Technology

GM Is About To Unleash EV Tech Hell Against Tesla

So Tesla, how's Model 3 production going?

Despite its glowing reviews, the Chevrolet Bolt is not exactly inspiring to look at compared to the Tesla Model 3. Design matters, and GM will be getting plenty of more chances to get that right. Reuters reports that GM CEO Marry Barra has told investors the automaker is planning to launch a new line of electric vehicles in 2021. Not only will they cost less to build and be profitable for the world’s largest automaker, but the base platform will be adaptable to a number of body styles.

This announcement is sort of a continuation of what GM stated back in October regarding its plans to launch 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. At the time, it didn’t provide details as to how that would happen. Today we have the answer. GM, under Barra’s leadership, has acknowledged that EVs and autonomous tech are the future, hence its decision to phase out internal combustion engines. But GM, like its EV rival Tesla, shares a common problem with EVs: they’re not profitable. Tesla, for all of its glamour, has never been a profitable company. GM’s EV approach to cost reduction will focus on a new battery system that will be more than 30 percent cheaper than the one that powers the Bolt.

More specifically, GM wants to cut the cost of its lithium-ion batteries to less than $100 per kilowatt-hour from $145 by 2021. If it can accomplish this, then future GM EVs will be priced much more similar to gasoline-engine cars. These new batteries will also be capable of storing more energy and charge faster. For example, the Chevy Bolt has a range of 238 miles between charges. The next-generation EVs will have at least a 300 mile range. Another way to ensure EV profitability is China. Barra wants to be selling more than 1 million EVs annually by 2026 and China is expected to be a major market.

While that new EV platform is in development, GM has no plans to hold off on launching new EV models. For example, it’ll offer three new EVs by 2020, including two crossovers. Obviously they’ll share the Bolt’s platform and technology, but this will be another way to cover the expensive development costs of the Bolt. Given all that, should Tesla at least be a little worried? Probably. A sleeping giant has been awoken, and it’s throwing itself entirely into EVs. GM also has more than century worth’s of knowledge on how to build cars on a mass scale. Tesla is still struggling with Model 3 production.

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