We now have an idea of what one of those electric cars might be like thanks to an investor presentation given by GM CEO Mary Barra on Wednesday at the Barclays 2017 Global Automotive Conference in NY.
GM's promise of profitable EVs centers on a new battery system that is said to be more than 30 percent cheaper than the one powering the Chevrolet Bolt. CEO Mary Barra laid out the plan at the Barclays 2017 Global Automotive Conference in NY on Wednesday.
Announcing that GM would sell 1 million battery-powered vehicles by 2026, Barra announced that the U.S. auto maker would launch an all-new pure-electric platform in 2021 that it would bank its zero-emissions future on. "There's a lot of really creative things we're doing to achieve that profitability point for that new platform".
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A growth chart in Barra's presentation shows that GM doesn't expect to sell that many EVs over the next couple of years, with the target set at roughly 100,000 for 2018. Last month, the company said it planned to launch 20 new EVs by 2023.
The following 18 models will use different platforms, the second of which should be introduced in 2021 when, GM thinks, the cost of batteries will drop significantly. Barra said the new products will include two small crossovers in 2020.
"We are really heading into the sweet spot of where the retail market is and is heading", she said.
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General Motors is following in the footsteps of former President Barak Obama by promising to build 1 million electric vehicles. Barra went on to say that GM hopes to be selling as many as one million electric vehicles annually by 2026. "Our focus is on the customer, so that means removing barriers for ownership".
The million-vehicle target on global basis is possible in large measure because of China's push for electric vehicles.
Barra provided no details about GM's plans to increase the availability of EV charging points, which is at more than 1,100 in the US, but said the company will "partner, incentivize or invest" to make it happen. "We are committed to a future electric vehicle portfolio that is profitable", Barra told the group.
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"Make no mistake, we are here to win", Barra said.