DETROIT, MI— On Nov. 17th, at GM's investor day, CEO Mary Barra plans to tell investors that the company expects its electric-vehicle program to be profitable in 2025, the same year it's targeting sales of 1 million battery-powered cars.
After years of development, GM is signaling it's finally ready to start producing electric vehicles in enough volume—with a new battery pack—to grow sales and start lowering costs. Its push into EVs is expected to get underway in earnest next year when its mass-market Chevrolet brand starts selling a battery-powered Silverado pickup and more-affordable Blazer and Equinox electric SUVs.
Barra's EV push is the biggest piece of the plan GM announced last year to double revenue by 2030 to about $280 billion. The effort relies on growing market share by creating a lineup of electric models that sells parallel to internal-combustion vehicles. The company will also try to get new revenue from software-related services and its Cruise self-driving vehicle unit.
President Mark Reuss, Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson, product development chief Doug Parks, and Travis Katz, who runs GM's BrightDrop electric delivery-van business, will also be at the annual presentation, Barra said on the company's earnings call in October.
Parks will lead the battery discussion. He will explain how GM aims to boost power density in its Ultium batteries and take out costs. GM has said that the Ultium batteries will be 60% cheaper to build than the Chevy Bolt's battery. The second-generation Ultium battery, which goes into production in the next several years, is expected to drop costs by another 40%.
On last month's quarterly earnings call, Barra said this week's presentation will "go deeper into the second phase of our EV growth strategy." The second and third phases of GM's plan to double revenue and improve margins include expanding Ultium and using the Ultifi software platform to create other services, she said.
GM and partner LG Energy Solution Inc. have opened their first Ultium plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and started production in August. The factory is making battery cells for the Hummer pickup EV and Cadillac Lyriq SUV, both of which are selling in small numbers as GM slowly increases production. The second battery plant opens next year in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
Barra said GM will also share new details at the presentation this week about the expansion of GM's Super Cruise hands-free driver-assist program and Ultra Cruise, which allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel over more miles and in more driving conditions.