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A GM software test engineer. Photo: GM

General Motors is pulling ahead the launch of two future electric vehicles and plans to add 3,000 new software jobs by early next year as it races to get electric vehicles on the road faster.

Why it matters: The hiring spree is a sign that GM is accelerating its transition toward an electric future by mid-decade. It comes as President-elect Joe Biden is also talking up electric vehicles as part of his climate and energy priorities.

What's happening: In a year turned upside down by the coronavirus, GM has been developing vehicles more quickly using virtual tools, said Ken Morris, GM's vice president of autonomous and electric vehicle programs.

  • That has enabled the automaker to pull ahead two major electric vehicle programs, Morris told reporters Monday, without providing further details.
  • "We really want to advance the entire EV portfolio. That’s where we need the extra horsepower of 3,000 additional software engineers," he said.

What to watch: GM CEO Mary Barra will share more details about the accelerated pipeline at a Barclays investor event on Thursday, he said.

Details: Amid a war for technology talent, GM said many of those hired will be virtual testing and software jobs — remote positions the Detroit-based automaker could not have fathomed before the pandemic.

  • Under Barra, GM has announced an effort to increase diversity and inclusion in its workforce.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

GM plans to end sales of gasoline powered cars by 2035

GM CEO Mary Barra at the GM Orion Assembly Plant plant for electric and self-driving vehicles in Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors is setting a worldwide target to end sales of gasoline and diesel powered cars, pickups and SUVs by 2035, the automaker said Thursday.

Why it matters: GM's plan marks one of the auto industry's most aggressive steps to transform their portfolio to electric models that currently represent a tiny fraction of overall sales.

Jan 29, 2021 - Podcasts

When investing goes viral

You've likely heard the headlines this week about the stock market mania around GameStop. But this isn't just about the stock market. It's a kind of populist uprising borne of the Internet.

  • Plus, what’s behind GM’s big electric vehicle announcement.
  • And, the new Wild West is in outer space.
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Transportation's next big thing: flying taxis

Photo: Joby Aviation

The next big thing in transportation could be electric flying taxis — think of a drone crossed with a helicopter — that would ferry people and goods high above congested roadways.

Why it matters: Air taxis are billed as a cheaper, faster, cleaner mode of transportation, and an important link between remote areas and population centers. But there are still technical and regulatory challenges to overcome — not to mention public skepticism.