General Motors plans to release an expanded and accelerated electric vehicle strategy to convince investors that it can be a serious competitor to Tesla Inc, people familiar with the plan told Reuters. Supplier sources said GM Chief Executive Mary Barra, who is scheduled to speak at a Barclays conference, is expected to say that the automaker will spend more on electric models by 2025 than the $20 billion previously announced, sources said, and that it is on track to spend more than twice as much on all electric models by 2025. Other sources have reported that GM has repeatedly accelerated its plan to make the Cadillac brand all-electric by 2030.
When asked about the appearance on Thursday, a GM spokeswoman called talk of higher spending “speculative” and declined to give details. GM shares rose 1.8 percent to $42.72 on Wednesday, their highest level in more than a year and the second-highest in three months.
The pull-ahead program is real and the organization is really doubling down to speed up product development, “the source said. The Detroit-based automaker is also expected to continue its already-identified electric vehicles, people familiar with the plans said, and GM officials have been stung by criticism that the automakers are bringing the vehicles to market too late. Lyriq is scheduled to go into production in late 2022, but GM is still in the early development stages of the vehicle, said the source, a GM representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the automaker had not yet released the vehicles.
Barra and other GM executives have signaled the automaker’s plans to accelerate electric mobility, and GM officials have touted the company’s investment in electric vehicles as a key element of its long-term strategy. Earlier this month, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said GM would increase investment to speed up the development of an electric vehicle. Last week, a GM executive said the companies would push ahead with $1.5 billion in investments in electric vehicle research and development. It has talked to other automakers about partnering to develop more vehicles with GM’s battery technology.
A key element of GM’s pitch to investors is its new Ultium battery, which will offer a range of more than 300 miles and a battery capacity of 1,000 kilowatt-hours on a single charge. The steep market capitalization of electric vehicles and growing pressure to gradually reduce CO2 emissions from engines have put pressure on incumbent automakers to respond to the demands of investors who see their internal combustion engines as outdated and doomed to failure in the long term. GM has announced it will increase annual capital spending to fund its latest electric vehicle program. The company’s North Carolina plant will build a battery factory, the first of its kind in U.S. history.