GM CEO Mary Barra rarely talks about Tesla, and she almost never praises the company or gives it credit for any of the success EVs are having today. Nonetheless, she recently admitted that the US EV maker does currently hold the lead in the fully electric space when it comes to technology, profitability, and scale.
According to Electrek, Barra made the mention during a Sanford Bernstein conference. She spoke about the situation as it stands today and made it clear that she's aware Tesla is leading. She also hinted at General Motors overtaking that lead, but didn't come right out and say it.
If you've been following CEO Barra and GM's EV plans over the years, you may know that the automaker promised a whole host of electric cars coming to market by now, with many affordable enough for mass-market adoption. However, sadly, only a handful of copies of very pricey EVs have hit the market: the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. Moreover, the company has decided to discontinue its most affordable options: the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV.
Soon, however, GM will woo audiences and attract buyers with its affordable Chevrolet Equinox EV, with many more similar options coming thereafter.
After admitting that Tesla is currently leading, Barra when on to say that she just doesn't see profitable EVs coming to market with $30,000 to $40,000 (approx. £24,000 to £32,000) price tags until the end of the decade, or perhaps even later. It seems she's indirectly pointing out that even though Tesla has the lead now, it doesn't (and can't soon) offer affordable mass-market EVs, so its lead could be temporary.
Barra went on to talk about profits, noting that the cost of making an EV is still so high that you can't sell them at low prices and still make money. Yet, GM says it's bringing the Equinox EV to market soon with a $30,000 price tag. Meanwhile, Tesla has dropped its prices many times this year, it does offer "affordable" EVs, and it's still making lots of money.