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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

Redwood Materials jump-starts Energy Department's battery push with big hiring plans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Battery recycling startup Redwood Materials is amping up expansion plans, including adding more than 500 new manufacturing jobs in Nevada, as the United States gets serious about supporting a shift to electric vehicles.

Why it matters: The news coincides with an event being hosted today by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to dive into the DOE's newly released blueprint for the lithium battery supply chain.

Bezos beats Branson in space billionaires' battle for attention

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Imtiyaz Shaikh (Anadolu Agency), Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos' flight into space generated more interest from the public than Richard Branson's, and both billionaires overshadowed their respective space companies.

Why it matters: Data shows an outsized public interest in the personalities at the center of the space trips, compared to the companies behind them — which could reinforce public suspicion that the ventures were partly vanity plays.

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

Swimmer Chase Kalisz first American to win Olympics gold medal

Chase Kalisz of Team United States celebrates after winning the Men's 400m Individual Medley Final on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Swimmer Chase Kalisz became on Sunday the first Team USA Olympian to win gold at the Tokyo Games.

The big picture: The Rio 2016 silver medalist's winning time in the men's 400 meters Individual Medley Final was 4 minutes 9.42 seconds. His teammate Jay Litherland took silver .86 seconds later.

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