400-miles range is the near future promise… Targeting competitors offerings available today appears ill-conceived. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – August 4, 2020 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 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.