Balance of GM Spending Will Shift to EVs

CEO Mary Barra says General Motors Co. will spend more to develop and promote electric cars than to do the same for piston-powered vehicles.

Still, Barra tells analysts that gasoline vehicles will continue to dominate GM sales over the next 20 years, even as research and development efforts accelerate for EVs, Reuters reports.

Barra acknowledges that EVs, noted for their far simpler powertrains, will require “somewhat less” labor to build than conventionally propelled vehicles. But she insists that the carmaker’s engine and transmission facilities face no immediate threat.

The question of jobs was a sensitive one during contract talks with the United Auto Workers union. The UAW’s 42,000 GM workers ratified a new four-year agreement on Friday after a 40-day strike of the company’s U.S. facilities.

Analysts say GM granted higher labor costs in exchange for more flexibility in how it deploys its production assets in the U.S.