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GM Vows to Make Money Selling Electric Cars by 2021

The Drive logoThe Drive 1/9/2018 Kate Gibson
a car driving on a road© Jim Fets Photography/Chevrolet

General Motors has not given specifics on how it plans to make good on Chief Executive Mary Barra's vow that GM would have a profitable line of selling electric cars by 2021.

Research

The plan involves proprietary battery technology, an inexpensive vehicle design, and mass production, mostly in China, according to a Reutersreport Tuesday.

The strategy involves running two separate businesses by the mid-2020s, with one devoted to North America and manufacturing trucks, SUVs and cars that run on petroleum, Reuters said. The second business would be a worldwide electric vehicle focused on China. The latter would include ventures into pay-per-use services like robotaxis.

The wire service based its report on interviews with a half a dozen current and former GM and supplier executives and another half a dozen industry observers.

As things stand, no major car manufacturer has run a profitable business making electric cars. Tesla, the world's largest electric-vehicle maker, runs through more than $1 billion in cash every quarter.

During the last year, GM has strived to convince investors that it can compete with Tesla by reducing costs and adding to the popularity of its recent electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

GM plans to cut the amount of cobalt in its new EMC 1.0 battery system while increasing the amount of nickel, according to people familiar with its strategy, Reuters said. The cost of cobalt has surged over the past two years on the anticipation of increased demand from automakers.

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