General Motors and Ford go electric

General Motors and Ford go electric
Both Ford and General Motors have detailed plans to become leaders in the electric vehicle market.

General Motors has pledged to sell 20 all-electric vehicles by 2023.

While other car makers, like Volvo, Aston Martin, and Jaguar Land Rover, have announced similar moves, the announcement by General Motors is particularly significant because it’s the world’s biggest car company which makes most of its profit with large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Ford meanwhile has set up an internal team named “Team Edison” to study and develop fully electric cars, saying it plans to deliver 13 electrified vehicles over the next five years without spelling out the details.

“We see an inflection point in the major markets toward battery electric vehicles,” Sherif Marakby, Ford’s head of electrification and autonomous vehicles told Automotive News. “We feel it’s important to have a cross-functional team all the way from defining the strategy plans and implementation to advanced marketing.”

General Motors plans to bring out two new EVs in the next 18 months following on from the Chevrolet Bolt that’s been on sale for less than a year. That will be followed by another 18 by 2023.

“GM believes the future is all electric, a world free of automotive emissions,” Mark Reuss, executive vice president of global product development, told reporters. “It’s real.”

He said it was impossible to predict when all new vehicles coming on to the road would be electric.

The technology would have to improve, there would have to be more infrastructure with charging stations and consumers would have to accept them.

“This is more than building electric vehicles,” Reuss said. “You can’t just flip a switch and make the world go electric.”

China, which is creating the world’s largest electric car market, is a key part of the General Motors strategy. The company has indicated it plans to have 10 electric and plug-in-hybrids in China by 2020.


An award winning author and journalist, commentator, lecturer, and speaker, Leon is a freelance business journalist who covers a range of areas including politics, strategy, globalization, leadership and all the big trends ahead. His main skill is summing up all the news that’s around. For the last 30 years, his main focus has been on management issues. He also produces two podcasts for RMIT University, Talking Business and Talking Technology. Leon has worked for Fairfax, News Limited, AAP and the Herald and Weekly Times.

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