Jun 16, 2021 - Energy & Environment

GM accelerates electric vehicle plans with billions more in investment

Illustration of a car with a lighting bolt.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

General Motors plans to boost its cumulative investment in electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion from 2020-2025, a significant jump from a $27 billion target.

Driving the news: GM said this morning that the initiative will include building two new battery cell manufacturing plants in addition to the two already under construction in Tennessee and Ohio.

  • GM, without providing details, also said it's adding new commercial electric trucks to its planned EV lineup and additional U.S. assembly capacity for electric SUVs.

Why it matters: It signals how the world's biggest automakers are betting big on electric vehicles that now represent a tiny — albeit growing — share of global sales.

  • GM rival Ford recently increased its estimated investment in EVs and related technologies to $30 billion by 2025.
  • The moves come as regulators in the U.S. and abroad are pushing EVs to fight climate change.

The intrigue: The industry faces also activist pressure to act more aggressively, and a suite of startups are entering the game.

  • Increasing demand for batteries is prompting automakers to more aggressively build up their own supplies.

The big picture: It's GM's second major increase in planned EV investments in less than two years.

  • "We're seeing strong profitability on the [internal combustion engine] franchise. We have to make sure we continue to invest in [scaling] EVs to get the cost down. Acceleration is absolutely right risk for us to invest in right now," GM chief financial officer Paul Jacobson told reporters this morning.

Axios' Joann Muller contributed reporting.

Go deeper