Here is GM's EV production plan, explained
GM has been making a lot of headlines recently, so here's the condensed version of what's going on.
General Motors is setting themselves up to launch a fleet of electric vehicles for its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac brands over the coming decade. The focal point of this project is the Ultium battery propulsion system, which is a bunch of fancy words for GM's EV platform. This adaptable platform is capable of adjusting its number of battery cells and motors for different applications, while keeping costs on par with similarly priced conventional vehicles. GM plans to launch 30 EVs within the next decade, and two-thirds of them are supposed to be on sale in the US. That means we are going to see a lot of new EVs from GM, which is exciting, because GM's current crop of products, with a few exceptions, (cough, cough, Regal TourX, Escalade, Corvette) have been less than game-changing for the markets that they compete in. So how is GM going to pull this off? Well, it all starts with production.
GM and LG Chem formed a joint company called Ultium Cells LLC, this will serve as the hub for the Ultium batteries that will go into every GM EV moving forward. This 3-million-square-foot plant will be built in Lordstown, Ohio, which is where GM used to produce small cars, but now is the headquarters of Lordstown Motors, who plans to produce their own electric truck, the Endurance.
The batteries will then be shipped to different GM plants in the area, such as the Spring Hill, Tennessee plant which is currently being retooled to produce the Cadillac Lyriq as well as other EVs thanks in part to a $2 billion investment. Spring Hill wasn’t the only plant getting a serious overhaul. The Detroit-Hamtramck plant, the facility responsible for cars like the Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse, and Cadillac CT6 will be renamed Factory ZERO and will be the facility in charge of producing the GMC HUMMER EV as well as other EV trucks and SUVs.
In terms of overall EV models, GM has shown us a lot of concepts and prototypes such as the GMC HUMMER EV, Cadillac Lyriq and even the Buick Electra, but that is only a small portion of GM’s long-term EV fleet. We know that there is going to be a second generation Bolt EV, that could be a renamed version of the Chevrolet Menlo, that is currently on-sale in China. Another one of these vehicles is going to be the Cruise Origin, GM’s self-driving taxi. Add in the Cadillac Celestiq, and that brings the current number of known EVs to six, so expect to see a lot of GM concept cars and press conferences in the coming years.
GM also plans on dominating the restomod market with a Connect and Cruise setup from the Bolt EV, and eventually GM plans to offer up the Ultium platform as a purchasable chassis to mount to a body. I imagine it won’t be too long after that we begin to see Ultium-swapped muscle cars blowing the doors off of LS-swapped cars. Still, this creates an interesting decision to be made by hot-rodders and more importantly, a better alternative than what we currently have on offer.
I’m excited to see how GM handles the EV conversion of its lineups, in the same way that I’m excited to see Ford and FCA’s approaches. These massive automakers are not as agile as these up and coming automakers, but once they build up steam, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts. Which company are you the most excited to see an EV from? Comment Below!