General Motors joined other powerhouses in technology at GITEX 2020, leading discussions around future mobility, building on the brand’s global commitment to an all-electric future with Zero Emissions, Zero Crashes and Zero Congestion.
Gary West, Managing Director OnStar & Future Mobility GM Middle East, drove the conversation through a series of discussions with other technology and mobility leaders as well as a keynote presentation, underscored by GM’s recent announcement to invest $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle development and launch 30 EVs around the world by 2025.
General Motors has a long and successful history of innovation which has seen the 100-year-old automotive manufacturer disrupt itself to become a leader in alternate propulsion vehicles. Starting with the Chevrolet Bolt EV, an electric vehicle democratizing this technology for the masses, the product offensive continues with the launch of 30 EVs globally by 2025. With one of the most diverse line-ups already available under Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac, GM will be among the only automotive manufacturers to offer an EV at all price points, for families, for work, for adventure and for performance. This announcement follows the groundbreaking reveal of the Cadillac LYRIQ and the GMC HUMMER EV, the latter being the world’s first all-electric SuperTruck and confirmed to launch in the Middle East in late 2022.
Commenting on participation at GITEX, West said: “It is both an honor and a responsibility to be present in such a vital capacity at GITEX 2020. The visionary leadership in the UAE is serious about ushering in the next wave of technology, both with shared mobility and personal use vehicles and we are committed to being just as bold in our support of this pledge, through a revolutionary future product portfolio, innovative strategic partnerships and expert advice on legislation and city planning.”
Despite the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, GM’s future mobility plans have accelerated. Already a milestone in electrification, engineers have updated the Ultium battery packs, costing 40% less than the batteries that power the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Work continues, with the aim to produce Ultium batteries that cost 60% less than the batteries in use today with twice the energy density expected. In short, Ultium technology is expected to bring EVs even closer to price-parity with gas-powered vehicles, eliminating two major consumer barriers to adoption – price and range anxiety – ensuring that EVs are a viable everyday option.
Speaking at the recent virtual 2020 Barclays Global Automotive Conference, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors said: “Climate change is real, and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle,” said Barra. “This year, we will close the books on the most successful decade in the history of General Motors, so we are transitioning our company from gas to electric from a position of strength. We can accelerate our EV plans because we are rapidly building a competitive advantage in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and the customer experience.”
However, it is not just the cost and performance of innovative EV components that will give GM a competitive advantage in the fast-changing Middle East auto industry, but how they integrate with other advanced systems. In early 2021, General Motors will launch its pioneering OnStar in-vehicle safety and security service in some GCC countries, elevating its customer experience through connectivity backed by a local, human connection.
GITEX brings together the biggest official delegation of business, tech and investors across the region. Through a full agenda of discussions and knowledge sharing, the conference aims to fast-track digital transformation in a safe and sustainable way across all industries.