By Naveen Anthrappully
General Motors (GM) plans on going beyond manufacturing a fleet of electric cars, according to an announcement Wednesday regarding electrification component sets, which are capable of converting most old gasoline-powered automobiles into new-age electric vehicles (EV).
The technology will be used for EV conversion projects and GM expects to target a group of diverse commercial clients and enable them to meet their sustainability targets. Electrification components will open up new business avenues and the company estimates a market growth of $20 billion by 2030 with the increasing demand for zero-emissions technology.
“Guided by its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion, General Motors announced today its strategy to offer EV technology beyond its own portfolio and automotive applications more broadly, one component at a time,” said the press release.
Customers will work with trained professionals in GM’s electric specialty vehicle modifier (eSVM) program to replace existing gasoline engines with electric propulsion systems.
“GM has an established strategy, network of integrators, and co-development agreements to apply an extensive array of components and solutions to a broad range of customers and use cases,” said Travis Hester, GM vice president of EV Growth Operations in the news release.
When previously, a car owner had to haul their wrecked vehicles to the auto repair garage and rebuild the vehicle piece-by-piece, GM changed the market through its “crate motors” which offered ready-built engines. The new engines came with a factory warranty and met emission standards.
GM is trying to bring the same concept over with electrification kits, which a specialty engineer can use to replace old engines. An electrified 1972 El Camino SS was the first independent installation of the concept eCrate package.
The automaker will begin EV component set sales in Chevy Performance and Aftermarket, GM Powered Solutions, Ground Support Equipment, and Marine Propulsion. The company reported that it has demonstrated EV conversion proof-of-concept in “E-10 pickup, K-5 Blazer-E, eCOPO Camaro, and Project X built in collaboration with Cagnazzi Racing’s eCrate Solutions Group.”
GM’s Powered Solutions team will identify electrification opportunities and custom applications for corporate clients to enable them to meet zero-emission targets. This includes GM Marine, On-Highway, Off-Highway, and industrial requirements.
GM’s strategic collaboration with Textron Ground Support Equipment will offer airport-related electrification technologies in age tractors, cargo tractors, belt loaders, and ground support equipment.
Through a 25 percent ownership stake in electric watercraft company Pure Watercraft, GM plans to offer EV tech to the maritime industry through developing and commercializing batteries for waterborne vessels including boats and ships.
“Our customers will benefit from GM’s vast network of resources, support, and experience as an innovator in the electrification space” Travis Hester, GM vice president of EV Growth Operations said in the report. “As we advance our Ultium Platform and other zero-emissions technologies, we anticipate smaller, more affordable, and more flexible components and offerings over time.”
Investors are seemingly happy with the company’s push towards electrification as the stock price has registered more than 40 percent growth year-to-date, performing better than the S&P 500 with 27.7 percent growth and the Dow Jones Industrial Average with 18.9 percent.
This move by GM is considered by many as a return to the old days when the automaker used to manufacture many of its components in-house. Pricing details were not released in the statement, and additional information along with specific product applications will be disclosed at a later date, according to the company.
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