General Motors is preparing to make waves in the industry when it comes to EV vehicles and some of the finer things that go into them. GM CEO Mary Barra recently took part in an Automotive Press Association event in Detroit where she not only provided a deep dive into some of the company’s long-term plans for the EV segment but also new initiatives that aim to help it become a key player in the segment.
Barra Declines Comment On Whether Company Is Considering Deep Sea Mining
A conversation that’s been gaining steam in recent years is the act of using deep-sea mining technology to obtain some of the metals that companies need to create battery packs like cobalt and nickel. While nearly all of the current metal supplies come from land-based sources, a growing pool of companies are raising the possibility of using material from the ocean floor to help generate more supply. The material in question is fist-sized nodules of rock that litter the ocean floor. These nodules are packed with the materials needed for battery production and in theory, they would help level the playing field in terms of the broader supply chain. But while some automakers like BMW and Volvo have released statements saying that they would not use material derived from the ocean floor, GM and the rest of the domestic Big 3 have been silent on the issue.
We decided to use the opportunity to ask Barra what GM’s stance is on the issue and whether the company will consider potentially using ocean-derived materials for its battery packs. Barra chose not to answer the question directly but instead revealed that GM is currently focusing on expanding current battery production with the company focused on building several battery plants as well as expanding the company’s partnerships with battery recyclers and suppliers. While the bulk of the industry is putting deep-sea mining and nodules on the backburner for now, look for the issue to re-emerge in the future especially as terrestrial supplies of these metals become more limited.
GM Confirms Addition Of Equinox Based EV
The main theme that was in play at yesterday’s event was GM’s vision and Barra revealed that GM will be rolling out 30 different EV entries by 2025 with the CEO confirming that not only would the Blazer receive an EV variant, but that the Equinox would also receive the electrification treatment as well. The main goal here is to help EVs successfully branch out to all customer needs with Barra revealing that the company wants to create vehicles that can appeal to customers that might not have the high budget needed for a luxury EV and just want something that they can use to go to work every day.
“We are going to go as fast as we can” stated Barra who also revealed that some key EV projects were being moved forward to try and get them to customers earlier.
GM is also preparing to debut the Silverado EV pickup at CES in Las Vegas and is confident that it can hold up to the challenge posed by rivals like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, and the Tesla Cybertruck. However, Barra also chose to once again not address recent claims by Tesla CEO Elon Musk who criticized the Biden administration in a recent series of Twitter posts on their plans to help improve EV affordability.
GM Stock Undervalued?
As the event drew to a close, Barra took time to address concerns that GM’s stock price is undervalued especially when viewed against EV upstart firms. In her opinion, GM’s stock is indeed undervalued but attributed it to how new some of these companies are when compared to established traditional automotive companies like Ford and GM
“Sometimes the iconic traditional company even though they’re innovating quickly gets looked at with a different lens.”
A classic example of this is the meteoric rise of Tesla stock which has consistently held a higher stock value than traditional firms like GM and it has managed to maintain that figure consistently over the past several years. As for GM, they are looking to build their value through existing projects like the Ultifi software platform as well as a growing pool of Ultium powered vehicles. These vehicles would not only make a splash in the U.S. but also in other markets like China. Barra was asked whether escalating tensions between China and the U.S. would affect its bottom line. She revealed that the business over there was designed to be self-sustaining and as a result, it would be able to weather rough geopolitical waters with minimal problems.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.