Dec 6, 2019

Toyota executive warns of "electrified armageddon" for auto industry

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

GM to create 1,100 Ohio jobs with huge new battery factory

GM and Korea's LG Chem announced a $2.3 billion joint venture on Thursday to mass-produce battery cells for electric vehicles in Ohio, creating 1,100 new jobs.

Why it matters: The new battery plant could likely employ many of the 1,200 auto workers who lost their jobs when GM shut its Lordstown car assembly plant in March. And it's a further sign of GM's commitment to an electric car future.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

The electric vehicle shakeup hits Audi

Photo: Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images

More and more automakers are reckoning with the twin forces of a soft global auto market and the need to position themselves for a more electrified future.

Driving the news: Audi said yesterday it's cutting 9,500 jobs by 2025 as it seeks to boost earnings and navigate the "transformation of the automotive industry towards electric mobility and digitalization" — but it's also adding 2,000 jobs focused on electric vehicles and digital tech, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019

DHL to introduce zero-emission electric delivery vans in U.S. in 2020

The DHL StreetScooter in Bonn, Germany in May. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images

Global shipper DHL will begin rolling out its zero-emission StreetScooter electric vehicle fleet in the U.S. next spring, as the firm works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Reuters reported Monday.

Why it matters: Per the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the transportation industry contributed to 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 — and many delivery companies are working to get cleaner and greener by using electric vehicles.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019