Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer of American automobile giant General Motors, has once again reiterated the goal of overtaking electric car pioneer Tesla Motors in terms of US electric vehicle sales by the end of 2025.
Discussing the company’s goals in a fresh interview, the top executive said she remained quite confident that her company could unseat Elon Musk-led EV giant with high-end specialty vehicles and long-range EVs by making them available to people at prices that they could afford.
GM’s goal of overtaking Tesla in terms of EV sales by the middle of this decade seems to be highly ambitious as the company sold merely 25,000 EVs in the U.S. last year, less than 10 per cent of Tesla’s estimated sales of 325,000 units. Moreover, the massive recalls of the Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs have made a big dent in the company’s reputation. It sold only around 7,300 EVs (including GMC Hummer EV pickup trucks and BrightDrop e-vans) in the second quarter (Q2) in the U.S.
Apart from low EV sales, GM will have to tackle soaring inflation, rising interest rates, increasing costs of production in addition to persistent global shortage of semiconductors. American consumers’ reluctance to switch from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to EVs is also major issue to be tackled by GM. EVs make up just around 5 per cent of the U.S. new vehicle market.
To beat Tesla in just around two and a half years will, of course, not be easy for GM. However, CEO Barra is confident that producing and selling affordable EVs could enable her company to overtake Tesla in terms of EV sales.
In the interview, Barra said, “To really get to 30, 40, 50% EVs being sold, you have to appeal to people that are in that $30,000 to $35,000 price range. What we have coming, it’s in the heart of the market.” Detroit, Michigan-headquartered GM has already slashed the starting price of the Chevrolet Bolt to $26,000. Now, the manufacturing giant is preparing to launch the smaller all-electric Equinox EV for approximately $30,000 and Blazer EV for around $45,000 sometime next year. These affordable EVs will be joined by the likes of Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV and the Hummer EV Pickup, and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV. That is just the beginning as GM has plans to offer as many as thirty all-electric vehicles worldwide by the middle of current decade.