GM ushers in new era of electric cars with 2022 Bolt EV, GMC Hummer, Cadillac Lyriq

General Motors doubled down Wednesday on its commitment to electric vehicles and announced new EVs from Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick coming within two years.

“Thousands of GM scientists, engineers and designers are working to execute an historic reinvention of the company,” GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement. “They are on the cusp of delivering a profitable EV business that can satisfy millions of customers.”

Powering the EV shakeup is GM’s new Ultium battery and its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant dedicated solely to EV production. The GM-produced battery could help the company keep costs low to produce EVs to scale in anticipation of the 1 million global EV sales by mid-decade. 

GM expects the joint venture with LG Chem to bring battery costs under the sweet spot of $100/kwh, which is widely believed to bring costs on par with vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. The current price is about $156/kwh, according to our colleagues at Green Car Reports.

The modular battery packs are expected to fit in a wide range of vehicle types and sizes, covering 19 planned powerplants, and could enable a 400-mile range and a 0-60 mph time in 3 seconds. GM expects most of these applications to have 400-volt battery packs with 200-kw fast-charging capability.

Cruise Origin driverless vehicle

The Cruise Origin self-driving fleet car was the first product introduced with GM’s third-generation EV platform using the Ultium batteries.

A new version of the Bolt EV will be launched in late 2020. A small crossover based on the Bolt EV will appear in summer 2021 as a 2022 model and come equipped with Super Cruise, the hands-free driving system that allows for hours of hands-free driving on highways. Super Cruise has only been available on Cadillac models so far.

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV charging at Electrify America site, Kelso, Washington

Cadillac will launch its first all-electric vehicle in April, dubbed the Lyriq. There isn’t much known about the electric crossover, other than it should come out as a 2023 model, and will be a significant evolution from Cadillac’s last plug-in vehicle, the CT6 sedan that was short-lived in the U.S. 

The GMC Hummer electric vehicle rounds out the known production plans with GM’s Ultium batteries, and that rebranded crossover SUV debuts May 20. GM has said this once military-style SUV will now generate 1,000 horsepower and a contentious 11,500 lb-ft of torque, helping it hit 60 mph in about 3 seconds. 

More EVs are expected to follow, the automaker has promised up to 20 by 2023. What little we know now certainly suggests widespread future applications. 

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