General Motors will be utilizing a new flexible, global EV platform to support future products, including fleet vehicles, and will powered by new Ultium proprietary batteries that will offer energy options ranging from 50 to 200 kWh.
The new Ultium batteries will be available on products across all its brands, and offers large-format, pouch-style cells that can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack, which allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design, General Motors said.
GM added that its all-new global platform is flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars, and commercial vehicles with a focus on design, performance, packaging, range, and affordability.
The available energy options could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds. Motors designed in-house will support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive applications.
Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging, the automaker said. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capability while its truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability.
The Cruise Origin, a self-driving EV, was the first product revealed using GM’s third generation EV platform and Ultium batteries. The next product utilizing this technology will be the Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV in April. The reveal of the Ultium-powered GMC Hummer EV will follow on May 20. Production of the vehicles is expected to begin in Fall 2021 at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, which is totally dedicated to EV production.
The automaker also said that its joint venture with LG Chem will drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh. This is because the cells use a proprietary low cobalt chemistry and ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower.
GM said it plans 19 different battery and drive unit configurations initially, compared with 550 internal combustion powertrain combinations available today.
The automaker also revealed that Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick will be launching new EVs in 2020, starting with a new version of the Bolt EV later this year. This will be followed by the 2022 Bolt EUV, launching Summer 2021. The Bolt EUV will be the first vehicle outside of the Cadillac brand to feature Super Cruise, the company’s hands-free driving technology, which GM will expand to 22 vehicles by 2023, including 10 by next year.