DETROIT — After bold, public commitments to electrification, General Motors is entering a lengthy and uncertain transition period.
The century-old automaker soon will begin selling the wave of electric vehicles it has championed over the past two years.
Through mid-decade, GM will have launched three electric pickups, at least two electric SUVs and a handful of electric crossovers, if all goes according to plan. The automaker could lose sales and market share as it aims for an all-electric light-vehicle lineup by 2035, but it intends to protect its most lucrative segments: full-size pickups and SUVs. Electric versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are slated to launch in 2023, along with an electric Cadillac Escalade in 2024, but they'll exist alongside their gasoline-powered counterparts for the foreseeable future.
"They're aggressive down this path, but there are still some gas-powered vehicles to work with," said Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst at IHS Markit. "I don't know how GM will be able to actually make this transition without seeing at some point a bit of a volume drop that might be recovered when EVs are stronger."
GM has set aside US$35 billion — the majority of its new-product investment — for electric and autonomous vehicle development through 2025.