• General Motors announced on Tuesday the construction of a new battery research facility in Michigan.
  • There, GM will work on more efficient, denser, and cheaper batteries for electric vehicles.
  • Ford made a major battery announcement just over a week ago.

For anyone who follows the auto industry, this year looks like one electric vehicle announcement after another.

The latest: General Motors on Tuesday announced plans to create a new 300,000-square-foot research center to develop longer-range, lower-cost batteries for its next-generation electric vehicles. The announcement comes about a week after Ford announced it was spending $ 11 billion on an electric F-150 assembly plant and three new electric vehicle battery plants in Kentucky and Tennessee.

When completed in mid-2022, the Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center will allow GM to experiment with new battery materials and strive to reduce battery costs by 60%, the company said. The GM stock price has remained stable on the news.

GM and Ford sold electric vehicles in the early 1990s, but abandoned those projects and destroyed most of the vehicles that remained. Now, amid Tesla’s success, growing investor enthusiasm for electric vehicles, and increasingly stringent emissions regulations around the world, automakers are stepping up their efforts on electric vehicles. .

America’s two major automakers appear determined to outdo each other at every turn, and the rivalry for electric vehicles has intensified dramatically over the past year.

In November, GM announced that it would commit $ 27 billion for electrification and autonomous vehicles until 2025. In January, it announced its intention to sell only electric vehicles by 2035. A few days more late in early February, Ford hit back by announcing it would spend $ 29 billion on electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025.

At the end of May, Ford increased its investment in electric vehicles to $ 30 billion and announced new electric SUVs to come. Then, in June, GM increased its commitment to $ 35 billion and announced it would add two battery factories in the United States.

The strategy appears to be working, at least in the short term, to get investors excited about the two companies’ chances of going up against Tesla, which has been the dominant force in electric vehicles for the past decade. Ford’s stock price has risen more than 65% this year, while GM’s has risen 34%, even after being hit by a massive Chevrolet Bolt EV recall. Both stocks outperformed the benchmark S&P 500.

While some on Wall Street remain skeptical about GM’s future in electric vehicles, Daniel Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, is optimistic about the company’s $ 35 billion commitment to research and development. development.

“While short-term issues remain to be resolved for GM, we continue to believe that GM’s larger story and investment thesis revolves around its massive EV ambitions over the next decade with its Ultium battery technology, a fundamental element to attack this green tidal wave, ”he said Thursday in a note to investors.

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