CFO, Paul Jacobson, said in August that the company is hitting an “inflection point” with scaling EV production. The automaker has released or plans to release several electric vehicles since then, including:
Yet GM’s most significant release so far is the Chevy Equinox EV (pictured below), an electric version of its best-selling SUV, unveiled last week. The smaller SUV is expected to be a key piece in its strategy to provide “EVs for everyone.”
Can GM really provide EVs for everyone?
GM began developing its Ultium platform, a purpose-built platform for electric vehicles, in early 2018. The EV platform is incredibly versatile and can be used to build any number of vehicles.
The automaker’s CEO sums it up perfectly at the Goldman conference, explaining:
The way that we define Ultium is it can go all the way from a small compact vehicle like the Chevrolet Equinox EV that we revealed to the world last week, all the way up to a super truck like the Hummer EV and even beyond with BrightDrop, our commercial — electric commercial vehicle. So we’re never constrained as to what we want to create off of the Ultium platform.
GM’s quick work on its Ultium platform is starting to pay dividends as several models on the market utilize the technology. Furthermore, foreign automakers, such as Honda, are partnering with GM to release their own series of EVs.
The automaker has an ambitious goal to sell one million EVs by 2025 in its North American and Chinese markets, which expects to generate around $50 billion in revenue annually.
GM understands the hurdles it will take to get there, citing supply chain issues and raw material shortages. To overcome this, GM is in the midst of building four battery cell plants in the US with the help of LG Energy. The first one, in Ohio, is in its startup stages, another is expected in 2023, one in 2024, and the fourth has yet to be announced.
Marry Barra is quick to point out that:
This has been our strategy because we believe it was the right thing to do from a long-term perspective to control our own destiny before the President signed IRA into law.
She believes that through these ventures, GM will be able to provide EVs at the right price point for any buyer.
GM producing affordable EVs for everyone is a win for the company and EV buyers everywhere. With the Chevy Equinox EV expected to launch in the second half of 2023 and a starting price of around $30,000, the dream of owning an EV is almost within reach for most.
To ensure GM can keep up with demand, the automaker is working behind the scenes to secure critical battery materials and allow for efficient production ability.
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