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GM Paving the Road to an 'All-Electric Future'

GM is amping up its strategy to transition to an entirely electric portfolio; with a new, modular production platform and the largest collective EV charging network in the US.

General Motors has announced that it is in the midst of a total company transformation — “to win in our core automotive business and the future of personal mobility.”

By way of illustration, the US auto giant unveiled its new Ultium battery packs and a flexible, modular platform to rapidly grow its electric vehicle (EV) portfolio, through which GM will aim to satisfy the needs of a wide array of drivers — whether they are looking for affordable transportation, a luxury experience, work trucks or a high-performance machine.

“Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future,” GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “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.”

Mary Barra addresses the crowd at a March 4 event detailing GM's electric vehicle technologies and upcoming products, in the Design Dome on the GM Tech Center campus in Warren, Michigan | Image credit: Steve Fecht/GM

The heart of GM’s strategy is a modular propulsion system and a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform powered by the Ultium batteries. The company says the new batteries — developed in collaboration with LG Chem — range from 50 to 200kWh, can travel an estimated 400 miles on a full charge, enable fast charging of up to 200kW for cars and 350kW for trucks, and are designed for optimal energy storage while prolonging battery lifespan.

GM’s Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick brands will all launch new EVs starting this year, with Cadillac first to implement the new vehicle architecture; the entire GM lineup will eventually be comprised of a variety of body styles that can be spun off this technology. The next electric Chevy will be a new version of the Bolt, launching later this year; 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 industry's first true hands-free driving technology for the highway, which GM says it will expand to 22 vehicles by 2023, including 10 by next year.

The self-driving Cruise Origin EV — shown to the public in January 2020 in San Francisco — was the first product revealed using GM’s third-generation EV platform and Ultium batteries; the company was set to unveil the Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV next month, but has postponed the reveal due to coronavirus concerns. The highly anticipated, Ultium-powered GMC HUMMER EV, teased in ads during this year’s Super Bowl, is still set to be unveiled on May 20.

GM understands that achieving global EV adoption will require creating the most desirable ownership experience possible — including helping drivers to overcome range anxiety and ensuring that the charging infrastructure can keep up. To that end, the company has joined forces with EVgoChargePoint and Greenlots to establish the largest collective EV-charging network in the US, with access to more than 31,000 charging ports.