GM has raised the stakes in what’s starting to look like a lively EV rivalry with Ford. The nation’s largest automaker now says it plans to invest $35 billion in electrification over the five years ending in 2025—the second increase in its announced figure in the last eight months. By 2025, GM plans to offer 30 electrified models globally, and hopes to reach annual sales of 1 million EVs in the US and China.
Perhaps the most important news, however, is that GM plans to bulk up on battery manufacturing capacity in the US, which will be a necessity if it truly intends to reach volume production. GM President Mark Reuss recently told the Associated Press that the company will soon announce plans for more US battery factories, in addition to the two that are already on the drawing board.
The two plants currently under construction, in Lordstown, Ohio and Spring Hill, Tennessee, will be sending cells to five factories where GM plans to build EVs, in Michigan, Tennessee, Ontario and Mexico. Industry observers say the two factories won’t be enough to serve the five assembly plants if sales rise as expected.
Reuss offered no details of where the factories would be located, saying only, “In the next week we’ll announce some more, and it will be here in the US.” It seems likely that the new battery plants, each of which is expected to cost more than $2 billion, will be located close to some of the assembly plants.
“EV adoption is increasing and reaching an inflection point, and we want to be ready to produce the capacity that we need to meet demand over time,” GM CFO Paul Jacobson said in a conference call with reporters. “We know we’ll need those battery plants to further our goals.”