GM expects to spend more on EVs than gas-powered cars in next five years: CEO

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DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co GM.N expects to spend more on developing and selling electric vehicles (EVs) than gasoline-powered cars over the next five years, Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Tuesday.

Barra was responding to a question from an analyst on the No. 1 U.S. automaker’s earnings conference call when she said she believed EVs would see more of the research and development and capital spending dollars in that time period.

She also said EVs will require “somewhat less” labor than gas-powered cars. The United Auto Workers union, which just ratified a new four-year labor deal with the Detroit automaker, has expressed concern about U.S. employment levels in the future as EVs make up a larger share of the market.

Barra emphasized gas-powered vehicles will make up a large portion of U.S. sales into the 2030s. She added that the company’s engine and transmission plants will not be threatened and EVs will have needs for components as well.

Barra also said the new UAW labor deal does not limit how many EVs the company can build.

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Nick Zieminski