GM's Barra accelerates the pursuit of world EV management

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: GM is investing $ 2 billion to build electric vehicles in Tennessee

By Ben Klayman

DETROIT (Reuters) – Mary Barra, general manager of General Motors Co (N :), said the Detroit automaker is accelerating an "unrestrained pursuit of global EV leadership" and is challenging electric vehicle operator Tesla Inc (O 🙂 with increased spending and acceleration Vehicle production goals.

Over time, GM plans to offer EVs in its full range of products from under $ 30,000 to over $ 100,000, with the goal of "putting everyone in one electric vehicle," Barra told investors Thursday during a conference sponsored by Barclays (LON :).

GM plans to increase spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $ 27 billion by 2023, a 35% increase over previous published plans. The automaker plans to accelerate the rollout of a dozen new electric models.

GM's ambitions to be the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles led to a collision course with Tesla and German automaker Volkswagen AG (DE :), which unveiled an electric vehicle investment plan worth $ 86 billion last week. GM and VW compete against each other in China.

GM shares slid after Barra outlined their EV strategy. Some investors have pushed Barra to separate GM electric vehicle operations from the automaker's profitable, legacy combustion business. Barra's presentation made no mention of this idea.

Instead, Barra highlighted the benefits she sees in integrating the combustion and electric vehicle business, noting that electric vehicles can share up to 70% of the components used in traditional vehicles.

GM will increase battery production capacity at the northeast Ohio facility with LG Chem (KS 🙂 of South Korea and increase the number of plants that build electric vehicles, Barra said.

Tesla's rising market capitalization and growing pressure from regulators to phase out carbon-emitting gasoline engines has put pressure on incumbent automakers to speed up production of electric vehicles, although these models are currently less promising than current trucks and SUVs.

GM was criticized by Democrats and environmentalists last year when it sided with US President Donald Trump in support of efforts to keep California from setting its own vehicle emissions regulations, and later Trump's decision to change Obama's efficiency requirements -Era lower.

GM confirmed that it will accelerate the rollout of new electric vehicles and have 30 models worldwide by 2025, expanding its previous target of 20 electric models by 2023. Barra said GM aims to surpass its previous goal of annual sales of 1 million electric vehicles in the United States and China by 2025.

GM's investor interest is focused on the company's Ultium battery technology, which GM says will now offer up to 450 miles of electric range on a single charge, up from 400 previously mentioned.

The second generation of Ultium batteries, which will be available in the middle of the decade, should fill most of the gasoline engine cost gap, Doug Parks, chief of global product development at GM, told reporters.

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