Who will win the race?
General Motors is putting down enormous, simultaneous stakes on electric cars and self-driving technology, a strategic bet based on its confidence that future automated vehicles will run only on electricity.
It’s a risky bet, especially if EVs and AVs are slow to be recognized by consumers. Other carmakers, like Ford, see near-term limitations to battery-electric AVs and favor a more measured method.
General Motors trusts both technologies are approaching a tipping point and hopes they will push it to the forefront of an enormous industry shift toward shared, self-driving electric cars.
“The only way to lead in either one is to go heavy and hard in both of them,” said Doug Parks, GM VP for autonomous and electric vehicle programs.
Automakers are split on the path to electrification, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Toyota and Ford are rolling out more hybrid gas-electric models as part of a gradual shift toward fully electric cars. They are both heavily invested in hybrid tech.
- GM and Volkswagen see no need for hybrids as a technology bridge and are concentrating instead on all-electric models. They also need to defend their strong positions in China, where they face government mandates to sell more zero-emissions vehicles.