G.M. Accelerates Its Ambitions for Electric Vehicles

November 19, 2020 

General Motors is gearing up an all-out push to catch up to Tesla in electric vehicles.

The automaker said Thursday that it was accelerating plans to introduce electric cars and trucks over the next five years, and that it expected to spend $27 billion by 2025 on the effort, up from a previous budget of $20 billion.

"We want to lead in this space," said Doug Parks, a G.M. executive vice president. "We think the industry is transforming, and to lead it, you've got to be better than other folks."

Although Tesla "has got a good jump" and a number of start-ups are focused on electric vehicles, he said, "we're not going to cede leadership."

G.M.'s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, was scheduled to elaborate on G.M.'s accelerated strategy Thursday afternoon at an investor conference convened by Barclays Capital.

"Climate change is real, and we want to be part of the solution," Ms. Barra said in a statement. "We are resolved as a management team to move even faster to expedite the transition to E.V.s."

Mr. Parks said G.M. aimed to introduce 30 electric models around the world by 2025, about 10 more than it had previously disclosed. Twenty will be available in the United States. Among the first will be Hummer electric sport utility vehicle that is supposed to arrive in showrooms late next year. A Cadillac S.U.V., called the Lyriq, is now due in the first quarter of 2022, nine months earlier than previously planned, Mr. Parks said.

Other models will include an electric pickup truck and S.U.V. for its Chevrolet brand, as well as other models "at all price points," Mr. Parks said.

He said the company expected its Ultium modular battery packs to provide a range up 450 miles before needing a recharge. Earlier this year G.M. said the maximum range would be about 400 miles.

G.M. hopes to produce the battery packs for other automakers and has formed a partnership to supply Honda Motor. "Scale can give us an incredible competitive advantage," Mr. Parks said.

G.M. is building a factory near Lordstown, Ohio, to make Ultium packs. Last week, the company said it aimed to hire some 3,000 electrical and software engineers to support its E.V. effort.

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