GM to show off its electric vehicle plans Wednesday
Detroit — Ahead of its EV Day on Wednesday, General Motors Co. already is touting its electric-vehicle future to employees.
Following the end of Chevrolet Impala production Feb.27, GM took more than 700 Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant employees to the Warren Technical Center to show them the electric vehicles they will build — including the Cruise Origin and two versions of the GMC Hummer. Employees were also shown products they could potentially build.
"We had told our Detroit-Hamtramck team they were going to be a key part of GM's all-electric future. This was our opportunity to pull back the curtain and actually show them the future, and to show them before showing anyone else," GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said in a statement to The Detroit News.
GM on Wednesday will take the rest of the world inside its electric vehicle strategy, showcasing roughly a dozen future electric products in an effort to show how serious it is about its electric future and how ready it is to compete in the electric side of the industry.
The event for investors, members of the media, policymakers and dealers will be a "key update on GM's EV strategy," Credit Suisse analysts Dan Levy and Robert Moon wrote in a Monday note to investors. "We believe the EV transition will bring multiple challenges for legacy OEMs, including GM — and it will ultimately be volumes that tell us how truly committed GM and others are to EVs. That said, we believe GM is one of the best-positioned legacy OEMs amid transition to an EV world."
GM wants to field 20 electric nameplates by 2023 globally and will publicly unveil two of those vehicles soon: an unnamed Cadillac EV crossover in April and the GMC Hummer EV in May.
Levy and Moon said that GM displaying its relevance in the electric vehicle market could upgrade the outlook for the stock. GM "cannot afford to see its truck franchise ... at risk of share losses to players such as Rivian or Tesla," two electric vehicle startups that also have electric trucks coming.
"I can guarantee you that no other company is doing what were doing because no other company can do what we're doing," GM President Mark Reuss said at GM's Capital Markets Day event in January. "No one can match our combination of advance technology, flexibility and scale."
GM's new battery electric vehicle architecture, along with its battery pack design, will allow for multi-brand, multi-segment applications, Reuss said at the event.
GM is making its Detroit-Hamtramck plant its first all-electric manufacturing facility. The plant will build the GMC Hummer EV starting in late 2021. The Detroit automaker will also build an autonomous, all-electric ride-sharing shuttle, the Cruise Origin, made by its autonomous vehicle unit Cruise LLC in partnership with Honda Motor Co.
The Orion Assembly Plant is also supposed to get a new electric product built off the Chevrolet Bolt architecture.
To support its aggressive electric vehicle plans, GM is partnering with LG Chem to build a battery-cell manufacturing site in northeast Ohio's Trumbull Country. The plant is expected to go online in 2022.
On Tuesday, GM announced plans to triple the number of charging locations it has available for employees at its U.S. and Canadian facilities by adding 3,500 new EV charging plugs.