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GM’s Mary Barra Says US Will Take 20 Years to Shift to EVs

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GM CEO Mary Barra Fortune 50 Most Powerful Women
GM CEO Mary Barra gave her personal prediction on when Americans will shift to EVs
Photo: © General Motors

No one knows exactly when more Americans will come around to electric vehicle adoption. But some auto industry experts have their own estimates of when this will happen. According to GM CEO Mary Barra, the transition will take longer than some people think.

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A long road ahead

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
It might take more than two decades before EVs dominate American roads

In a recent interview with Bloomberg TV’s David Rubenstein, Barra said that it will take a while before the majority of U.S. vehicles are battery-powered rather than gas-powered. “It will happen in a little bit longer period [than 20 years], but it will happen,” she commented.

Though Barra estimated a long timeline for a widespread shift to EVs, she predicts a much shorter timeline for driverless cars to hit public streets. She expressed confidence in her company’s subsidiary Cruise LLC to release a fully-driverless vehicle in the near future. “I definitely think it will happen within [the] next five years,” said Barra.

GM’s current electrification efforts

Earlier this spring, GM focused on manufacturing face masks to help fight coronavirus, which led to production delays. Despite this, the brand is still moving steadily toward a more electric future.

Hummer EV debut
The Hummer EV is set for release in fall 2021
Photo: General Motors

For one thing, the company is currently stepping up its battery technology to increase the range of its future electric models. Per GM Authority, the automaker’s new battery plant in Lordstown will partner with South Korea’s LG Chem to produce Ultium lithium-ion battery packs. The biggest battery pack will have an estimated 400-mile driving range.

GM is also turning its attention to the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, two electric models poised to debut next fall. It also has a Chevy Bolt EUV in the works, as well as other models, for a total of 20 electric vehicles.

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