GM's Mary Barra Vows To Blow Tesla Out of the Water, Throws Billions at It

GM's Mary Barra vows to blow Tesla out of the water 10 photos
Photo: GM
GM's Mary Barra vows to blow Tesla out of the waterGM's Mary Barra vows to blow Tesla out of the waterGM present new battery for its upcoming EVsGM present new battery for its upcoming EVsGM present new battery for its upcoming EVsUltium Cell Battery PackUltium Cell ChassisMary Barra announces GM investment in MichiganUltium Cell Plant in Lansing, Michigan
GM is one of the big carmakers that are best positioned to take on Tesla as the leader of the EV market. GM has the EV lineup all figured out, the battery plans in place, and even developed one of the best automated driving solutions in the industry. This makes CEO Mary Barra bullish about GM’s plans to surpass Tesla in the next five years.
We want to lead in the EVs. Full stop,” said Barra in an interview with CBS Mornings last week. This is not just talking, as GM unveiled big plans to invest upward of $7 billion in battery and vehicle factories in Michigan. It’s not the first time Mary Barra shows confidence in GM topping Tesla, and we see the company doing the right steps in this direction.

To beat Tesla at its own game, GM needs to lead the battle on several fronts. This starts with the batteries and goes all the way to the software and artificial intelligence needed for autonomous driving. It’s a lot to digest, even for a big company like GM, but Mary Barra made sure all the pieces of the puzzle are in place. Its Ultium platform covers both batteries and vehicle platforms and it looks to be a very competitive EV underpinning.

We will have the products, the battery cell capacity, and the vehicle-assembly capacity to be the EV leader by mid-decade,” GM CEO Mary Barra said earlier in a statement cited by CNBC. GM plans to spend more than $35 billion on electric and autonomous vehicle development through 2025 when they expect to have more than one million units of EV capacity.

Mary Barra announces GM investment in Michigan
Photo: GM
GM unveiled the GMC Hummer and the Chevrolet Silverado EV, as well as plans to bring the GMC Sierra EV on the market. The Cadillac Lyriq is also in pole position to take on rivals in the premium segment, while the Chevrolet Equinox takes the battle to the other end of the market. GM looks to have what it takes to put up a fierce fight. But this does not mean the competition stands still waiting for GM to catch up.

Beating Tesla in the battery business means a lot more than building good batteries, it’s about securing the right minerals too. We know Tesla invested in mineral materials in an “all the way to the mine” push that Elon Musk discussed a while back. Tesla is a lot more than building cars, and this is a mistake GM has done in the past when they launched the Chevrolet Bolt.

While GM’s CEO talks about electric vehicle production, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has other plans in the crosshair. He’s convinced it’s not the vehicle production that counts, but the underlying services and, more specifically, the autonomous driving that will change the industry. Elon Musk is confident Tesla will “soon” crack the full self-driving system, and he’s willing to license the technology to other carmakers.

GM's Mary Barra vows to blow Tesla out of the water
Photo: GM
GM is also involved in autonomous driving with its Super Cruise automated driving solution that was recently praised by Consumer Reports for its safety features. Next to Ford’s Blue Cruise, GM’s Super Cruise is the only system that qualifies for additional safety points in the new Consumer Reports assessment system.

It will be interesting to watch the battle of the titans in the new EV arms race. It’s not only GM that challenges Tesla. All the traditional carmakers, including Ford, Stellantis, Volkswagen, and, lately, Toyota, plan to do this as well.

Not to mention the nimbler and more aggressive contenders on the EV market, like Rivian, Lucid, and others. All bets are off as to where the car industry is heading next, so take your popcorn and watch.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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