General Motors is going electric. On Wednesday, the company delivered a wide-ranging presentation for investors and the media, in which GM unveiled its new, proprietary battery technology and previewed its multi-pronged electric car attack plan that will see it launch 20 new EVs across its four U.S. brands by 2023. GM is aiming to compete with Tesla…and, of course, Ford, which just announced its third upcoming electric vehicle.
Here’s everything you need to know.
GM’s new battery tech is big, cheap, and has its own name: Ultium
GM’s EV offensive is largely based around its own proprietary battery pack technology, which the carmaker is branding “Ultium.” They will be modular, with capacities ranging from 50 kilowatt-hours to as much as 200 kWh for the brand’s trucks and SUVs. They will give vehicles up to 400 miles of range and help them accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in as little as three seconds. GM believes these Ultium battery packs will reduce the cost of electric cars by more than one-third compared with current pricing, as the cost of the battery pack is one of the largest expenditures in an EV.
The GMC Hummer EV will offer twice as much battery power as the beefiest Tesla
The new GMC Hummer EV will launch on May 20th. It will use the Ultium battery packs and be configurable with battery packs of up to 200 kWh. It will launch first in pickup truck form, with an SUV version to follow at a date that’s still to be determined.
Cadillac’s first EV will be a crossover named the Lyriq
Cadillac will continue its long and venerable tradition of giving cars silly names with the Lyriq, which sounds more like a clubby alcoholic beverage than a car. It will be a long, low two-row electric crossover that Car and Driver said was vaguely reminiscent of a sleek, modern version of the original SRX. It will be revealed on April 2nd.
Then comes the Cadillac Celestiq, a hand-built, super-luxury grand touring sedan
Cadillac’s second EV will be the “Celestiq,” an eccentric spelling of a non-word. This vehicle will be a low-volume, premium product, and will be hand-built in Detroit. It is expected to cost north of $100,000. Attending members of the media who saw it described it as a four-seater hatchback, that’s sort of like a Porsche Panamera…but doesn’t look like, y’know, a Porsche.
The Escalade will have an electric version, too, but it’ll look different from the gas-powered one
The long-rumored electric version of the Cadillac Escalade is indeed happening. It will arrive by 2025 and offer the 200-kWh Ultium battery setup with up to 400 miles of range. It’ll be sold alongside the recently-revealed gas-powered version, but won’t be a simple engine swap; it’ll reportedly have its own body.
Chevrolet has four EVs coming soon
Chevy is set to receive a new generation of the Bolt EV that will arrive in late 2020 for the 2021 model year. An SUV version of the Bolt will follow in 2021, for the 2022 model year. That car will be the first non-Cadillac to offer Super Cruise.
Chevy will also produce a yet-to-be-named electric midsize SUV and an electric pickup truck to rival Ford’s electric F-150. That pickup will offer batteries up to 200 kWh in size.
Buick is still a thing, and getting two new electric SUVs
Buick will add two new electric crossovers to its lineup, as well. The new SUVs will take the brand in a new style direction one writer described as “decidedly Tesla-inspired.”
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