Auto 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV
The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV isn't just loaded with tech it is enjoyable to drive too Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque

DETROIT: General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra said Wednesday the Detroit automaker will invest $20 billion by 2025 in electric and automated vehicles as it races to catch up with Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc as vehicles go electric.

The previously undisclosed investment figure was part of detailed presentations Barra and other GM executives gave to reporters and investors, to show that GM can make the transition from an internal combustion world to a battery electric one.

“We’ll grow” as the company offers more electric vehicles, Barra said at GM’s design center in Warren, Michigan.

And by slashing the number of powertrain combinations and moving to modular electric vehicle components, including battery packs and motors, GM can be profitable and maintain its profit margins, she said.

Simplifying batteries and vehicle architectures would be critical to achieving profitability.

With its new Ultium battery technology, GM is on track to cut the battery cell costs — the single greatest expense in electric vehicles — to less than $100 per kilowatt-hour, Barra said.

That, in turn, could make battery packs — for electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EV - cheaper by up to 45%, experts say.