GM mostly sticks to electrification timetable

Despite the crisis, General Motors is sticking to the timetable for most of its electric offensive. By the middle of this decade, GM has also reaffirmed its goal of achieving annual sales of one million electric cars in the two largest markets, North America and China.

The presentations of the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV models, which were originally scheduled for April and May respectively, have been postponed due to the pandemic and are to be made up for this year. These models will be the first representatives of the Group’s new electric car platform unveiled in March.

With the modular platform, including the new battery kit called Ultium, General Motors intends to significantly reduce complexity and become more flexible compared to the previous combustion engine models. The batteries, which come from a joint venture with LG Chem, are also expected to reduce costs. Here GM is talking about battery cells that cost less than 100 dollars per kilowatt-hour.

Now Ken Morris, vice president for electric and autonomous vehicles, said in a conference call with US journalists “product development work is proceeding at a rapid pace,” adding that, “we’re absolutely on time with executing both those products”. The same applies to Ultium batteries, said Morris. However, it remains to be seen how long the Group will be able to continue the development from the home office. As long as it’s a matter of design and simulation, working from home is possible. But if prototypes are to be built and tested or the production facilities are to be converted and adjusted, things become more difficult.

For the Hummer and Lyriq, although Morris did not announce exact dates for their premieres, he said they “will definitely debut this year, but I hope sooner rather than later”. He hinted that GM is working on digital presentations, meaning that they do not expect to be able to unveil the two vehicles in the foreseeable future at a face-to-face event.