Deborah Wahl, Chief Marketing Officer at General Motors, shares 3 things you need to know about electric vehicles. She highlights the research and findings from GM’s Battery Innovation Lab and Manufacturing Technology Center, emphasizing the extraordinary distances electric vehicles can sustain, removing charging barriers and EV’s surprising rate of acceleration:
Thank you for the opportunity to post to the IWF blog about one of my passion topics: Three things that everyone should know about electric vehicles.
1. Now is the time they’re ready to go mainstream.
As our great engineers and designers work to solve the challenges that have kept EVs in a niche, one of the largest hurdles has been range anxiety - delivering more than 300 miles on a single charge. In fact, we are working to launch 30 different models by 2025 on our Ultium battery platform, some of which will reach 450 miles on a single charge.
When it comes to charging your vehicle, installation of an at home charger is a barrier we don’t think needs to exist. I recently had a charger installed in my 1957 Mid-Century Modern home and I have to say the experience was pain free. From start to finish it took the installer only a few hours, and now I have a place to charge my Bolt EV. While we are on the topic of charging – at GM we have partnered with public charging leader EVgo and in the near future will have 2,700 fast charging stations across the country, making charging accessible and long road trips – a beloved pastime of mine – something that requires no more pre-planning than it does today.
2. Batteries are important to sustainability in ways you may not know.
GM’s EV and AV investment through 2020 is now $27 billion dollars, allowing us to devote ourselves to an electric and autonomous future. For the first time, we’re spending more on EVs than traditional products. This research will allow us to reduce the costs of our Ultium batteries by 60% and gain twice the energy density, making EV’s affordable for all.
We have launched an all-new Battery Innovation Lab and Manufacturing Technology Center to accelerate the development of our next generation Ultium Battery system, with a unique focus on battery chemicals and the preservation of natural resources. This research has enabled us to reduce the reliance on Cobalt – a rare earth mineral – by 70% and replace it with aluminum, which is much easier to source and less controversially mined.
The Ultium platform will allow battery cells to be configured for any size or type of vehicle – matching battery power to the size of the vehicle and reducing the space required for a single heavy-duty battery. One of the most exciting developments we have had at GM is the ability to send energy more efficiently to the vehicle by using a wireless management system that reduces wiring by 90 percent. This makes for a more energy-dense battery pack and allows engineers to reconfigure the battery for different vehicle requirements without complex redesigning of wiring. The value of any technology platform is its capacity for repeatable scale – Ultium gives GM the ability to scale to 100% electric vehicle production.
3. They can take you from 0-60 in 3 seconds.
EVs can take us to a zero emissions future and do it in a way that excites customers. While many of us love the speed and capability of our cars, trucks and SUV’s, electric vehicles produce instant torque which makes your acceleration rate from a stop much faster, and smoother - without “Shift-Shock”. This makes EV’s fun to drive – it also allows you to prioritize efficiency. We see significant changes coming to the driving and ownership experience in our EV future. Our upcoming Ultium models will allow you do this within a variety of body styles.
At GM we recently took the cover off the GMC Hummer EV and the Cadillac LYRIQ. A few highlights for the GMC Hummer EV - this new EV Super Truck will bring instant off-road credibility when it hits the market. From mind blowing features like “Crabwalk” that allows the vehicle to move diagonally, “Extract Mode” lifting the vehicle up to six inches to easily tackle any barriers in your off-road adventures, and one of our favorites “Watts to Freedom”. This feature gives you instant acceleration power in a sport driving mode - reducing the vehicles center of gravity and delivering 0-60 mph in 3 seconds!
The Cadillac LYRIQ will be the first luxury vehicle from our Cadillac brand. Signifying the beginning of an All-Electric Future for our luxury marque. The LYRIQ will also be built on the Ultium platform showcasing how nimble Ultium will be for our vehicle brands. The LYRIQ is a harmonious blend of technology and design excellence. With breathtaking features inside and out – including a 33” Curved LED display capable of displaying over one billion colors. Top rated features like Super Cruise delight you with a truly hands-free driving experience on compatible roadways. This feature is game changing – having experienced it myself firsthand there was a significant reduction of driving fatigue when I reached my destination after using it. It’s a must- experience-to-believe-it feature.
I could go into much more detail on things we should know about EVs and their future, there’s so much happening in this ever-evolving space. One last nugget of information – Our internal research shows that customers who purchase an EV are more likely to seek out another EV for their next vehicle purchase, and the new generation of products we are bringing to market will make even more believers. GM is committed to bringing products that will fit every appetite for the electric future. The question now becomes – is EVerybody in?