“General Motors Co. is launching a new electric-truck business geared toward delivery services, the latest in the company’s efforts to commercialize battery technology it is developing in-house,” WSJ writes.
Why It Matters: GM CEO Mary Barra, who’s been on the job since 2014, has “pinned her growth strategy on electric cars, earmarking $27 billion to develop plug-in and driverless vehicles by mid-decade.” As many firms try to figure out what their companies look like in a post-pandemic world, GM is hoping to capitalize on the expansive nature of multiple booming markets including e-commerce, home delivery and electric vehicles.
- The division is called BrightDrop and also plans to introduce motorized electric dollies for warehouses.
- The demand for delivery vehicles in large cities could tick up 36% by 2030, according to projections from the World Economic Forum.
And it’s paying off already. GM’s stock closed at $47.82 on Tuesday, a record-mark since it returned to the public markets following its 2009 bankruptcy.
- BrightDrop plans to roll out later this year with a commercial vehicle that can travel 250 miles on a single charge.
- FedEx is expected to be GM’s first customer on this project, with “the package-delivery company agreeing to purchase 500 of the new electric trucks for delivery later this year.”
- This pits GM against Ford Motor Co’s new electric delivery van and Rivian Automotive, which makes plug-in vans for Amazon.
Looking Ahead: GM’s EV plans don’t stop here. The company intends to “ratchet up” its electric vehicle offerings this year, beginning with the new Hummer truck that runs on battery power only. All in all, the company is planning to have 30 new plug-in models by 2025 and “expects 40% of its U.S. lineup to be fully electric by that year.”
Ok so GM is now launching EV trucks, so what happened to GM’s deal with Nikola? It seems like we were right from the very beginning that Nikola doesn’t actually have their hydrogen fuel cell technology ready, if it even will succeed in going to market.
These legacy auto manufactures ($F, $GM, $FCAU) need to get their act together in bringing competitive electric vehicles to market soon because each year that goes by is another year Tesla extends their technology lead.
All in all, I am still not seeing anything that would make me particularly bullish on the legacy auto manufacturers catching up.