General Motors announced that it would increase its investment in electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion through 2025. The new figure represents a 30 percent increase over the amount the automaker said it would spend last November, and a 75 percent increase from its initial investment prior to the pandemic.
It’s a staggering amount of money to be spent on what is arguably still a small percentage of the overall car market. Despite rapid growth in sales over the past few years, EVs are still a niche product, making up just 2 percent of the new car market and 1 percent of all cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks on the road.
That said, sales are expected to pick up in the next few years, depending on new incentives and point-of-sale rebates that are currently being debated. And GM is positioning itself to be the largest manufacturer of EVs in North America, much like it already is for gas-powered vehicles. The automaker has previously said that it hopes to only make zero-emission light duty vehicles by 2035.
GM isn’t the only automaker to keep upping its investment in EVs. Last month, Ford said it would spend $30 billion by 2030 to electrify 40 percent of its vehicle lineup. That’s a 36 percent increase over the previous commitment of $22 billion to EVs. But both pale in comparison to Volkswagen, the second largest automaker in the world, which has said it would spend €73 billion ($86 billion) over the next five years on electric vehicles.
GM plans to launch 30 new electric vehicles around the world by 2025, more than two-thirds of which will be available in North America. The vehicles will span GM’s entire brand portfolio, including Cadillac, Buick, GMC, and Chevrolet, and will come in a range of prices.
So far, GM’s only EV available for sale in the US is the Chevy Bolt and the Chevy Bolt EUV. The Hummer EV and Hummer EV SUV will come later this year, followed by the Cadillac Lyriq and the Celestiq. GM has also said that it would make an electric Chevy Silverado pickup truck. And the automaker currently sells compact EVs in China in partnership with the state-owned SAIC.
GM also said it is “accelerating plans” to build two new battery cell manufacturing plants in the US by 2025 to complement the factories that are currently under construction in Tennessee and Ohio. And the company said it expects to deliver “better-than-expected results” in the second quarter of 2021 despite the industry-wide impact of the semiconductor shortage.
The news follows the announcement that GM was extending a $5 billion credit line to its majority-owned subsidiary, Cruise, for the purchase of hundreds of battery-powered autonomous shuttles.