General Motors CEO Mary Barra. (Steve Fecht)

With plans to compete even more fiercely with Tesla, General Motors (GM) is moving beyond the automobile industry.

Its new business unit, GM Energy, is collaborating with SunPower to supply solar panels and home energy storage for residential and commercial users.

Identical to Tesla’s energy business, the panels supplied by the automaker charge a battery that provides electricity to houses at night or during power outages.

GM plans to bundle its current Ultium Charge 360 public charging service with two new offerings, Ultium Home and Ultium Commercial, which will include stationary storage batteries, solar panels, and hydrogen fuel cells.

The Ultium Home service will provide stationary wall boxes similar to Tesla’s Powerwall units, with sales and installation set to begin in late 2023, coinciding with the introduction of the first Chevrolet Silverado EV trucks aimed at private customers.

“We’re getting into the entire ecosystem of energy management,” GM executive Travis Hester said in an interview.

“Our competition in this space on the (automaker) side is only Tesla, which is a strong energy management company,” added Hester, who heads EV Growth Operations. “There are a lot of analogies you can draw with Tesla.”

“We really expect a large number of GM customers who buy an electric vehicle over time to want to put solar and solar battery on their house,” Peter Faricy, SunPower’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.

Tesla’s energy generation and storage unit, which includes solar panels and stationary batteries, lost $129 million last year on $2.8 billion in revenue.

According to Hester, GM sees a total addressable energy storage and management market of $120 billion to $150 billion.

However, he didn’t provide a revenue forecast for GM Energy.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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