Continuing the efforts to ramp up its electric vehicle portfolio, General Motors (GM) is planning to roll out as many as 20 new fully-electric models in the next five years. Additionally, the company will increase the production of the popular hatchback Bolt, underscoring its commitment to an all-electric future.
While GM did not specify to what extent Bolt’s production will be raised, a communiqué from the company indicates that a portion of the new units will be shipped for sale in the Asian markets, including South Korea. Bolt has been one of the most successful EVs ever produced in America.
“We are committed to an all-EV future and continue to work in that direction. Just 10 days ago we had an important announcement of a partnership with SoftBank. So if you look at where we are, it’s a very exciting time,” said CEO Mary Barra.
While the aggressive EV push positioned GM ahead of its competitors in the zero-emission sphere, it also became the frontrunner in the autonomous segment after the recent acquisition of Cruise.
Some of the new EV models will be shipped for sale in the Asian markets, including South Korea
Meanwhile, analysts are of the view that GM’s tryst with innovation comes with a price. They fear the company is moving away from its core business of producing vehicles that run on fossil fuel, a concern that was shared by some of the shareholders at the latest annual meeting.
In what could be a reply to the skeptics, GM confirmed it is on track to launch the revamped Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks this fall as scheduled. That makes sense because the lion’s share of the automotive giant’s profit comes from its truck and SUV segments.
The management is apparently upbeat about the recent deal with Japan’s SoftBank involving a $2.3 billion funding to expedite the production of self-driving vehicles, with the first units for commercial use expected to be rolled out next year in the form of ride-sharing.
Nevertheless, the success of GM’s ambitious autonomous program would depend a lot on its ability to influence government agencies and utility companies in the US and China to develop the infrastructure required for the project.
GM’s stock traded slightly higher throughout Wednesday’s regular session, but pared some of the gains in the after-hours trading.