CEO Mary Barra says the automaker will offer EVs for $30,000.
Tesla builds and sells more EVs than anyone else, but it hasn't yet succeeded in its goal to deliver a vehicle for $30,000 or less. General Motors CEO Mary Barra sees an opportunity to overtake Tesla as the EV market leader by introducing more affordable cars. Barra made the statements in an interview with Yahoo Finance.
"Remember, we're not necessarily just selling at the premium end," she told the publication. "We're going to have electric vehicles affordable at $30,000." That's clearly a jab at Tesla and Elon Musk, whose promises of an affordable EV have not yet been realized. The Model 3, which was targeted as Tesla's cheap model, has actually increased in price.
Barra's comments are also a warning to Ford, whose CEO, Jim Farley, recently made a similar statement. Ford's path to EV domination will likely involve affordable cars, but its initial push is all about the truck. Farley made the comments during an event to mark the start of production for the F-150 Lightning, and he made a point to tease another all-new electric truck in the process. The Blue Oval has increased its production targets for the Lightning and says it will have the ability to build 600,000 EVs by 2023.
GM hasn't hit Barra's targets yet, but it isn't far off the mark. The Bolt EV, whose battery fire problems appear to have been fixed, starts at $31,500 before destination, and though it doesn't take advantage of the automaker's new Ultium platform, it's a solid contender.
We also know that an electric Chevy Equinox is coming, and another new EV is expected to replace the Bolt in 2023. It's worth noting that Chevy's electric Silverado will be priced competitively with the F-150 Lightning and has drawn tremendous interest since its introduction.
If it seems like Tesla's living in legacy automakers' heads rent-free, it is. Despite intense criticism of its CEO's use of his fortune, Tesla remains the EV leader, with close to 14 percent of the market. General Motors' market share is around half that, but the historic Detroit automaker plans to grow through partnerships and new products. In addition to its own capacity, GM is partnering with Honda to produce affordable EVs. The first vehicle from their efforts is expected in 2027, so the company is approaching the challenge of affordability from multiple angles.
Of course, GM won't only build affordable EVs. The Hummer EV's price tag extends well past the $100,000 mark and the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq will likely start at close to $60,000. Those prices don't seem to have softened demand for the vehicles, as both sold out quickly upon their introductions.