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GM wants to sell more electric cars than Tesla! With Holden gone, could GMSV offer future affordable EVs in Australia?

More EVs are coming from GM soon, including the all-electric Chevrolet Equinox SUV.

Could General Motors really become the world’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturer?

We knew the American automotive giant had ambitious EV targets, but GM is now aiming to usurp Tesla as the world’s biggest EV brand.

GM CEO Mary Barra revealed her hopes for the 113-year-old automaker in an interview last week with Yahoo Finance.

According to Ms Barra, GM will be the electric vehicle leader sooner than you might think.

“We're taking all the steps to do it,” she said. “We have said that by mid-decade, we will be selling more EVs in this country than anyone else, including Tesla.”

She said the way to outpace the likes of Tesla, as well as traditional rival Ford, was to target the more affordable end of the market - a space that Tesla is still not playing in.

“Remember, we're not necessarily just selling at the premium end. We're going to have electric vehicles affordable at (USD) $30,000.”

In the US, the cheapest EV in GM’s portfolio is the Chevrolet Bolt hatchback for $31,500 (A$45,300).

Could the Chevrolet Silverado EV make it to Australia? Could the Chevrolet Silverado EV make it to Australia?

More GM EVs are on the horizon, including the GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq, but they are expected to be at the higher end of the pricing scale. Some like the electric Chevrolet Silverado and freshly revealed Equinox SUV could mark the start of GM’s cheaper EV rollout.

A recently announced partnership with Honda is also expected to produce cheaper EVs for both car-making groups.

But GM is still well behind Tesla in terms of global EV market share, with Forbes revealing that Tesla holds a dominant 14 per cent share, compared with 7.6 per cent for GM.

Separating them is Volkswagen Group (11%) and growing Chinese company BYD (9%) that has just landed in Australia.

Given GM’s focus on left-hand drive markets, it is unlikely any of its affordable EVs would have been earmarked for the Holden stable before the American giant pulled the pin on the brand.

But what about GM’s current Australian operation, GM Special Vehicles (GMSV)? Could some of these electrified entry models be remanufactured for right-hand drive and offered under the GMSV banner?

The current roster includes the Chevy Corvette supercar and the Silverado pick-up truck.

The company’s local executives have been coy about future GM models it plans to remanufacture to right-hand drive for Australia and New Zealand. However, given the increase in EV sales and the big spike in interest in American-style large pick-ups, they would at least be considering the electric Silverado and Hummer for Australia.

Whether smaller electric SUVs and passenger cars would pass the all-important business case stage is another question.

EVs are still, for the most part, expensive. The most affordable EV in Australia right now is the BYD Atto 3 SUV from $44,381 before on-road costs.

Whatever happens, GM’s bold plans can only be a good thing for buyers who are waiting for cheaper EVs.