One of the biggest obstacles to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is profitability. Many (most) automakers, including GM, are currently operating and selling electric-powered vehicles at a loss. However this is expected to change in the near future.
GM CEO Mary Barra is scheduled to speak at GM’s investor day conference on November 17th. During her address, Barra will outline a plan to investors regarding investments into battery plants and assembly, and Ultium battery profit margins, according to a report by Crain’s Detroit Business. Additionally, executives will provide further insight on GM’s plan to increase EV production to become the most profitable EV manufacturer in the nation.
This announcement goes hand-in-hand with GM’s plan to offer 30 EVs by 2025. Currently, The General is playing catch-up to Tesla, which had a major headstart when it comes to developing, producing and ultimately selling EVs. However, GM is expected to catch up and surpass its rival as soon as 2025 due to higher production capacity and a broader vehicle range.
This is promising news, given that GM’s EV investment has yet to pay off as vehicles with internal combustion engines still post higher profit margins then their electric counterparts. GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson will explain how GM plans to boost power density in the automaker’s Ultium batteries while at the same time removing costs. In fact, the Ultium batteries will be 60 percent less costly than the batteries used in vehicles like the Chevy Bolt. The second generation of the Ultium technology, which GM is already working on, is expected to drop costs another 40 percent while delivering more driving range. The automaker isn’t expected to migrate to second-gen Ultium for several more years.
Aside from EVs, Ultium batteries and profit margins, Barra is also expected to touch on the recent expansion of GM Super Cruise advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), as well as Ultra Cruise. These self driving technologies are currently in the process of being refined and developed to allow drivers more miles of hands-free driving.