The strategy revolves around a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform.
This one building block will cover everything, from affordable transportation, luxury, work trucks, and high-performance vehicles.
It will house proprietary Ultium batteries and can be delivered in FWD, RWD, or AWD configurations.
Today is GM EV Day and it is aptly named. With this one modular propulsion system and a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform, GM has developed a tool that will fit every segment, every category, from a compact car to work truck, from affordable to ultra-luxury.
This new platform will introduce massively significant economies of scale. For one, a single platform will replace the many currently necessary to fulfill segment needs. The other is the number of powertrain configurations. Today, GM has 550 internal combustion powertrain combinations. With this platform, battery, and electric propulsion systems, the number will drop to only 19.
About the batteries, they are Ultium batteries, jointly developed with LG Chem, and are unique by the fact that they can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This optimizes battery energy storage and layout – a full-size pickup will benefit from more cells over a given area without compromise.
The battery packs will range from 50 to 200 kWh, good enough for up to 650km of range and 3-second sprints to 96km/h depending on the configuration. The batteries are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. The majority will have 400-volt battery packs with up to 200kW fast-charging capability. The larger configured truck platform will hold 800-volt packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability.
Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO said: “Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future. What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale that rival our full-size truck business with much less complexity and even more flexibility.”
This year alone, Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick will introduce new EVs. Perhaps most notably will be a refreshed Chevrolet Bolt late in 2020 which will be followed by a 2022 Bolt EUV (built on the existing Bolt’s platform albeit stretched a tad) expected in the summer of 2021.
Before then, the Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV will be introduced in April, and on May 20th, the new Ultium-powered GMC HUMMER EV. The Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, which just completed the final Chevrolet Impala, will begin production of these EVs in the fall of 2021.