General Motors has been touting its future EV efforts for years, and more recently, CEO Mary Barra has talked about the automaker's plans to overtake Tesla as the US EV leader. While GM doesn't have a whole lot to show related to those plans quite yet, it has announced major efforts that are already underway, which will boost its EV output significantly in the coming years.
That said, it doesn't matter how many EVs GM – or any company for that matter – can produce unless it can actually sell them. In order for the automaker to sell plenty of electric cars, it will have to make sure its dealers are on board, or switch to some form of online sales or direct sales model. It seems Chevy dealers are ready to roll. According to Automotive News, dealer chairman of the Chevrolet National Dealer Council Keith McCluskey shared:
"We want to beat Tesla on EVs. We want to meet demand."
McCluskey is also encouraging GM to stick to its plans, producing enough electric vehicles for dealers to sell and meet that demand. Dealers can't be successful in selling EVs, and GM can't beat Tesla if it doesn't manufacture enough electric cars. The dealer chairman said:
"It's nice to have the backing of General Motors and knowing that they're making those types of investments to create that kind of volume. There's a lot of us dealers out there. And if we're going to maximize our success, we need them to build enough product that we can be No. 1. You can't be No. 1 if you don't produce enough."
As many folks in the EV community have pointed out, the whole "beat" concept really doesn't matter at this point. It's not about "beating" one another, but just about companies actually producing EVs to the best of their abilities. We can talk about competing with and beating one another once new models come to market, EV production is up to speed, and people are taking delivery in large numbers.
GM is banking on the long list of pre-orders for its upcoming electric vehicles, such as the Silverado EV. GM says over 100,000 people have already placed a reservation for the upcoming electric pickup truck that's expected to go on sale as a 2024 model sometime in 2023.
Chevrolet is also seeing plenty of interest in its future Blazer and Equinox electric crossovers. The automaker is also putting an emphasis on producing affordable EVs that will be accessible to all consumers, not just the wealthy.
GM's current goal is to offer 30 new electric vehicles across the globe by 2025. The company says it will produce as many as 600,000 electric trucks per year at two locations in Michigan. In addition, it's working on transitioning its Orion Assembly plant into a battery factory.
McCluskey went on to say that he believes the sale of 600,000 electric pickup trucks per year is realistic. He also added that the addition of more affordable, high-volume electric SUVs, such as the Chevy Equinox EV, will be integral to GM's plans to succeed in the segment.