GM Shocks With Future EV Portfolio
We’ve known for quite some time that GM is planning to go all-in on electric vehicles. When they discontinued the Volt, they indicated that they were tired of simply dipping their toes in the water with hybrid vehicles, instead wanting to focus on fully electric vehicles. The Chevy Bolt, their first mainstream all-electric car, has been successful against competitors like the Model 3 and Kona EV so GM is now ready to talk about their future plans. This week, the company announced a $20 billion plan, claiming they will have 20 electric vehicles on sale by 2023.
GM’s new Ultium battery technology will be the foundation of their electric cars. These large-format, pouch-style sells can be stacked either vertically or horizontally, allowing much more flexibility for various vehicle designs. This powertrain can also accommodate FWD, RWD, or AWD layouts depending on the vehicle it’s used in, including performance applications. Energy options for the Ultium batteries start at 50 kWh and top out at 200 kWh.
Vehicles using Ultium batteries will be designed to support Level 2 and DC fast charging. GM says most of their vehicles will use 400-volt battery packs and have 200 kW charging capability, while their trucks will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW charging capability.
GM estimates a maximum range of 400 miles using this technology and a 0-60 time of 3 seconds in a best case scenario.
The next electric vehicle to be released from GM isn’t really all-new; instead, it’s a refreshed version of the Bolt hatchback that’s due later this year. Chevrolet is also planning to release a Bolt EUV–that is, an SUV version of the Bolt–in summer 2021. The Bolt EUV will be the first non-Cadillac vehicle in GM’s portfolio to feature Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving capability. Chevrolet will also debut a midsize electric crossover that features curved LED screens on the interior, with the central touchscreen measuring in at 18 inches. Rounding out Chevrolet’s electric lineup is a pickup based on the GMC Hummer EV to do battle with Ford’s upcoming F-150 EV that may wear a name other than “Silverado” (Cheyenne sounds good to us).
Buick is set to receive two new electric crossovers: one small and one midsize. The smaller one shares some similarities with the Bolt EUV while the midsize one will be similar to Chevrolet’s midsize crossover. Both Buick crossovers will have instrument cluster and infotainment system screens that measure at a combined 30 inches.
As we saw in GMC’s Super Bowl commercial, the Hummer name will be revived on an electric truck. GM says this truck will have up to 1,000 horsepower and have a 0-60 time of under 3 seconds, though this is likely only to be achieved with the top powertrain. Stylistically, the Hummer EV is boxy and rugged. It features removable roof panels in an obvious grab at some would-be high-end Gladiator customers, though expect this to cost much more than the Jeep. One surprise, though, is the news that GMC will release a Hummer SUV as well, which is essentially just an SUV version of the truck, which it shares most of its styling with.
Cadillac will release a handful of electric vehicles, including the Lyriq midsize crossover which will have similar dimensions to the midsize Buick and Chevrolet crossovers, but with more provocative styling. The Lyriq will have a full-width screen across the entire dashboard and a more luxurious interior than other recent Cadillacs. On the outside, the design of the Lyriq is close to the Cadillac EV rendering that we saw last year. The Lyriq will be unveiled in April.
Cadillac is also getting two new flagship vehicles: a hand-built electric sedan and a large electric SUV. The sedan will be called the Celestiq and has similar styling elements to the Lyriq, but in a four-door fastback format. Like the Lyriq, the Celestiq feature a full-width curved screen across the dash. The full-size SUV looks similar to the Escalade, but with slightly different proportions. It will share its platform with the GMC Hummer EV and the Chevrolet pickup EV.
After bankruptcy, GM has struggled to hold its place in the market. Its vehicles were rarely class leading and the Ram pickup has overtaken the Silverado for the title of second-best selling pickup in the United States. Now, GM will attempt to redefine their company as a manufacturer of class-leading electric vehicles and exquisite, hand-built Cadillacs, begin the reinvention of Hummer as an environmentally friendly line of vehicles, and embrace semi-autonomous driving technology. GM’s future looks bright and powered by Ultium batteries.
James Brown was born in Seattle, Washington and has a passion for the automotive industry. Particularly interested in off-road capable trucks and SUVs, James spends much of his free time navigating off-road trails and enjoying other outdoor activities.