Parks is slated to lead the battery discussion. He will explain how GM aims to boost power density in its Ultium batteries and take out costs, one of the people said. GM has said that the Ultium batteries will be 60 percent cheaper to build than the Chevy Bolt’s battery. The second-generation Ultium battery, which goes into production in the next several years, is expected to drop costs another 40 percent.
On last month’s quarterly earnings call, Barra said this week’s presentation will “go deeper into the second phase of our EV growth strategy.” The second and third phases of GM’s plan to double revenue and improve margins include expanding Ultium and using the Ultifi software platform to create other services, she said.
GM and partner LG Energy Solution Inc. have opened their first Ultium plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and started production in August. The factory is making battery cells for the Hummer pickup EV and Cadillac Lyriq SUV, both of which are selling in small numbers as GM slowly increases production. The second battery plant opens next year in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
Barra said GM will also share new details about the expansion of GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driver-assist program and Ultra Cruise, which allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel over more miles and in more driving conditions.
Investors will be most interested in GM’s EV push, Whiston said, because they are waiting to see if anyone can get the volume that Tesla has.
“GM won’t sell at the prices of Teslas, so maybe they won’t match the profits,” Whiston said. “But they should be able to show good margins. If Tesla can do it, there’s no reason GM, Ford and others can’t do it. They’re just behind on product lineup and manufacturing.”
GM shares gained 3.5 percent to close Friday at $41.12.