According to General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra, she believes that profitable electric cars in the $30,000 to $40,000 range won’t be feasible until the end of the decade or potentially later. Barra acknowledges that Tesla currently holds the lead in electric vehicle (EV) technology, profitability, and scale, but she suggests that GM can catch up.
Barra points out that the high cost of EV batteries is a significant factor preventing the production of profitable mass-market vehicles in the $30,000 to $40,000 price range. She predicts that the cost of EVs and traditional combustion engine vehicles will eventually equalize, potentially by the latter part of the decade or slightly later.
However, Barra’s comments appear contradictory when considering GM’s current offerings. For instance, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, priced starting at $26,500, is already on the market. While it is unclear whether GM is making a profit from the Bolt EV, it challenges Barra’s assertion that profitable EVs in the mentioned price range are unachievable. Furthermore, GM has promised an upcoming Equinox EV with a starting price around $30,000, which is expected to be available before the end of the decade.
While Barra’s skepticism about the profitability of lower-priced EVs may hold some merit based on current market conditions, it is important to note that the landscape of the automotive industry is rapidly evolving. Technological advancements, economies of scale, and increased competition are driving down the cost of EV components, including batteries. As a result, it is conceivable that GM and other manufacturers could develop cost-effective electric vehicles in the $30,000 to $40,000 range sooner than Barra’s projection.
Ultimately, the timeline for achieving profitable EVs at lower price points may be uncertain, but it is essential to recognize the dynamic nature of the industry. As technology progresses and market forces shape the landscape, the possibility of affordable and profitable electric cars arriving before the end of the decade remains viable.