Saturday Feb 04, 2023

GM created a new energy business to sell batteries and solar panels in bid to dethrone Tesla – The Verge


General Motors is creating a new energy business to sell batteries, charging equipment, solar panels, and software to residential and commercial customers in a broad-based effort to create a range of accessories that can help sell its lineup of electric vehicles.

The new division, GM Energy, is also a direct shot at Tesla as a major player in renewable energy generation and storage. GM has said it intends to eventually overtake Elon Musk’s company in vehicles sales — and now it wants to challenge it on the energy front as well.

Travis Hester, GM’s chief EV officer, said the company is making a serious grab for a piece of what is potentially a $120-150 billion market for energy generation and storage products. The aim is to make GM’s brand synonymous with not just electric vehicles, but a whole host of products and services in orbit around EVs and their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Hester said that GM has noticed Elon Musk’s moves in this market and sees an opportunity for itself. Tesla’s energy business has been steadily growing for several years, with revenues reaching $866 million in the second quarter of 2022. In addition to Tesla, there are a host of smaller, less recognizable firms that sell these products, like Generac, which sells backup power generators, and Fluence Energy, an energy storage company.

A serious grab for a piece of a $120-150 billion market

“They don’t have a vehicle,” Hester said of those smaller companies, in an interview with The Verge. “And frankly, they don’t have the dealer network that we have.”

Presently, GM has four EVs on the market: the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV; the GMC Hummer EV; and the Cadillac Lyriq. Within the next two years, it will release the Chevy Silverado EV, Blazer EV, and Equinox EV, as well as a Hummer SUV and another electric Cadillac. GM has said it aims to sell one million electric vehicles by 2025, Hester said. And each of those customers is also a potential customer of GM Energy.

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