GM Joins Growing List of Carmakers Going Electric

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General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced Monday morning that the company will introduce two new all-electric vehicles in the next 18 months and at least 20 new all-electric vehicles by 2023. Carmakers have apparently gotten the electrification message and many have recently announced major electrified additions to their fleets over the next several years.

Several governments, including those in Britain and France, have declared that sales of new fossil-fuel powered cars will be phased out gradually over the next couple of decades. China, currently the world’s leading new-car market, is discussing a similar ban on the sale of new fossil-fueled cars but has not offered any specific targets yet.

GM executive Mark Reuss said:

General Motors believes in an all-electric future. Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers’ needs.

In the same announcement GM also introduced its “Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure” (SURUS) that the company said is a fuel cell–powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame driven by two electric motors.

GM’s Chevy Bolt sold 2,107 units in August, more than the Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model S or Model X. For the year to date, Bolt has sold 11,670 units, behind both the Model S and the Model X.

The Chevy Bolt also sold more units in August than any plug-in hybrid, although it trails the Prius Prime from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and its cousin, the Chevy Volt, in year-to-date sales.

U.S. rival Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is expected to announce its new plan under new CEO Jim Hackett late Tuesday. We can all be pretty sure that electric vehicles will be a significant part of whatever Hackett has to say, but Ford’s problem is that, unlike GM, it needs to show a commitment to a new and rapidly evolving industry with some concrete idea of where it stands and where it’s going. The plug-in Chevy Volt has outsold Ford’s C-Max Energi by nearly three to one so far this year, and the Chevy Bolt sold more units in August than the all-electric Ford Focus EV has sold in the first eight months of the year.

GM stock traded up about 4% in the noon hour Monday, at $42.01 in a 52-week range of $30.21 to $42.48, a new high set this morning. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $39.52. GM and other carmakers will be releasing monthly sales figures for September Tuesday morning.