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General Motors to Boost its Electric Vehicle & Autonomous Driving Investments by 30% to $35 Billion

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【Summary】U.S. automaker General Motors has just made one of the biggest financial commitments in its 100+ year history. The company announced on Wednesday that its increasing its investments in electrification and autonomous driving technologies to $35 billion through 2025 as it prepares for an all-electric future.

FutureCar Staff    Jun 16, 2021 2:15 PM PT
General Motors to Boost its Electric Vehicle & Autonomous Driving Investments by 30% to $35 Billion

U.S. automaker General Motors has just made one of the biggest financial commitments in its 100+ year history.

The company announced on Wednesday that its increasing its investments in electrification and autonomous driving technologies to $35 billion through 2025 as it plans for an all-electric future with dozens of new battery-powered models in the works, many with autonomous driving capability.

"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," said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. "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."

In January, GM announced plans to become a carbon neutral company by 2040. To reach that aggressive goal, the automaker plans to phase out internal combustion engine models, including light-duty trucks and SUVs by 2035 in what will be a historic move for the company that has been building gas-powered vehicles since 1908.

GM's bold EV and autonomous driving plans however require massive new investments. The company's updated investments are its third increase in spending and represents a 75% increase from its initial commitment of $20 billion announced last year. 

GM originally said it would invest $20 billion from 2020 through 2025, including capital, engineering expenses and other development costs, to accelerate its transition to EVs. By Nov 2020, the company increased its planned investment over the same period to $27 billion. Now its being increased once again.

With the massive investments in new technology, GM aims to be the market leader in EVs in North America, as well as a global leader in battery and fuel cell technology through its new Ultium battery platform and HYDROTEC fuel cells. 

GM confirmed plans to launch its third-generation HYDROTEC fuel cells with even greater power density and lower costs by mid-decade. 

The automaker manufactures its fuel cells in Brownstown Charter Township, Michigan, in a joint venture with Honda, which is also GM's partner on the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle developed for GM's autonomous driving unit Cruise for a commercial robotaxi service.  

The updated plans also include accelerating Ultium battery cell production in the U.S. GM is accelerating plans to build two new battery cell manufacturing plants in the U.S. by mid-decade to complement the Ultium Cells LLC plants currently under construction in Tennessee and Ohio. Ultium Cells LLC is a joint venture between the automaker and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solutions. The two companies are investing $2.3 billion in the new Tennessee battery plant, which is scheduled to open in late 2023.

GM's first battery cell plant is in Ohio near its former Lordstown assembly factory. GM and LG are also investing up to $2.3 billion in the Ohio facility. The total investments in the first two factories is $4.6 billion.

GM is also collaborating with Honda to build two EVs using Ultium technology, which will be an one SUV for the Honda brand and one for its luxury division Acura.

In Nov 2020, GM announced it would deliver 30 new EVs by 2025 globally, with two-thirds of them available to customers in North America. The automaker said it will add additional U.S. assembly capacity for electric SUVs, which is one of the most popular body styles in the U.S. Details will be announced at a later date.

GM will also electrify some of its popular vehicles, including the popular Chevy Silverado pickup. The announcement of an electric Silverado in April sent GM's stock to $61.94, its highest level since GM emerged from bankruptcy after the recession of 2008-2009.  

Other new electric vehicles from GM include the Bolt EUV and upcoming GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq SUV

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