GM CEO Mary Barra Speaks to Adoption of Tesla NACS

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra talked about the adoption of Tesla NACS. She admitted that she initiated the adoption herself, as manufacturers need to work together more to develop the industry.

GM made a choice in favor of consumers

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra was interviewed by CNBC‘s Andrew Sorkin at the Aspen Ideas Festival. They talked about GM’s strategy and also touched on the company’s adoption of the Tesla North American Charging Standard (NACS). Earlier this month, GM announced that its electric vehicles will have access to the Tesla Superchargers starting in 2024 and will integrate NACS for its electric vehicles starting in 2025.

Barra said the decision to adopt the Tesla NACS was good, as it is the move that best serves the interests of consumers. Now, GM customers will have access to more charging stations, which is great.

“In this case, it was a decision really that’s good for everyone. And as you see more OEMs move to (adopting) this standard, I think it’s going to be better for the consumer,” she said. “I think what was important there is that General Motors customers had access to about 13,000 chargers in the US. That doubled it,” added Barra.

GM believes that companies in the field should cooperate more often

Barra said she believes automakers should collaborate more with each other. This is necessary in order to jointly raise the automotive sector. She recalled that GM has worked with Ford on transmissions in the past. Barra also said the company has many partnerships with Honda. That is why cooperation with Tesla is a positive step.

“I think one of the things our industry could do is partner more. We’ve done partnership deals with Ford in the past on transmissions. We have a partnership on many things right now with Honda. I think our industry could be even more efficient. We saw this as an opportunity for General Motors. We were able to save $400 million,” Barra said.

The GM CEO is in constant contact with Elon Musk

During the interview, Barra said that she initiated the partnership between GM and Tesla. According to her, she has known Musk for a long time. CEOs of companies chat with each other from time to time. Therefore, Barra wrote to him before discussions began about adopting the Tesla NACS.

“We actually text each other. We’ve met before on a handful of occasions, and we text each other. So I texted him,” she said.

Tesla deal will save GM $400 million

Barra previously mentioned, and now reaffirmed, that the Tesla deal would save GM $400 million. In early June, after the deal was announced, she told CNBC:

“We think we can save up to $400 million in the original three-quarter of a billion dollars that we allocated to this, because we’ve been able to do it faster and more effectively. We’re really looking for ways that we can be more capital efficient, as we go forward.”

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