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GM accelerates EV plans, 30 new models by 2026

Going global: The new Ultium platform and tech will underpin 30 new EVs in various markets around the world by 2026.

GM commits an extra $US7b to EV development despite ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

20 Nov 2020

GENERAL Motors (GM) has announced its intention to launch 30 new electric vehicles (EVs) globally by the end of 2025, equating to around 40 per cent of the auto giant’s U.S model range.


Announced this week by chairperson and CEO Mary Barra, it was also revealed GM would be increasing its “financial commitment to EVs and autonomous vehicles” from $US20 billion ($A27.5b) to $US27 billion ($A37.1b) over the same period.


“Climate change is real, and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle,” she said.


“We are transitioning to an all-electric portfolio from a position of strength and we’re focused on growth.


“We can accelerate our EV plans because we are rapidly building a competitive advantage in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and customer experience.”


Not only will the increased funding be put towards the development and production of more vehicles – all of which will be built on the modular Ultium platform – but the development and progression of EV technology full stop.


With more than half of GM’s capital spending and product development team set to be devoted to EV and autonomous vehicle development, the brand is claiming its new Ultium-based models to be able to cover up to 724km (450 miles) on a single charge.


More than 3000 new engineering and software development jobs will be created as a direct result of the increased funding and accelerating timelines.


According to GM executive vice-president of global product development, purchasing and supply Chain Doug Parks, development times and costs are dropping which could see the Detroit giant turn over a profit from the “first generation” Ultium EV programs.


“It’s not just the cost and performance of our innovative EV components that will give us a competitive advantage in a fast-changing industry, but how we integrate them with other advanced systems like Super Cruise, our Vehicle Intelligence Platform electrical architecture and other technologies pioneered in our traditional portfolio,” he said.


No less than 12 vehicle development schedules have been accelerated as a result of the increased funding and technological advancements being made, those vehicles being the GMC Hummer EV, three other GMC Ultium variants, four Chevrolets and four Cadillacs.


One of those three other GMCs has since been rumoured to be an SUV version of the Hummer EV which was reportedly revealed during an investor video conference.


According to a report published this week by Car and Driver, the Hummer EV SUV should be due to hit the American market for the 2023 model year and is expected to come in all of the same specifications and trim levels as the ‘supertruck’ version with prices tipped to start from around $US77,000 ($A102,990) before on-road costs.


Following on from the 2022 launch of the Hummer EV (truck), the Cadillac Lyriq will be the next Ultium-based model to be introduced, currently slated for a first-quarter launch – nine months earlier than originally planned.


“Ultium is already changing the way customers – and investors – view our company,” Ms Barra said.


“We are resolved as a management team to move even faster to expedite the transition to EVs.


“The all-electric future we are building integrates all the things we do better than anybody else – so we can put everyone in an EV, generate profitable growth and create shareholder value.”

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