General Motors says it will introduce or launch at least 20 new battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles by 2023. Two will arrive in the next 18 months, based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV architecture. The rest will be based on a separate, all-new architecture.
GM joins the quickly growing ranks of automakers who say they’re committed to electrified vehicles. Depending on maker, this can mean EVs only, EVs and plug-in hybrids, or EVs and plug-ins on models that still offer combustion engines.
GM’s promise: EVs and Hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs
GM’s promise means a couple of Bolt EV offshoots soon. The bulk of the “at least 20” new vehicles will have the “all-new battery architecture.” Some or most will be traditional (at least for EVs) cars and SUVs running only on battery. Some will use a fuel cell, such as hydrogen, that combines hydrogen and oxygen (from the air) to give off electricity and water vapor.
At Monday’s briefing at the company’s technical center in Warren, MI, outside Detroit, officials declined to respond to questions asking for details on the types of vehicles, or the mix of battery EVs to hydrogen EVs, or how long GM expected to be making combustion engine vehicles. For instance, one of the draped vehicles appeared to some eyes to look close to the Chevrolet Corvette. The other draped shapes all appeared to be crossovers or SUVs.
GM also showed–no wraps–clay models of a Buick crossover or SUV, a Cadillac station wagon, and a futuristic pod-shaped model with Bolt EV badging. The next-gen architecture will include two different heights for the battery packs.
GM says its Brownstown plant outside Detroit will begin building a fuel cell system in 2020, in a joint venture with Honda.
EVs Will Be “Profitable”
Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, declared that “the future will be profitable,” without placing on the timeline when that would be.
Reuss did speak broadly and conclusively about the future: “General Motors believes the future is all-electric. A world free of automotive emissions. These aren’t just words in a war of press releases. We are far along in our plan to lead the way to that future world.”
Is This the Turning Point for GM Investors?
Some of the hometown Detroit media made much of this: In the wake of Monday’s announcement on its EV-centric future, GM stock closed at its highest post-bankruptcy price ever.
Here’s another way to look at it: Investors who snapped up the $ 33 share price of GM stock in November 2010 when it returned to trading would now see their shares worth $ 42.15, an annualized return on share price, excluding dividends, of about 4 percent.
GM has solid product now, with more coming. But as an investment, there’s a reason why Tesla zoomed past Ford and GM in market cap earlier this year, although TSLA since fell below GM and has the potential to slip further if Tesla Model 3 shipments continue to lag.