GM announces US$20 billion EV strategy to rival Tesla

General Motors reveals its all-new modular platform and battery system, Ultium, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at the Design Dome on the GM Tech Center campus in Warren, Michigan. (Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors)

General Motors (GM) has unveiled a US$20 billion electric vehicle (EV) strategy as it looks to convince investors and the wider population it is serious about transitioning to an electric future.

With the American automaker looking to take on global leaders Tesla in the battle for EV supremacy, GM has laid out their plans for catching the AMerican EV leader, including outlining the areas they intend to spend big on in the next five years to make their dream a reality.

As part of their electric promise, GM will release 20 EVs by 2023, with three of those to be announced in the coming months, led by the Cadillac “Lyriq” EV crossover.

Two new versions of the Hummer will follow shortly after, while all four of GMs brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevy and GMC – have committed to launching at least one new EV model each. The autonomous Cruise Origin vehicle will also be added to GM’s line-up in the near future.

All of GM’s new EVs are expected to be built on the company’s all-new modular vehicle platform, the biggest takeaway from GM’s announcement.

The team at GM have built a unique new battery called Ultium, using “large-format, pouch-style cells” rather than the traditionally used cylindrical cells.

This feature will allow GM to stack cells vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack, providing up to 19 different configurations, interchangeable to support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive application.

With 50–200 kWh of power, it is believed that the battery could allow for 400 miles or more of range on a single charge.

The Ultium battery will also contain aluminium. Whereas most EV batteries consist of nickel, cobalt and magnesium, GM will reduce the percentage of cobalt used by 70 per cent to make way for aluminium, making it a nickel, cobalt, magnesium, aluminium battery. The amount of wiring used in the battery will also be reduced by 80 per cent from the amount used in the Chevrolet Bolt EV currently.

While looking to improve the efficiency of the technology, GM have simultaneously looked to cut costs with these alterations. It is hoped that with the changes made to the batteries, GM have brought the price of their battery cell costs down below $100/kWh.

With EV manufacturers around the world struggling with battery supply for their vehicles, GM have partnered with LG Chem to ensure no such issues occur. Together GM and LG Chem will build the Ultium batteries at a US$2.3 billion battery production facility to be built in Ohio.

Source: The Verge | GM unveils a new electric vehicle platform and battery in bid to take on Tesla

5 March 2020

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