US car giant General Motors has outlined 12 electric vehicles for its domestic market, including a full-sized electric ute with 400km range, and a bunch of electric SUVs.
The details were revealed in the company’s 2019 Sustainability Report issued recently, sparking excitement because although GM CEO Mary Barra previously said GM will make an electric ute (known as a pickup in the US), everyone had assumed this would be the Hummer EV.
Now, we can share that GM will build a Chevrolet “BET” (which we can only assume stands for “battery electric truck”, or ute for short in Australia, alongside the Hummer EV and a Hummer SUV at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which will dedicatd to electric vehicles only.
Of the 12 electric vehicles destined for the US market to fulfill a goal of 1 million EV sales by 2025, more than half of them will be SUVs.
Along with the Hummer SUV, GM will make four Cadillac SUVs, one of which we’ve already seen in the form of the Cadillac Lyriq, two more of which will be luxury SUVs with three rows of seats for aspiring families, and another that will represent “attainable luxury”.
There will also be a mid-sized SUV made under the Chevrolet brand, which will join the Chevrolet “EUV” which will proffer Blazer-styling and offer GM’s hands-free Super Cruise technology.
Under the Buick brand will be two more SUVs, one of “conventional crossover proportion” and another that places “greater emphasis on form and athletic fashion.”
At the upper end of the scale, Cadillac will also produce an “ultra-lux EV with bespoke, hand-assembled craftmanship”. But there won’t be too many of them – GM plans to only make an average of six of these a week.
All these new EVs will be built on GM’s new modular EV architecture and will include its new Ultium battery, which features low-cobalt and high-nickel chemistry.
It highlights the flexibility of this strategy, saying that it will have 19 combinations of drivetrain and batteries (which can be stacked vertically or horizontally to fit each vehicle segment).
This will make things significantly simpler in the production department no doubt – GM currently has 555 different combustion engine configurations.
GM says its venture with LG Chem will see it drive battery costs below $US100/kWh, which should also lower the sticker price for its EVs.
Disappointingly, there was no mention in the report of GM’s plans for expanding its EV line into Australia.
In February, General Motors announced it would pull the plug on the much-loved Holden brand citing challenging circumstances but likely covering the fact that if it does not tighten the waistline on outgoings its electric vehicle transition will be made more even more difficult.
A transition of the brand’s super cars name HSV to GMSV is all but confirmed, says Which Car, but the confirmation of a Chevrolet electric ute suggests there could be promise for GM for a future in Australia.
Wood Mackenzie thinks GM’s goal of selling 1 million EVs by 2025 is overstated, but that by 2030 this number will be more like 5 million.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.