Has General Motors (GM) One-Upped Tesla (TSLA) in the EV Scene?

Your move, Tesla. General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) plans to release a new fleet of electric vehicles that will be cheaper to build than the automaker’s recently launched Chevrolet Bolt EV and will generate profit for the company.

The remarks from GM CEO Mary Barra seemed like a challenge to Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), which has long been considered as one of the frontrunners in the self-driving technology scene, but has been encountering some headwinds in the launch of its Model 3 vehicle and recently came off its largest-ever quarterly loss.

During the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York, Barra touted GM’s aggressive push to launch a modular EV platform in 2021 to support multiple brands and multiple segments. Barra envisages about a 30 percent reduction in the cost per unit for the new vehicles, which the executive attributes to battery and other engineering breakthroughs. The new battery system would charge much faster and store more energy. This would allow GM to increase the range for its units to more than 300 miles compared to the Bolt’s current 238-mile range. Before the release of the new platform, GM will roll out three new electric vehicles by 2020 that will have similar components to the Bolt. Barra also said the automaker intends to sell 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2026, and a large chunk of it will be in China. GM’s bullish forecast “makes sense” as long as it is centered on China, Kelley Blue Book analyst Rebecca Lindland said.

See full report here: GM Barclays Global Automotive Converence November 15, 2017

“Potential for growth in China is extraordinary, whereas you would never see that (growth) in the U.S.,” the analyst said.

GM first unveiled its massive electrification strategy in October, when it planned to launch at least 20 new electric vehicles by 2023, but stopped short on the details. In the same month, the company also announced it was acquiring Strobe Inc., which specializes in LIDAR technology — a surveying method that harnesses light to measure the distance to a target.

Will this strategy crush Tesla’s own self-driving push?

Since Tesla launched the production of its Model 3 last summer, a mere 260 cars were delivered out of the 1,600 models CEO Elon Musk had pledged to churn out earlier in the year. Musk even remarked recently that the Model 3 vehicle would face “manufacturing hell.” The Model 3-associated production bottlenecks may also affect the debut of Tesla’s small crossover, called Model Y. With regards to sales figures, GM topped Tesla for the number of electric vehicles sold in the U.S. in October.

According to InsiderEV, GM sold 2,781 Chevrolet Bolt EV units during the month, compared to Tesla’s number of 1,970 units.

GM ended the latest trading session down 0.33 percent at $42.86 per share.

Published by
Francis Roy, Contributing Editor

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