Increases investment in EVs, batteries, fuel cell technologies Metal Tech News – June 23, 2021
Putting its foot to the "electric pedal" in a race toward the all-electric mobility future it envisions, General Motors has bolstered its investments into electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion from 2020 through 2025, a 75% increase over the $20 billion commitment it made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are investing aggressively in a comprehensive and highly-integrated plan to make sure that GM leads in all aspects of the transformation to a more sustainable future," said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. "GM is targeting annual global EV sales of more than 1 million by 2025, and we are increasing our investment to scale faster because we see momentum building in the United States for electrification, along with customer demand for our product portfolio."
To ensure it has enough energy storage capacity to power this momentum, GM announced plans to build two new battery cell manufacturing plants in the U.S. by mid-decade. These megafactories are in addition to the Ultium Cells LLC plants already under construction in Tennessee and Ohio.
The Ultium batteries rolling off the production line of these facilities will serve as the fuel tanks in a growing lineup of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC EVs.
"With 30 EVs globally by 2025, GM will have an electric vehicle for the widest range of drivers and their needs, and after the great customer reaction to our Cadillac LYRIQ, GMC HUMMER EV and EV SUV, and Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup, we're excited to get the rest of our lineup out there," GM President Mark Reuss posted on LinkedIn.
Beyond serving as the power source for Ultium modular platform for GM electric cars, trucks, and SUVs, the Detroit automaker's battery and fuel cell technologies are powering a growing range of trucks, trains, planes, and even lunar rovers.
Earlier this year, GM entered into an agreement with Honda to equip two electric SUV models by the Japanese automaker – one each for Honda and Acura – with Ultium batteries.
GM's zero-carbon transportation aspirations go beyond building its own EVs, or even supplying fellow automakers with Ultium batteries. Looking at the bigger picture, the automaker has also developed Hydrotec, a hydrogen fuel cell technology with the capacity to power ships, 18-wheelers, mining equipment, and locomotives.
GM signed a deal earlier this year to supply Navistar Inc. Hydrotec power cubes to put into new fuel cell electric semis being produced by the American manufacture of trucks and busses.
Going even bigger and higher with its zero-carbon transportation endeavors, the Detroit automaker recently entered into agreements to supply Ultium batteries and Hydrotec fuel cells to Wabtec Corp., which is developing the world's first 100% battery-powered locomotive, and to collaborate with Liebherr-Aerospace on developing Hydrotec cells as auxiliary power cubes for next-generation, low-emissions aircraft.
More information on Hydrotec and the deals with Navistar, Wabtec, and Liebherr-Aerospace can be read at GM powers trains, planes and automobiles in the current edition of Metal Tech News.
Above and beyond powering electric trains, planes, and automobiles on Earth, GM has teamed up with Lockheed Martin to develop electric propulsion and autonomous technology for the next generation of lunar vehicles to transport astronauts on the surface of the Moon.
"General Motors made history by applying advanced technologies and engineering to support the Lunar Rover Vehicle that the Apollo 15 astronauts drove on the Moon," said Alan Wexler, senior vice president of innovation and growth at General Motors. "Working together with Lockheed Martin and their deep-space exploration expertise, we plan to support American astronauts on the Moon once again."
As indicated by the massive $35 billion it is investing, GM has also set out to make history on Earth with its endeavors to get "Everybody In" on its vision of an e-mobility future.
Expanding and accelerating plans laid out late last year to deliver 30 new EV models across its various brands globally by 2025, with two-thirds available in North America, GM announced on June 16 that it will add new Ultium-powered electric commercial trucks and other products to its North America plan.
The Detroit automaker is also expanding its electric SUV manufacturing capacity in the U.S.
"Our momentum keeps building on our path to an all-electric future. The opportunity is so great – for our people, our partners and our communities," Barra penned in a June 16 post on LinkedIn.
A move she sees as good for both GM and the planet.
"Our strategy to pursue an inclusive, all-electric future is the right thing to do, the necessary thing to do, and critical to the growth and long-term viability of our business as the world transforms," she wrote.