GM’s New Ultium Batteries and Near Future EV Platform Details

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] 400-miles range is the near future promise… Targeting competitors offerings available today appears ill-conceived.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – August 4, 2020

    [​IMG]
    Ultium Batteries and a Global EV platform.​

    With years of tepid EV engineering mass produced products behind it, GM is again focusing its organization towards profitable EV releases within a mid-term strategy to grow the company’s electric vehicle market share. While the Volt achieved some early sales success before its demise and the Bolt is the GM go to for EV media attention, consumer affordability was never achieved. More importantly, Corporate profitability was always a question mark.

    With the #1 EV maker in the world, Tesla, now showing 4 continuous profitable quarters, almost guaranteed full fiscal year profits, and an eye-opening market cap of $277.60 billion USD revealing it to be the largest auto manufacturer in the world in terms of share value, GM with a market cap of $38.1 billion USD needs to move quickly into the EV space with profitability at the forefront. In other words, $45,000 Sonic chassis-based Bolts are not going to meet financial, sales, or other targets and thus GM is expanding its intermediate term EV lineup in order to meet goals with its own all-new modular EV platform.

    At the core of GM’s EV strategy is a third-generation modular EV platform powered by proprietary LG “Ultium” batteries. The platform and batteries should allow the company to compete for future Tesla customers although that in and of itself could prove to be a cliff too tough to climb. Considering a majority of Tesla customers are not fond of the General’s over 100-years of anti EV direction, there is no guarantee these customers will ever turn to a GM product to fulfill their personal transportation needs.

    Ultium Batteries and Propulsion System Highlights

    GM’s new Ultium batteries are pouch-style cells that can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. Ultium battery storage ranges from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds.

    Remember the byline about shooting behind a moving target?

    2020 Tesla Model S

    [​IMG]
    Available today.​

    The GM Motors will be designed in-house and can be configured as FWD, RWD, or AWD offerings. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capability while the truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability.

    GM’s joint venture with LG Chem has already driven battery cell costs below $100/kWh and future chemistry and manufacturing breakthroughs should drive costs even lower.

    GM also hopes to spend less to scale its EV business because it is able to leverage existing property, including land, buildings, tools and production equipment such as body shops and paint shops.

    Most importantly, the EV revolution promises far fewer part counts that are less complex than the vast majority of GM vehicles currently powered by internal combustion engines.

    GM also stated it is planning on 19 different battery and drive unit configurations compared with the 550 internal combustion powertrain combinations being sold today.

    Where rubber meets the road, GMs future EV program is being touted as immediately profitable with expected customer demand reaching more than 1 million sales globally by the mid-2020s. An aggressive timeline, an even more aggressive product sales forecast, and all-new first gen profitability promise will be very interesting to watch.


    Cadillac will be introducing its Lyriq CUV BEV to the public tomorrow. The next new Chevrolet EV will be a new version of the Bolt EV, launching in 2021 as a 2022 model.
     
    BillLin likes this.
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    GM Boosts Investment, Grows Electric Portfolio

    GM ups full-charge maximum range of Ultium-based EVs to 450 miles

    GM revealed that the company will offer 30 all-electric models globally by the mid-2020s accounting for up to 40 percent of the company’s U.S. entries. GM’s financial commitment to EVs will include up to $27 billion through 2025 – up from the $20 billion planned before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    [​IMG]

    GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra:
    GM’s plans include the following:
    • By 2025, GM will launch 30 EVs around the world, and more than two-thirds will be available in North America at all price points for work, adventure, performance and family use.

    • Engineering advances have increased the previously stated GM-estimated maximum range of Ultium-based vehicles from 400 to up to 450 miles on a full charge

    • GM’s Ultium platform provides the building blocks for everything, from mass market to high performance vehicles from a single, common cell

    • More than half of GM’s capital spending and product development team will be devoted to EV and EV-AV programs

    • GM’s 2nd gen Ultium chemistry is projected to deliver twice the energy density at less than half the cost of today’s chemistry!

    • GM is currently prototype testing their next-generation cell technology

    • Ultium technology is supported by hundreds of patents and pending patent applications and is expected to bring EVs closer to price parity with gas-powered vehicles
    The key attribute to the Ultium electrification program is that the traction battery pack costs nearly 40 percent less than those in the Chevrolet Bolt EV which was stated to be $130/kWh back in December of 2016 while paying LG $145/kWh just months prior. In 2017, GM Execs stated that their next batteries currently used in the Bolt would cost less than $100/kWh. Moving to the 1st generation Ultium with an announced 40 percent reduction from current GM pack prices would lead us to believe GM will be manufacturing cells for just $55 to $60/kWh.

    This 2nd gen Ultium Cell announcement that will be available/used in the mid-2020s will cost approximately $40/kWh to manufacture just eight months after the1st gen technology was first revealed. In addition, the 2nd gen Ultium will have twice the energy density they had previously expected possibly leading to lower mass as well. I said “possibly” as GM did not reveal anything about specific energy density although on the surface, this new 2nd gen announcement appears to offer a reduction in mass. GM could use this development to either increase total pack energy output in the same space and possibly mass – 100 kWh to 150 kWh for example or keep mass down for increased performance.

    The second-generation cells will allow EV costs to close in on parity with gas-powered engines due to the following:
    • A cell design that enables higher energy density and uses less non-active material, making more room for the part of the battery that produces energy

    • Better integration between vehicles and their packs, enabling fewer cells and modules

    • Less expensive cathodes, reduced active material, novel electrolytes and the first use of lithium metal anodes
    GM has completed hundreds of test cycles on the multi-layer prototypes of this next-generation Ultium cell chemistry.

    The Ultium skateboard platform is flexible enough to accept new, future chemistry and cell types. Ultium batteries will be easy to service at the module level, which makes repair costs less expensive than having to replace the whole pack.

    GMs EV Rollout Sped Up

    The modular Ultium system, along with engineering advances in battery technology, the use of virtual development tools, will help GM bring EVs to market much faster than originally planned.

    GMC HUMMER and three other GMC Ultium variants, including an EV pickup
    Four Chevrolet EVs, including a pickup and compact crossover
    Four Cadillacs
    Buick’s EV lineup will include two Ultium-based EVs

    After the GMC HUMMER EV, the next EV to launch will be the LYRIQ, Cadillac’s first all-electric vehicle, which will arrive in the first quarter of 2022, nine months ahead of schedule.

    Killer announcement imho. :)

    Wayne
     
    BillLin likes this.
  3. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Isn't this the same company that "killed the electric car " ?
     
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Technically, no, it isn't the same company ;)

    GM didn't throw away all the knowledge they had gained from the EV1. It went into their fuel cell and hybrid programs(there was a EV1 hybrid prototype), and now this.
     
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Edwin:

    I think this may help explain GMs change of heart. ;)
    • Tesla market cap: $658 billion USD
    • Toyota market cap: $250 billion USD
    • GM market cap: $58.7 billion USD
    • Ford market cap: $35 billion USD
    Which of these company's do we all wish we invested in 10 years ago?
    10+ year - Tesla Stock Price History

    [​IMG]

    I was very pleased to hear GM may ben able to reach an economy of scale OEM price of less than $50/kWh. A 100 kWh pack is just $5k at that point, a lot less than the $15,000 like numbers most OEM are having to shell out today for small volume compliance vehicles.

    Wayne
     
    BillLin likes this.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A more concise release although I am still perplexed as to how they are going to sell $120k+ Hummer EVs to anyone? Another typical GM move that will not go over well short intermediate, or longer term.

    The good news is they are targeting truly affordable pack costs with numbers at less than $50/kWh. That is the real breakthrough and the standardized cell can be packaged in any way GM sees fit to match a given models performance and range needs. In addition, developing the Ultium and second gen Ultium cell chemistry mostly in house. I am not sure where LG Chem fits in as they have invested a small fortune in plants to produce their cells as well? A secondary partner with far fewer GM Cell responsibilities going forward?

    [​IMG]

    GM Boosts Investment, Grows Electric Portfolio

    As posted previously, GM revealed that the company will offer 30 all-electric models globally by the middle of this decade. Forty percent of the company’s U.S. entries will be BEVs by the end of 2025. GM’s financial commitment to EVs and AVs will balloon to to $27 billion through 2025 – up from the $20 billion planned previously.

    Tesla has scared the hell out of them for sure.

    GM 5-year EV/AV plan
    1. By 2025, GM will launch 30 EVs around the world, and more than two-thirds will be available in North America. Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet and Buick will all be represented, with EVs at all price points for work, adventure, performance and family use.
    2. Engineering advances have increased the previously stated GM-estimated maximum range of Ultium-based vehicles from 400.
    3. GM’s second-generation Ultium chemistry is projected to deliver twice the energy density at less than half the cost of today’s chemistry. GM is already prototype testing this next-generation technology, which is expected to be available mid-decade.
    4. Ultium technology, supported by hundreds of granted patents and pending patent applications, is expected to bring EVs closer to price parity with gas-powered vehicles.
    5. Both the GMC HUMMER EV and Cadillac LYRIQ programs were accelerated, along with other vehicles to be revealed at a later date.
    6. GM is hiring 3,000 electrical system, infotainment software and controls engineers, plus developers for Java, Android, iOS and other platforms.
    7. GM, in collaboration with its dealers, will leverage its sales and service capabilities and software-powered innovations to deliver an exceptional customer experience for EV loyalists and new EV customers alike.
    GMs Ultium battery cell represents a milestone achievement in electrification, with battery pack costs nearly 40 percent lower than those in the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

    Now, just eight months after the technology was first revealed, GM is projecting that second-generation Ultium packs, expected by mid-decade, will cost 60 percent less than the batteries in use today with twice the energy density expected.

    These second-generation cells will get closer to cost parity with gas-powered engines due to:
    • Cell design that enables higher energy density and uses less non-active material, making more room for the part of the battery that produces energy
    • Manufacturing efficiencies through GM’s Ultium Cells LLC joint venture with LG Chem
    • Better integration between vehicles and their battery packs, enabling fewer cells and modules
    • Less expensive cathodes, reduced active material, novel electrolytes and the first use of lithium metal anodes in a GM battery
    GM has completed hundreds of test cycles on the multi-layer prototypes of this next-generation Ultium cell chemistry. Production cells are expected by mid-decade.

    The Ultium platform is flexible enough to accept new chemistry and even cell types, without redesigns to its architecture. Ultium batteries will be easy to service at the module level, which makes repair costs less expensive than having to replace the whole pack.

    GM is doing most of the development work on these cells internally at its Chemical and Materials Systems Lab, located at the Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. This facility features a fabrication line with polymer mixing, slurries, a coating machine and a cell assembly room.

    Next year, GM will break ground on an all-new Battery Innovation Lab and Manufacturing Technology Center to develop the next-generation Ultium battery chemistry.

    The modular and highly flexible qualities of the Ultium system, along with engineering advances in battery technology, the use of virtual development tools and lessons learned during the HUMMER EV development process <-- Again, who the F cares about the over priced and all but useless Hummer EV platform??? -- have enabled GM to bring EVs to market much faster than originally planned.

    The 2022 GMC HUMMER EV’s development time of 26 months – down from about 50 months – is now the benchmark.

    The development schedules for 12 vehicle programs have been moved up, including:

    After the GMC HUMMER EV, the next EV to launch will be the LYRIQ, Cadillac’s first all-electric vehicle, which will arrive in the first quarter of 2022, nine months ahead of schedule.

    Wayne
     
    BillLin and EdwinTheMagnificent like this.

Share This Page