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GM plans 20 new electric vehicles by 2023, including many Cadillac models. Photo: GM

While General Motors was announcing plans Thursday for a huge $2.3 billion battery factory to boost production of electric vehicles, a Toyota executive warned of a looming industry disaster, calling it "electrified armageddon."

Why it matters: Somebody is wrong. Either GM's heavy spending on battery-electric vehicles will be wasted, or Toyota will be caught flat-footed when the rest of the market goes electric.

What's happening: GM and Korea's LG Chem are forming a $2.3 billion joint venture to build one of the world's largest battery cell factories in Ohio, creating 1,100 new jobs.

  • The plant's massive scale, along with the partners' ongoing chemistry research, will help lower the cost of batteries and finally make EVs affordable, GM says.
  • But Toyota thinks there's still not enough demand for EVs, and it remains primarily focused on hybrids like its hot-selling Rav4 hybrid.

What they're saying:

  • GM CEO Mary Barra: "GM believes in the science of global warming. We believe in an all-electric future. It’s not a question of if, but when."
  • Toyota EVP Bob Carter: "Somebody's got to buy these things. I've been saying we're going to see electrified armageddon. Because of the cost premium, supply is going to get ahead of true customer demand."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

Progressives pressure Schumer to end filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

5 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.