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GM says its battery technology will allow electric cars to travel 400 miles on a single charge without compromising driving performance. GM reacted positively, having gained over 3% yesterday.
Chief Executive of General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), Mary Barra, announced on Wednesday that the company plans to invest $20 billion in the development of electric and automated vehicles. The investment should be through by 2025 and it’s meant as a direct challenge to Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA). This announcement has pushed the price of GM stock higher.
The new electric vehicle battery offers up to 400 miles of range and will be cheaper to produce than today’s batteries. Just for comparison, Tesla currently offers a range of 390 miles for the latest version of its Model S Long Range sedan.
It’s interesting to look at the movements of companies’ stock prices. GM stock yesterday gained 3.31% to trade at $31.53. However, today it is falling in premarket by 2.32% to $30.90. TSLA stock was 0.54% up on Wednesday but is also falling today by 3.940% to $724.
General Motors plans to cut battery cell costs with its new Ultium battery technology to less than $100 per kilowatt-hour. Barra added the company plans to grow and to cut the number of powertrain combinations. Therefore, said Barra, GM will become profitable by moving to modular electric vehicle components, including battery packs and motors. And it is clear that the company’s success may have a good influence on GM stock price.
Licensing Battery Technology
GM’s new battery cells should be utilized first in some of its new fully electric models, including a recently unveiled self-driving electric car, the Cruise Origin, and a future Cadillac luxury SUV. From the company, they’ve said that the further plan includes licensing its battery technology to other companies as well.
The latest announcement came as a part of a wider presentation model based on the company’s courageous plans for electric vehicles.
“GM is building toward an all-electric future because we believe climate change is real. We want to put everyone in an EV, and we have what it takes to do it.”
She added the company would be investing more than $3 billion per year in electric vehicle research and development between 2020 and 2025.
Easier for Designers
As we already mentioned, the new battery cells, dubbed Ultium, are looking more like soft, flat pockets. Just for reminder, when it comes to EV batteries, they can pretty much differentiate in the way they look. Tesla battery cells, for example, are designed to be hard cylinders. Be it as it may, this kind of pocket cells have to be arranged to stand in horizontal rows with the pockets standing on edge like books in a bookshelf.
The Ultium cells can be arranged also like that but they also can be stacked up vertically with the pockets laying on their sides. This gives car designers more opportunities for innovation since it allows the battery pack, which is made up of lots of these cells, to have more possibilities for shaping.
The Ultium battery cell uses a minimal amount of cobalt. This is pretty much the most expensive ingredient there and is used usually for electric vehicle batteries. However, since the quantity is minimal, prices could be drawn down, the company claims.
GM Offers Easier and Cheaper Production than Tesla
It is the truth that the batteries make up a very large part of an electric vehicle’s cost and $100 per kilowatt-hour is often cited by industry analysts as the verge that will enable electric cars to become truly cost-competitive with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.
GM worked hard on its infrastructure as well especially when it comes to adapting its existing facilities to manufacture electric cars. The company has already announced its Detroit Hamtramck assembly plant will now begin to produce only fully electric models. And it should be easier and cheaper as well since EV’s don’t have that much moving parts as the gasoline engines do. Hopefully, lower costs of the battery will boost GM’s EV production since the company already admitted its Chevrolet Bolt EV isn’t profitable at all.
Even though GM did not name any competitors specifically, you don’t have to be an Einstein to get it. As it’s already known, Tesla is the leading EV producer in the world. It already has a huge battery factory in Nevada, a new car factory in Shanghai and is now building another new factory in Germany. Lat year in States there were less than 250,000 electric vehicles sold. However, 90% of those were Teslas.
GM cited “third party forecasters” who predicted EV sales in the United States could rise to about 3 million units by 2030. The company’s engineers are allegedly already working on next-generation battery cells that could enable driving ranges of up to 600 miles.