OEM EV Strategies Around the World: US OEMs (Series - Part 1)
The automotive industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation, with electrification at the forefront of the revolution. Major players such as General Motors, Ford, Tesla, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and others are setting the stage for a future dominated by electric vehicles (EVs). In a series of 3 articles, we delve into the electrification strategies of these leading automakers, exploring their visions, investments, and innovative approaches to shape the future of transportation.
General Motors (GM)
At the 2022 CES event, GM's CEO Mary Barra outlined their ambitious plans. They aim to transition all light-duty vehicles to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and electrify heavy-duty vehicles by 2035. To achieve this, they plan to have 50% of their manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and China producing BEVs by 2030. Additionally, they will add two new battery cell plants in North America. Three of these plants are operated by Ultium Cells LLC (a GM and LG joint venture), and the fourth, set to open in Indiana in 2027, is in partnership with Samsung.
Currently, GM offers a range of electric vehicles in North America, including the Bolt, Lyriq with Ultium technology, Electra, Hummer EV, Cadillac Escalade IQ, and BrightDrop commercial vehicles. Beyond 2024, they plan to introduce even more electric models such as Celestiq, Silverado, Sierra EV, Blazer EV, and Equinox EV. The Bolt, built on an older platform, is set to be discontinued by the end of 2023.
GM has secured supply contracts for battery materials with Controlled Thermal Resources Limited of Australia for lithium and Glencore plc of Switzerland for cobalt. They have also invested in battery technology development and emerging companies such as SES AI Corporation and Soelect Inc.
In July 2022, Ford unveiled their "Ford+" business strategy. Their ambitious plan involves producing 2 million BEVs and investing $50 billion by 2026, with a goal to convert half of global production to BEVs by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. They intend to launch four BEV models by 2023 and four more from 2024.
To support their BEV production targets, Ford plans to establish global battery cell capacity of 240GWh by 2030, allocating 140GWh to North America and 100GWh to Europe, China, and other regions. They are also set to build battery plants in the U.S. and Europe and collaborate with key battery suppliers like CATL.
Ford has secured long-term contracts for lithium and other materials with various suppliers such as Lake Resources and Albemarle. Their commitment to battery technology development and partnerships reflects their dedication to electrification.
Tesla revealed their five-business strategy during the 2023 Investor Day. It includes renewable energy, electric vehicles, heat pumps, hydrogen utilization, and fuel cells for ships and aircraft. Tesla is known for innovation, such as a new production method and in-house technology development. They also announced a fifth Gigafactory in Mexico, but detailed plans on the 4680 battery were not provided.
Tesla has made significant investments, including $3.6 billion in their Nevada plant and considerations for vehicle production in India. They are also working on standardizing their supercharger charging system and forming alliances with other OEMs.
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