General Motors Co. has announced that it intends to increase its electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle investments from 2020 through 2025 to $35 billion, representing a 75% increase from its initial commitment, announced prior to the pandemic.
The company says this level of investment will enable GM to accelerate its strategy to become the market leader in EVs in North America; the global leader in battery and fuel cell technology through its Ultium battery platform and HYDROTEC fuel cells; and through Cruise, 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,” says 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.”
This announcement builds on GM’s initial commitment announced in March 2020 to invest $20 billion from 2020 through 2025, including capital, engineering expenses and other development costs, to accelerate its transition to EVs and AVs. In November 2020, the company increased its planned investment over the same period to $27 billion.
GM’s additional investments and new collaborations include the following:
Accelerating Ultium battery cell production in the United States: GM is accelerating plans to build two new battery cell manufacturing plants in the United States by mid-decade to complement the Ultium Cells LLC plants under construction in Tennessee and Ohio.
Commercializing U.S.-made Ultium batteries and HYDROTEC fuel cells: In addition to collaborating with Honda to build two EVs using Ultium technology – one SUV for the Honda brand and one for the Acura brand – GM has signed a memorandum of understanding to supply Ultium batteries and HYDROTEC fuel cells to Wabtec Corp., which is developing the world’s first 100% battery-powered locomotive.
Separately, GM will supply HYDROTEC to Navistar Inc., which is developing hydrogen-powered heavy trucks to launch in 2024; and Liebherr-Aerospace, which is developing hydrogen-powered auxiliary power units for aircraft.
GM manufactures its fuel cells in Brownstown Charter Township, Mich., in a joint venture with Honda.
Expanding and accelerating the rollout of EVs for retail and fleet customers: In November 2020, GM announced it would deliver 30 new EVs by 2025 globally, with two-thirds available in North America. Through the additional investments, GM will add to its North America plan new electric commercial trucks and other products. In addition, GM will add additional U.S. assembly capacity for EV SUVs.
Safely deploying self-driving technology at scale: Cruise, GM’s majority-owned subsidiary, recently became the first company to receive permission from regulators in California to provide a driverless AV passenger service to the public. Cruise also was recently selected as the exclusive provider of AV rideshare services to the city of Dubai and is working with Honda to begin development of an AV testing program in Japan.