General Motors to boost spending on EVs, add two new battery plants: Sources

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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The American vehicle company General Motors (GM) will boost global spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion by 2025, a 30 percent increase over its most recent prediction as it pursues electric vehicle (EV) leadership, according to sources.

The No.1 American automaker will spend the money to build two more battery plants in the US and move ahead with some of its EV investments, said the sources. In November, GM increased its spending plans from $20 billion, a figure that was announced in March, before the COVID-19 outbreak shut down the car industry.

GM’s planned boost in spending comes less than a month after rival US-based Ford Motor increased its EV spending by more than a third to more than $30 billion by 2030.

The largest US automakers’ combined promises of $65 billion, as well as increased spending by EV leader Tesla Inc and startups such as Lucid and Rivian, highlight the EV arms race that has left certain automakers, like Lordstown Motors Corp, struggling to find extra funding.

According to the sources, GM CEO Ms. Mary Barra will meet with US House Speaker Ms. Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats to discuss EVs and vehicle emissions.

Working with Washington is critical as President Mr. Joe Biden has suggested $174 billion to boost EVs and charging as part of his infrastructure plan, including $100 billion in new EV subsidies. The $7,500 federal EV tax credit that GM was eligible for has already expired.

GM has sparred with Democrats over vehicle emissions restrictions, but it recently stated that it supports overall emissions reductions in California’s 2019 agreement with other major automakers. It has also sought more flexibility to hit the carbon reduction target between now and 2026.

GM announced in January that it would sell all its new cars, SUVs, and light pickup trucks with zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, signaling a significant transition away from gasoline and diesel engines.

A Senate committee advanced legislation on May 26 that would boost tax credits to as much as $12,500 for EVs assembled by union workers in the US.

A 30 percent tax credit for manufacturers to retool or develop new facilities to create advanced energy technology, such as batteries, is also included in the bill. That would be a huge boost for GM’s battery factory plans.

Related: Jaguar Land Rover to test Defender SUV with hydrogen fuel cell


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