GM hits gas on electric

18 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

NEW YORK: General Motors is hitting the accelerator on its drive towards electric autos, significantly boosting its near-term investments as it unveils new models and builds production capacity.

The biggest US automaker announced it will raise spending by 30 percent to $35 billion through 2025 and plans to build two additional battery cell plants. Some of the funds also will go to its autonomous vehicle program, reports AFP.

The company cited strong consumer reception to its early electric vehicle (EV) models and beneficial public policies as factors that give it confidence the investment will pay off.

“GM is targeting annual global EV sales of more than 1 million by 2025, and we are increasing our investment to scale faster because we see momentum building in the United States for electrification, along with customer demand for our product portfolio,” said Chief Executive Mary Barra.

“There is a strong and growing conviction among our employees, customers, dealers, suppliers, unions and investors, as well as policymakers, that electric vehicles and self-driving technology are the keys to a cleaner, safer world for all.”

The announcement marks the latest vote of confidence in an EV future by a legacy automaker in the wake of the ascent of Tesla and as governments embrace policies to address climate change.

Just last month, Ford won praise for unveiling an all-electric version of its F-150 pickup truck and said it was targeting 40 percent of its volume by 2030 to be comprised of EVs.

As the auto giants have deepened their commitment to EVs, startups have hit speed-bumps. Earlier this week, Lordstown Motors announced the resignations of its chief executive and chief financial officer after an investigation concluded some of the company’s statements about auto pre-orders were inaccurate.

That followed an announcement the company did not have enough cash to begin commercial production.