By on June 16, 2021

There is plenty of electrification news this week, despite the brunt of consumers remaining seemingly disinterested in the automotive segment that’s entirely dependent upon batteries. General Motors recently announced that it would be increasing its EV investments through 2025 to $35 billion, noting that some amount of the funding will also be going toward autonomous vehicle development.

Meanwhile, Stellantis confirmed that it’s planning a quartet of battery-driven automobiles offering more utility than the pint-sized Fiat 500e. Those vehicles aren’t supposed to see assembly until 2024 and there are lingering questions about where the firm plans on building battery plants. But the UILM union has confirmed that the upcoming models are likely to be midsized and built at the company’s Melfi plant in Italy.

“Stellantis announced that Melfi would be the first plant in Italy to get new models, based on post-2022 business plan,” the union said in a statement after reps with the manufacturer in Rome.

According to Reuters, all future production at Melfi will be based on a single upgraded production line. Despite merging lines, the site is supposed to retain its annual production capacity of 400,000 units — though things can always change when decisions don’t need to be made right away.

From Reuters:

UILM’s head, Rocco Palombella, said unions had not received all the answers they wanted as Stellantis was still working on its new business plan.

“But the positive element is that the company has not absolutely called for structural redundancies,” he said after the meeting.

Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares has said the group would present its business plan late this year or in early 2022.

The automaker has also reportedly not made any concrete decisions on where its third battery plant will be built. Existing sites have already been planned for France and Germany, with the manufacturer musing about whether to keep the third in Europe or opt for the United States.

Speaking of the US of A, General Motors has announced it will be increasing its initial commitment (announced in 2020) toward battery and autonomous development by around 75 percent.

“We are investing aggressively in a comprehensive and highly-integrated plan to make sure that GM leads in all aspects of the transformation to a more sustainable future,” stated GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “GM is targeting annual global EV sales of more than 1 million by 2025, and we are increasing our investment to scale faster because we see momentum building in the United States for electrification, along with customer demand for our product portfolio.”

The General has been signaling that it has wanted to get serious about EVs of late and has recently been petitioning the government to pass legislation giving electrically powered vehicles special treatment. In the release, it made mention that it wants to become a global leader in electrification via its Ultium battery platform. There was also mention of GM’s HYDROTEC fuel cells and the commercialization of its Cruise autonomous driving technology. Much of that was left to our imagination, however.

Every automaker wants to become the dominant name in EVs and AVs. General Motors is not different. But one wonders what might have been had the company not abandoned its EV1 pilot program in 1999.

[Image: Michael Urmann/Shutterstock]

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32 Comments on “GM Increases Investment Into Electrification, Stellantis Promises Four New EVs...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Every automaker wants to become the dominant name in EVs and AVs.”

    Not really. Actions speak louder than words.

    As for the clickbait EV1, that program was a dud. We may as well discuss whether the Vietnam War would have happened if JFK hadn’t died in 1963.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ “Every automaker wants to become the dominant name in EVs and AVs.”

      Not really. Actions speak louder than words.”

      So true. EVs are a fad. And the automakers are trying to capitalize on the fad while they can. That’s why you have mediocre EVs like the Escape Mach E, the F150 Mach E, and the Transit Mach E.

      If steam powered vehicles were the fad now, the Mach-Es would all be steam powered. If dirty, coal rolling diesels were the fad now, then Tesla and the Mach Es would all be spewing dark clouds of diesel exhaust when running.

      When your EVs are half efforts and full of compromises, it’s clear you are riding a fad.

    • 0 avatar

      “whether the Vietnam War would have happened if JFK hadn’t died in 1963.”

      Or if Nixon won 1960 elections. He was a very smart politician. But in the end nothing would change, we would still have the catastrophe of 2020 sooner or later.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Or if Nixon won 1960 elections”

        “elections”

        “the catastrophe of 2020 sooner or later”

        Which one?

        • 0 avatar

          What I am trying to say – it does not matter what happened in 1960 or 1963. System would crash in 2020s regardless. LBJ was an idiot. Country would fare better if Nixon was a president. But 2020 will still happen because people lost faith in democracy and deeply distrust elite. Nothing could stop crash.

  • avatar
    rolandoblomblando

    “…despite the brunt of consumers remaining seemingly disinterested in the automotive segment that’s entirely dependent upon batteries”

    Are you just saying the majority of consumers aren’t interested in electric cars (probably true) or are you also suggesting that there isn’t any point to making investments in electric cars because there isn’t enough demand?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Um, more like he personally doesn’t believe in the merits of EV’s and words it as such.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @Lou: Yeah exactly. I’m actually kind of surprised at the level of interest. Stop for a charge and stay near your vehicle and you’re almost guaranteed at least one person will stop and start asking questions. But, let’s look at actual numbers. The Model 3 is now the 16th best-selling car in the world. A car that has no marketing.

        https://insideevs.com/news/513658/tesla-model3-16-best-seller/

        Then, there’s this:
        https://auto.hindustantimes.com/auto/cars/kia-ev6-sold-out-in-hours-in-us-buyers-pick-home-chargers-over-free-apple-watch-41623380145577.html

        and this:
        https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1131783_ford-mustang-mach-e-moving-quickly-off-dealer-lots-sales-on-pace-with-early-estimates

        and this:
        https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/ford/2021/06/03/fords-mach-e-output-exceeds-gas-powered-mustang-so-far-2021/7530019002/

        and this..
        https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/6/8/sales-of-tesla-evs-made-in-china-surged-29-percent-in-may

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @mcs – I’m willing to bet that once F150 Lightning’s start roaming the planet we will see a large increase in interest.
          Realistically, most EV’s to this point have been expensive subcompacts or aimed more at the luxury market. Most buyers aren’t interested in cars. They want trucks and SUV’s/CUV’s. We are finally seeing offerings that are more mid-market and mainstream. The Mach E and Lightning are definitely mid-market in price and utility.

        • 0 avatar

          I think there is interest but every non tech non car person I talk to about cars has zero interest in EV’s. My wives friends all fairly left leaning educated suburban moms all have conventional SSUVs and CIVS and when talking about what they want next I have yet to hear any of them ever mention electric or even hybrid. They want everything from VW Tiguans to Suburbans.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I see people express interest but that goes with a few other questions; what’s it cost compared to a similar “ICE” vehicle and will it do what an “ICE” vehicle can.
            So far, the answer has been no.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I’ll be back. Gonna run to get myself a generator.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Living in TX obviously?

      Don’t forget your utilities are asking you to set your thermostat at 78 degrees to take some load of the utility grid.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Not living in TX (for now) but you hit the sweet spot. With so many electric cars plugged in, I believe that rolling blackouts are coming.

        China currently is building 14 nuclear reactors. India 6. S.K. – 4. Russia 3… US-2

        May be this is why electric cars will work in China?

        • 0 avatar
          JD-Shifty

          maybe the GOP should consider letting us update the US power grid?

        • 0 avatar
          wolfwagen

          I dont think we 1) have enough power plants (and the forced closing of coal-fired and other fossil fuel plants will not help), 2) have enough of a robust and substantial electrical grid to support a massive switch to electric vehicles.
          True Story: I was a manager at a Warehouse – Middle of Summer during a heatwave. We had about 20 electric Forklifts and order pickers. Everyone went on lunch break so all operators plugged in their Forklifts and Pickers. Suddenly, lights dimmed and our backup generator kicked in. Found out that Utility reduced power, our system sensed the imbalance and activated the ATS and started our backup generator. Imagine what would happen in a similar situation where a couple million people come home and plug in their electrical vehicles ? Better have a back up generator.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @slavuta:

          “With so many electric cars plugged in, I believe that rolling blackouts are coming.”

          That’s a false narrative. EVs are a very small part of the vehicle pool in the US. My one EV (half of my vehicle pool) adds 20% to my electric consumption for a 2000-square-foot house.

          In my neighborhood of 100+ homes, nobody else has an EV. At work, of the 400-some cars in the parking lot, maybe 4 are EVs.

          Statements like yours assume that EV consumption will outpace the growth of the power grid, bringing the grid to its knees overnight. That just won’t happen. Grid shortages are due to many other factors, and so far I’ve never heard them blamed on electric car usage.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            “Statements like yours assume that EV consumption will outpace the growth of the power grid, bringing the grid to its knees overnight.”

            This is exactly what I meant. If we’re forced to EVs en mass. I doubt people in power understand anything in management. For example, they permit unchecked number of illegals in, without caring, who will be teaching them, care for their health, etc. Same thing here. I guarantee you, big mess is coming.

      • 0 avatar

        ” your thermostat at 78 degrees to take some load of the utility grid”

        That is funny. Accidentally I keep my thermostat exactly at 78 during summer and no one asked me to do that. I just think that it makes sense to save on energy and electricity costs. Energy is not limitless you know. And I live in California not Texas.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I just turn mine down very low in summer time. My furnace might go a few months without firing up.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Some years ago the President (Obama at the time) said in a speech “gone are the days where you can set your thermostat at 72 and forget it”.

          I walked over and put it on 72 where it has been set every since.

  • avatar
    Funky D

    And now California is under the same power conservation advisory as Texas.

    So when the next wildfire hits, there won’t be enough power to charge all the electric cars for an evacuation.

    What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      With electric cars comes the installation of solar panels on the roof. Free charging for decades makes for a very good return on investment.
      It also means power during blackouts.
      By the way, no one waits until a forest fire starts to begin charging their electric vehicle, which in your scenario would be kept at 0% until a disaster hits…??

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree with Lou about the F-150 Lightning once it comes out there will be more interest in EVs. There are a lot of truck owners especially F-150 owners that might buy the Lightning. Nice truck and is more practical than most EVs. Also has a nice storage space in the front. The new Maverick hybrid will also attract a lot of buyers who don’t need a large or medium sized truck. I am interested in the Maverick and after going on the Ford website I would probably get the XLT to get an interior other than black. If I do decide to buy a Maverick I will wait a few years for Ford to work out the bugs but then I might just keep the Ranger I bought last year which is running good and now has 105k miles.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Communism also created bland, unreliable, unaffordable vehicles, I guess they’ve relabeled it as Wokeism now.
    :-/

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Actually, I can disagree here.
      VAZ started as FIAT. And was actually improved FIAT. GAZ carried out a lot of Ford. Then comes KAMAZ – communist technology that constantly wins all sorts of competitions. Czech Tatra trucks were also darn good.
      So.. the communist vehicles often were deriving from Western technology, and some domestic examples were good and reliable.
      Of course, these cars were no match to luxury of American cars of the same era. And as far as I understand, similar small engine American cars were not very reliable either.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The devil is known by many names.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    One of them will be “the fastest dodge ever” which the rumor mill suggests is the new charger that will be a model S killer and even quicker than the plaid

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