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G.M. Lays Out Ambitions for Electric-Vehicle Lineup to Rival Tesla

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WARREN, Mich. — Over the last three months, Tesla’s stock price has more than doubled, adding tens of billions of dollars in market value, as investors have concluded that the company is poised to lead the auto industry’s transition to battery-powered vehicles.

Now General Motors is trying to make the case that it isn’t far behind Tesla, and that it is positioned to cash in if, or when, electric-vehicle sales take off.

On Wednesday, at its technical center in Warren, north of Detroit, G.M. laid out a comprehensive strategy to produce a wide array of affordable electric vehicles over the next few years. They range from compact cars to full-size pickup trucks. And unlike Tesla’s upscale models, they will be priced to appeal to mainstream consumers, G.M. officials said.

Twenty models are due by 2023, including a roomier version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV this year. An electric Hummer sport utility vehicle and the Cadillac Lyriq, another S.U.V., are expected to arrive in showrooms by 2022.

“We want to get as many E.V.s on the road as possible,” said Mary T. Barra, the G.M. chief executive. “We believe climate change is real, and we have the ability and responsibility to create a cleaner, healthier planet.”

The company is hoping that sales of its electric vehicles in the United States and China will exceed one million a year by 2025, Ms. Barra said.

Other future models displayed on Wednesday included two Buick S.U.V.s, a Chevrolet S.U.V. and a Hummer truck. The Hummer models will be sold by the GMC brand. Cadillac will also get a new luxury sedan, the Celestiq. G.M. plans to build the car by hand, a technique usually reserved for high-end luxury cars, and hopes it will draw buyers and attention away from Tesla’s flagship, the Model S.

“We believe it will change what people think about Cadillac and bring Cadillac back,” said Mark Reuss, the G.M. president.

Tesla has dominated sales of electric cars so far in the United States and abroad. Last year, the company sold 367,500 cars globally, and it appears set to continue growing rapidly. It recently began producing its Model 3 sedan at a new factory in China, and has begun preparing a site for another factory there. Late this year or in early 2021, Tesla is expected to add a fourth car to its lineup, the Model Y, a more spacious version of the Model 3.

In early December, Tesla’s shares were trading at about $330, but then soared on news of its 2019 sales, the start of production in China and a fourth-quarter profit of $105 million. They closed on Wednesday at $749.50.

“The recent move can be explained by the market believing that Tesla will be the sole winner in the move to E.V.s,” Brian Johnson, a stock analyst at Barclays Capital, wrote in a recent research note to investors.

At G.M., whose only current electric offering in the United States is the Bolt, sales of electric vehicles totaled 24,600 last year. But G.M. is betting it can catch and possibly surpass Tesla by lowering costs and offering many different types of electrified models at different price points to attract mainstream buyers.

It is counting on making money, too. Tesla, although profitable in the fourth quarter, has not posted a full-year profit since its founding in 2003. Ms. Barra said G.M.’s new line of electric vehicles would generate profits soon after the first models were introduced.

Ms. Barra and other G.M. executives suggested that Wall Street had not recognized the company’s progress in developing electric models and preparing to produce them in high volumes. Its shares are down about 25 percent from their 52-week high in July.

“We have got to tell our own story,” Mr. Reuss said. “The story hasn’t gotten out. This is a real transformation of the company.”

Most other automakers are also scrambling to introduce lines of electric vehicles, in part to comply with increasingly stringent emissions regulations that will go into force in Europe and China over the next few years.

Early next year, Ford Motor is supposed to begin selling a sporty electric S.U.V., the Mustang Mach E. The company is also working on an electric version of its F-150 pickup truck, and it plans a Lincoln S.U.V. based on technology from Rivian, a start-up automaker in which Ford has invested.

And this week, Volkswagen unveiled a midsize S.U.V., the ID.4, which is the second in a line of electric vehicles it is introducing.

Few companies have outlined plans as detailed as G.M.’s. On Wednesday, the company displayed a newly developed set of batteries, electric motors, electronics and vehicle architecture that underpin its strategy. These components can be used for any model, company executives said.

Using common parts, they believe, will cut costs and enable the company to offer electric cars at the prices now paid for gasoline-powered vehicles. G.M. has also worked with LG Chem to lower the cost of batteries by reducing the need for expensive materials. The new range of electric vehicles will have battery cells that use 70 percent less cobalt than previous versions, G.M. officials said.

“It looks like G.M. is doing some pretty clever things to bring down the cost,” said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Navigant Research.

G.M. and LG Chem, which plan to build a battery factory in Ohio, are trying to develop battery cells that require no cobalt or nickel, another expensive metal.

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