General Motors steps into the electric vehicle game
This marks GM's biggest investment against skeptics on Wall Street, who doubt the 110-year-old automaker can tread industrial water against Tesla, as the entire automotive industry pivots to all-electric and sustainable vehicles.
GM debuted and discussed a total of 11 new all-electric vehicles on Wednesday as part of its plans through 2025, which has at least 20 new models slated to hit the market by 2023, reports CNBC.
No further details were released about how much of the $20 billion would specifically fund the development of all-electric vehicles, but GM did say the amount will be directed to engineering and capital resources.
"This is a huge opportunity for us. The biggest opportunity any of us has ever seen for this company, certainly," said GM President Mark Reuss. "And we're all-in. It represents a chance to reinvent the company and reset our brands. It will change this company and people's perception of it forever."
GM shares were up nearly 2%, at $31.03 per share after the announcement. This is significant because GM's stock is down 21.5% year-over-year, in addition to a roughly 16% decline in 2020, so far.
GM ups the electric and autonomous vehicle ante
GM said its new all-electric vehicle suite will make roughly 644 kilometers (400 miles) or more in range, charge more than 160 kilometers (100 miles) in only 10 minutes, and accelerate from zero to 96 kilometers per hour (60 mph) in only three seconds. If the reality meets the design, these specifications are all neck-to-neck or better than Tesla's current suite of all-electric vehicles.
For comparison, Tesla's Model 3 can drive 518 kilometers (322 miles), make zero to 96 kilometers per hour (60 mph) in 3.2 seconds, and recharge for a capacity of 276 kilometers (172 miles) in 15 minutes.
Many of GM's new products were clay models and ranged from SUVs to pickups to new evolutions of the Bolt EV. Some notable ones included a Chevrolet pickup, a GMC Hummer pickup, a "flagship" Cadillac car, and a big Escalade-sized SUV. Sadly, GM didn't release any photos or renderings of the vehicles shown, as of Wednesday.
GM stressed that its next-gen all-electric suite of vehicles will be profitable, and retain the profit margins that have in the past dissuaded private advancement into sustainable vehicles. This is largely thanks to a sharp drop in battery cell costs, reports CNBC.
Powered by proprietary "Ultium" batteries, GM's new all-electric vehicle platform will push the performance envelope beyond GM's current suite of all-electric vehicles, including the Bolt EV — to achieve a charge of 160 (100 miles) of range in 30 minutes, with a maximum range of 416 kilometers (259 miles).
The GMC Hummer pickup will be the first all-electric vehicle with this new technology installed to go to market, in Fall 2021, followed by a crossover of a Cadillac for U.S. markets in 2022. GM will also reveal a different crossover-based Chevrolet Bolt, with its current EV platform called the Bolt EUV later this year. Production will start in early-2021.