GM increasing spending on electric vehicles, opening two battery plants

GM increasing spending on electric vehicles, opening two battery plants
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General Motors on Wednesday said it will boost its spending on electric and autonomous vehicles and open two new battery manufacturing plants as it works to compete with Ford and other manufacturers on offerings of reduced and zero-emission vehicles. 

GM unveiled the plans in a press release, saying that the company will increase its electric and autonomous vehicle investments to $35 billion by 2025, a 75 percent increase from the spending previously announced by the auto manufacturer. 

The Detroit-based company said it hopes to complete the two new battery plants by mid-decade to add to the Ultium cell plants already under construction in Tennessee and Ohio. 

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GM said that it will release additional details on the new U.S. plants, including their specific locations, “at a later date.” 

The company said Wednesday that it hopes to become the “market leader” in electric vehicles in North America, as well as “the global leader in battery and fuel cell technology through its Ultium battery platform and HYDROTEC fuel cells.” 

GM also said that through its Cruise program, it hopes to be “the first to safely commercialize self-driving technology at scale.” 

“We are investing aggressively in a comprehensive and highly-integrated plan to make sure that GM leads in all aspects of the transformation to a more sustainable future,” GM Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. 

“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,” she added. 

Barra said 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.” 

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The announcement comes the same day that competitor Ford said it expects about half of its sales from luxury brand Lincoln to be all-electric models by 2026, with the entirety of the lineup electric or gas-electric hybrid by 2030. 

“Lincoln will usher in a new era of electrified vehicles and connected experiences globally, and we plan to deliver a full portfolio of electrified Lincoln vehicles globally by the end of the decade,” Lincoln President Joy Falotico said during a press briefing Wednesday, according to CNBC

Both GM and Ford have more months been unveiling increased commitments to their electric vehicle lineups, repeatedly seeking to outdo each other. 

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that while electric vehicles accounted for less than 2 percent of U.S. vehicle sales last year, analysts are predicting that this will increase in the coming decade as companies look to expand their offerings.