GM has confirmed two Chevrolet electric minivans in conjunction with 18 new electric cars that will arrive over the next five years. The purported electric vehicle plans will cover 2 minivans, 5 crossovers, 7 SUVs, and more. GM CEO Mary Barra held a day-long presentation outlining the company’s elaborate plans and battery cost goals at Barclay’s 2017 automotive conference in New York this week.
Barra’s marathon slide presentation hinted at GM’s intentions to expand its electric car offering to include 2 Chevrolet electric minivans based on the Bolt EV platform. These two new Chevy electric vehicles will arrive within the next 18 months. However, we also got information that one of these two models will be called Orlando. Thereafter, the company will embark on prepping 18 more electric cars for launch by 2023.
General Motors is likely to take the crown off some established electric car manufacturers like Nissan and Tesla. GM’s executive team added during the session in New York that their product plan follows its government-backed restructuring. Out of the 18 new electric car vehicles, two models will grace the auto showrooms over the next 18 months.
The supposed 18 electric vehicles will use new EV platforms beginning from 2019. According to what Barra says, some of these cars will make do with lower battery cell costs1. The company divulged that at the moment they are paying $145 per kWh for battery cells, but plans are underway to cut down the costs to less than $100 per kWh.
More Segments, More Volume and a Greater Market Reach
An executive at the Barclays event, who claimed anonymity for reasons best known to him, exposed that the new generation vehicles cover several markets and segments. These include a couple of minivans, several more crossovers, electric SUVs, and sports cars. GM will have what it takes to cover a greater market reach with these new vehicles.
GM executive says, “We’re aiming at a future vehicle with a portfolio that is profitable.” Apparently, this is the first time General Motors is aiming at a large scale production. The company has a goal to produce one million units globally before 2026.
Barra’s presentation painted several colors to earlier plans that GM had exposed. She comprehensively covered a lot of segments, which most car buyers would desire. For instance, crossovers are among the best-sellers nowadays, and GM says that will make a crossover that sits on Bolt EV platform.
Secondly, the CEO did mention something about the SUVs which she claimed will also grace the dealers at a pre-set date. As we all know, SUVs have the most significant market share in the United States. A lot of car enthusiasts in the U.S are in love with SUVs and pickup trucks.
Barra stated that the first two electric crossovers would borrow their essential components from the Bolt EV. Seemingly, this is not an enthusiastic announcement given that Bolt has a relatively low volume vehicle. It also draws all its electric drivetrain components from the LG. That means this target remains imaginary unless GM leverages new EV programs to ramp up production. Regarding the guidelines set by the CEO in New York, GM is unlikely to produce significant volumes until 2020.
The company is currently buying the battery cell from the LG Chem at $145 per kWh. If GM aims to cut the cost down to $100 per kWh by 2021, then no breakthrough is required because this projection is aligned with the incremental industry progress.
Overall, though, GM’s plans are good news for EV enthusiasts. However, the company seems to be less ambitious in terms of volumes if we look at rivals like Tesla, Volkswagen, Daimler, and Nissan.