GM announces new Ultium batteries and EV platform

General Motors is stepping up its electrification initiative by introducing its third-generation electric vehicle architecture, which can accommodate modular propulsion systems and the company’s newly-developed Ultium batteries.

For now, the carmaker has yet to reveal finer details about its proprietary batteries, nor has it explained how they differ from others that are currently in the market. However, it did state that the batteries use low cobalt chemistry, and are configurable for large-format, pouch-style cells that can be stacked horizontally or vertically.

This allows the battery packs to be adapted for different vehicle designs and optimum energy storage, with capacities ranging from 50 to 200 kWh for a maximum range of up to 644 km (400 miles). The batteries will power electric drivetrains in either front-, rear- or all-wheel drive configurations, with zero to 96 km/h (0-60 mph) acceleration times of as low as three seconds.

On the matter of recharging batteries, Ultimum-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging, with most of them featuring 400-volt battery packs capable of handling up to 200 kW. Larger setups for trucks will have 800-volt packs and supports up to 350 kW.

To go along with the announcement, GM also revealed some of the upcoming launches and reveals from its subsidiaries that are in the pipeline. First up, Chevrolet will introduce the next generation of the Bolt EV in late 2020, which will be followed by the Bolt EUV in 2021. The Cadillac Lyriq SUV will come later in April, and the GMC Hummer EV the May.

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