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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

General Motors announced Thursday that it is increasing its investment in electric vehicles and autonomous tech to $27 billion through 2025 — $7 billion more than prior plans — as it seeks a top global position.

Why it matters: It's the clearest sign yet that GM is hoping to challenge Tesla, which dominates U.S. electric vehicle sales. It was already on, but now the competition for the electric vehicle market of the future is really on.

  • "[Electric vehicles] are core to creating GM's shareholder value," CEO Mary Barra told a Barclays investor conference, touting the goal of "mass consumer adoption."
  • As Bloomberg points out, Barra's making a "calculated gamble that car buyers are ready to make the switch to plug-in models."
  • But that's still a gamble, and other legacy automakers, notably VW, are also devoting lots of resources to electrification, while lots of new startups are circling too.

What they're saying: The presentation says GM intends to have the highest North American electric vehicle market share.

  • "We want to lead in this space. We don’t want to just participate," Doug Parks, a top product development official, told reporters while acknowledging "Tesla’s got a good jump."

The intrigue: GM said the $27 billion exceeds planned production and development spending for gasoline and diesel vehicles.

That's an interesting inflection point when you consider that electric vehicles are still a tiny slice of U.S. sales (roughly 2%) and still a very small part of the overall global market.

How it works: GM now plans to roll out 30 all-electric models by 2025 (with two-thirds available in the U.S.), compared to prior plans for 20 by 2023.

  • And not just halo vehicles — a presentation at the Barclays conference says they're planning "several key high-volume entries" by 2023.
  • GM says the vehicles will cover a wide range of price points — including models under $35,000 in addition to expensive rides like the electric GMC Hummer.
  • The faster development and rollout now includes plans to launch the Cadillac Lyriq in early 2022, nine months faster than the prior schedule.
  • Overall, GM said it's speeding up the timeline for 12 vehicles. The GMC Hummer, four Chevys including a pickup and small crossover, and several other Cadillacs are on that list.
  • GM also said the range of its Ultium battery propulsion system that underpins its new electric vehicles will reach 450 miles, up from 400.

Go deeper

The workaday path to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 3, 2020 - Energy & Environment

USPS delays announcement on possible electric vehicle fleet deal

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. Postal Service is likely to be upgrading its fleet of trucks with electric vehicles soon, but the decision has been pushed back to next year.

Driving the news: USPS told automotive website Trucks.com on Tuesday that it expects to announce which companies it will select for a potentially $6 billion deal to build as many as 180,000 delivery vans in the second fiscal quarter of 2021.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

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