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."

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