Electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity and garner official support and encouragement as the new year of automotive sales begins. Against this backdrop, GM CEO Mary Barra says 2023 is the year The General begins its push in earnest to outdo most of its competitors in the electric vehicle field, aiming to eventually overtake Elon Musk’s Tesla, Bloomberg reported last Friday.
“I don’t think, I know, I know this is our breakout year because of the products we have and the demand we’ve seen,” Barra stated during an interview, according to Bloomberg‘s report.
These ambitious plans will require GM to overtake both Ford, which is currently outselling its electric vehicle offerings, and sector leader Tesla. While GM delivered close to 40,000 EVs during 2022, research firm LMC automotive projects 427,000 electric vehicle sales in 2023 for Tesla, a formidable benchmark to surpass.
LMC analyst Kevin Riddell remarked in an email “there is still of [sic] a chasm to fill to catch Tesla’s sales volumes,” though the firm anticipates GM will deliver 117,000 EVs in 2023, putting Ford’s electric vehicle sales in its rear-view mirror.
GM’s electric vehicle numbers may have lagged those of competitors like Ford until now, the article suggests, because The General opted to develop its GM Ultium batteries, electric GM Ultium Drive motors, its highly scalable BEV3 platform, and related technologies rather than repurposing ICE vehicles with ad hoc electrification. Now that GM has prepared the necessary technological groundwork, it can launch its electrical initiative vigorously.
GM plans to introduce 30 new electric vehicles planetwide by 2025, and recently said it will have EVs in one third of automotive segments by the same date. The segments it’s aiming for are the most popular, accounting for 70 percent of vehicle sales each year.
Currently, GM has seven Ultium-based electric vehicle models available:
- Cadillac Celestiq
- Cadillac Lyriq
- Chevy Blazer EV
- Chevy Equinox EV
- Chevy Silverado EV
- GMC Hummer EV Pickup
- GMC Hummer EV SUV
Production will need to ramp up sharply to overtake Tesla’s projected 427,000 calendar year 2023 electric vehicle sales. General Motors expects annual EV sales of over 1 million units total by 2025 in its two major markets, North America and China, a figure likely to put it decisively in the lead if achieved.
A slower than anticipated launch of battery cell production recently caused Mary Barra to push back GM’s previously announced 400,000 EV production target to early 2024 rather than late 2023 as originally intended. However, battery production began in September at GM’s new Ultium Cells plant in Warren, Ohio. More battery plants should soon be operational.
Analysts at Bank of America Corp also say GM will likely be producing 1 million EVs a year by 2025. This, combined with the robust electrification investment The General can make thanks to its solid earnings, may give it a strong chance at its planned replacement of Tesla in the number one spot among electric vehicle manufacturers.