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GM says its EV technology developing faster than expected, will make EVs cheaper, longer-range

Steve Fecht

General Motors says it is accelerating its development of electric vehicles, promising less expensive, longer-range electric vehicles within five years as its effort to become an all-electric car company continues.

GM says a pending breakthrough in battery chemistry will cut the price of its electric vehicles to near-parity with the cost of those powered by gasoline within five years.

The technology also will increase the range per charge to as high as 450 miles, with batteries that offer higher energy density at approximately 60% lower cost.

The company says it plans to develop a small electric SUV that will cost under $30,000, and offer about 20 EV models overall in the U.S. by 2025, as part of its shift to an all-electric future.  

As part of its accellerated effort, the automaker is boosting its spending on EV and AV technology to $27 billion through the year 2025, up from the earlier planned $20 billion by that date.

“Climate change is real, and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle,” says GM CEO Mary 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.”

GM says the modular and highly flexible qualities of the Ultium battery system, along with engineering advances in battery technology, the use of virtual development tools and lessons learned during the HUMMER EV development process, have enabled GM to bring EVs to market much faster than originally planned.  The 2022 GMC HUMMER EV’s development time of 26 months – down from about 50 months – is now the benchmark.

The development schedules for 12-vehicle programs have been moved up, including an EV pickup, four Chevrolet branded electric vehicles, including a pickup and compact crossover, and four Cadillac branded EVs.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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