General Motors plans to offer 30 all-electric models globally by 2025, according to a presentation by chairman/CEO Mary Barra, raising the corporate commitment of earlier this year to offer 20 EVs by 2023. Forty-percent of GM’s U.S. product line (Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet and Buick) will be battery electric vehicles by 2025, Barra said.
More than this, GM will increase spending on future electric models by 35%, to more than $27 billion, as part of its plan to offer electric vehicles across its full lineup of products.
The automaker has committed more than $4.5 billion in capital programs at U.S. plants for EV-related production over the last 19 months, and recently announced it is hiring more than 3,000 tech workers to accelerate its development of electric and autonomous vehicles.
According to Barra. “We are transitioning to an all-electric portfolio from a position of strength and we’re focused on growth. We can accelerate our EV plans because we are rapidly building a competitive advantage in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and customer experience.”
In the presentation, Barra and GM EVP - Global Product Development Doug Parks explained that engineering advances have increased the maximum range of vehicles powered by GM’s Ultium battery from 400 to 450 miles on a full charge. The Ultium platform “provides the building blocks for everything, from mass-market to high-performance vehicles,” according to GM.
Ultium, a low-cost battery technology that GM unveiled eight months ago, is approaching a second-generation of development, with GM projecting that by 2025 Ultium packs will cost 60% less than the batteries in use today, with twice the energy density expected. The second-generation cells will bring EVs closer to cost parity with gas-powered vehicles thanks to cell design that allows higher energy density and uses less non-active material, making more room for the part of the battery that produces energy.
The Ultium development work is being conducted by GM at its Chemical and Materials Systems Lab, at the Global Technical Center in Warren, Mich.
Battery production cost savings and better integration between vehicles and their battery packs also are forecast.
“GM’s EV development times are speeding up and costs are going down rapidly, so we expect our Ultium EV programs to be profitable from the first generation on,” according to Parks.