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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

Sep 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

The outlook for automakers gets cloudier by the day

Photo: Francois Lo Presti/AFP via Getty Images

The outlook for global automakers and suppliers continues to worsen, amid heightened risk from supply chain disruptions, including the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage.

Driving the news: IHS Markit slashed its forecast for global light-vehicle production in 2021 by 6.2% — about 5 million vehicles. It's cutting even deeper — 9.3% or about 8.45 million vehicles — for 2022.

Updated 5 mins ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

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