It's been known since the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year that Cadillac was going to morph into becoming an upmarket, fully electric brand, for the purpose of taking on Tesla and other upstart tech company style EV manufacturers.
Nothing concrete was said back at the time, but we now know a bit more about Cadillac's plans for EV domination. The first of those was the all new, all electric SUV based on the General Motors BEV3 platform that Cadillac plans to have showroom ready in 2021, but there's also been a new development that's only just been announced.
General Motors has now made it public that they've partnered up with LG Chem in an agreement regarding this new generation of electric vehicles. With the help of LG Chem, General Motors will be creating a new production facility in North East Ohio to mass produce batteries for EVs sold under the General Motors banner.
Both companies are going to be investing $2.3 billion into this new plant (they're clearly very serious about this!) and they're expecting to create 1,100 new jobs in the process. A big step closer to electrification and the creation of a decent number of new jobs? Sounds like a win-win.
"Ohio and its highly capable workforce will play a key role in our journey toward a world with zero emissions," states Mary Barra, the Chairman and CEO of General Motors.
"Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem's leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future."
It's something that has to be done, really. Whether you like it or not, cars are moving towards a battery and fuel cell powered future. To keep up with everyone else, GM needs to invest in zero emissions powertrains. LG Chem and GM have already been working together for a long time on other projects (As stated by LG Chem's Vice Chairman and CEO Hak-Cheol Shin; "Our long-standing history with General Motors has proven our collective expertise in this space, and we look forward to continuing this drive for zero emissions."), so it only seems right that they would also work together to build the foundations of a zero emissions future for GM.
Is this what an electric Hummer could look like? (Photo: Hummer)
This news of a new joint venture investment into battery production comes hot off the heels of GM announcing that there will be fully electric versions of 3 of their biggest selling products (the Cadillac Escalade SUV, the GMC Sierra pickup truck and the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck) as well as a potential revival of Hummer as an all-electric brand.
The much-rumoured Hummer revival is something that's been very controversial to say the least and I doubt this news is going to even slightly alleviate that! Still, though, it's a move that I would very much welcome (and one that I've already expressed my opinions about!).
You could be seeing near-silent versions of these on an American highway very soon... (Photo: GMC)
If there's anything we can take from this recent barrage of developments, it's that GM is taking investment into electrifying its lineup very, very seriously.
With enough time, money and development put in, GM could be a real contender in the ever-expanding EV market that's only going to grow and grow even more as we shift away from fossil fuel powered cars.
Also, perhaps even more crucially, it could steal a lot of sales away from Tesla. People may (quite logically) choose a cheaper, GM manufactured electric SUV over the arguably wildly overpriced Tesla Model X. Time will tell, I guess...