General Motors wants to be the biggest seller of electric vehicles in North America (maybe the planet, too?) and so far, it’s burning a lot of cash to get there. But by 2025, the cash burning will officially cease, as the company projects its EV program will be “solidly profitable” by then.
The company, which is the largest automaker in North America, outlined the plan to achieve this goal to investors at a splashy event in Manhattan on Thursday. GM said it will sell 1 million EVs annually starting in 2025, and to illustrate this point, it had a variety of electric models on display, including the stunning $300,000 fastback Cadillac Celestiq that was first unveiled last month.
Selling 1 million EVs a year will be no easy task
Selling 1 million EVs a year will be no easy task, even for the nation’s largest automaker — it took Tesla over a decade to hit that marker. But executives feel they have a solid plan in place, including constructing at least five battery factories in North America, securing the raw materials for battery assembly, and creating new digital retail opportunities to build customer demand.
“We can see people wanting electric vehicles, even more than what some of the experts on the industry say by 2025,” Mark Reuss, president of GM, said in an interview with The Verge. “I think it’s gonna be higher than 17 percent. I think it’ll be quite a bit higher. And people want electric vehicles in all segments. So, we’re going to take our time and get it right.”
In its most recent earnings report, GM said it’s on track to sell 44,000 Chevy Bolt EVs and EUVs — at a loss — in the US by the end of the year. The Bolt is the company’s lowest priced plug-in model and the only one that it is currently selling in high volume and unprofitably. GM’s other battery-electric models, the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, are still slowly ramping up production. And next year, the Chevy Silverado EV and Chevy Blazer EV will join the lineup.
GM wants to sell more EVs because it needs to; the company is on a deadline to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. And this isn’t some altruistic measure. A number of US states, led by California, have declared their intent to ban the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 or later.
Reuss confirmed these plans. By 2040, no Chevy, GMC, or Cadillac dealership in North America will carry gas-powered vehicles. But what about other countries? “Globally, you know, we’ve got markets that are on very much different transition lines,” he said. “So I would gate it with that.”