GM predicts lower costs, increased range with new electric vehicle batteries
Electric cars will rival gasoline-powered vehicles in about five years, General Motors (GM) said on Thursday, thanks to a breakthrough in battery chemistry.
GM officials said in an announcement that the new development will allow small electric SUVs to cost less than $30,000, promising 30 new electric models by 2025. As The Associated Press reports, nearly all electric vehicles currently on the market cost more than $30,000.
“We think the industry is transforming, and so we want to be at the leading edge of this,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of product development. GM reportedly wants to surpass Tesla as the global electric vehicle leader, expanding its projected budget for the sector from $20 billion to $27 billion through 2025.
According to Parks, the new battery can hold twice as much energy as GM’s current electric vehicles, though it is still undergoing early tests. Parks also claimed the new cars using this battery will cost 60 percent less than current models.
Guidehouse Insights principal analyst Sam Abuelsamid told the AP this announcement is indicative of where the automobile industry is headed, with Ford and Volkswagen also announcing plans to invest more into electric vehicles.
According to Abuelsamid, automakers have always had to balance range with battery cost, but he says with this announcement GM appears to have gone beyond that.
“What we’re seeing now is that they’re confident enough on their costs that they think they can offer those 300-to-400 mile range vehicles, and the upfront cost is similar to internal combustion vehicles,” he said.
The AP notes that the news comes as many governments have announced plans to ban gas-powered vehicles in the near future. The United Kingdom recently announced it would ban the sale of new, fossil-fueled cars by 2030 and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) set a similar goal in September, aiming for the year 2035.