General Motors Hits the Gas on Electric, Autonomous Push

"GM is targeting annual global EV sales of more than 1 million by 2025, and we are increasing our investment to scale faster because we see momentum building in the United States for electrification, along with customer demand for our product portfolio," said Chief Executive Mary Barra.

The biggest US automaker announced it will raise spending by 30 percent to $35 billion through 2025 and plans to build two additional battery cell plants. Some of the funds also will go to its autonomous vehicle programme.

"There is a strong and growing conviction among our employees, customers, dealers, suppliers, unions, and investors, as well as policymakers, that electric vehicles and self-driving technology are the keys to a cleaner, safer world for all."

The announcement marks the latest vote of confidence in an EV future by a legacy automaker in the wake of the ascent of Tesla and as governments embrace policies to address climate change.

Just last month, Ford won praise for unveiling an all-electric version of its F-150 pickup truck and said it was targeting 40 percent of its volume by 2030 to be comprised of EVs.

GM has announced numerous steps on EVs since the November election of President Joe Biden, who has championed electric autos as a component of the strategy to mitigate climate change.

Shortly after the election, GM boosted its planned spending for EVs and autonomous vehicle technology by $7 billion from $20 billion.

Also in November, the company withdrew from a challenge to California's fuel economy rules backed by former president Donald Trump's administration, and in January said it aimed to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.

Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said the spending increase was a "prudent" investment in light of consumer enthusiasm for models it has presented so far.

The company expects 30 new EV models by 2025, with about two-thirds available in North America, he said.

Specifics on the two additional battery cell plants will be announced later, GM said.