Charged: GM raises EV investments, announces new battery cell plants

Welcome to The Fly’s latest edition of “Charged,” where we look back at some recent analysts’ notes, news and activity in the electric vehicle and clean energy space.

EV INVESTMENTS, BATTERY NEW CELL PLANTS: General Motors (GM) has announced it will increase its EV and AV investments from 2020 through 2025 to $35B, representing a 75% increase from its initial commitment announced prior to the pandemic. “We are investing aggressively in a comprehensive and highly-integrated plan to make sure that GM leads in all aspects of the transformation to a more sustainable future,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “GM is targeting annual global EV sales of more than 1 million by 2025, and we are increasing our investment to scale faster because we see momentum building in the United States for electrification, along with customer demand for our product portfolio.” This announcement builds on GM’s initial commitment announced in March 2020 to invest $20B from 2020 through 2025, including capital, engineering expenses and other development costs, to accelerate its transition to EVs and AVs. In November 2020, the company increased its planned investment over the same period to $27B. These investments are enabled by GM’s strong underlying business, including record EBIT-adjusted in the last three quarters. GM now expects to deliver better-than-expected results in the second quarter despite the industry-wide impact of the semiconductor shortage.

The company also announced two new Ultium battery cell plants in the U.S., in addition to the plants that are already under construction in Ohio and Tennessee. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a LinkedIn post that, “We will add North American manufacturing capacity so we can expand and accelerate the rollout of EVs for retail and fleet customers. And we are announcing new commercial partnerships for our U.S.-made Ultium batteries and Hydrotec fuel cells, further demonstrating the revenue potential of these amazing technologies. We are making these investments so we can move faster and grow in ways that deliver value to our shareholders and our stakeholders. And while this reimagination of our business won’t happen overnight, we are working towards it every day – as one company, driven by our growth strategy.”

On Tuesday, Wabtec (WAB) and General Motors announced they will collaborate to develop and commercialize GM’s Ultium battery technology and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems for Wabtec locomotives.

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