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General Motors Unveils Details for Line of Electric Vehicles

In the 2019 Sustainability Report that came out this week, GM said Cadillac, its luxury brand, will see new all-electric SUVs that mirror many of its internal combustion engine models already in the lineup.

by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press / July 16, 2020
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(TNS) — In its 2019 Sustainability Report released Thursday, General Motors is providing new details of its upcoming flood of electric vehicles.

The report also outlined advances across the company GM made last year as well as where it can improve, such as in diversity hiring.

"In some cases we feel good about the progress we've made, but we know we can do better," Dane Parker, GM's Sustainability Officer, told reporters. "Where we are is necessary, but we need to improve as we move forward."

Hints at future Cadillacs

In the report, GM said Cadillac, its luxury brand, will see new all-electric SUVs that mirror many of its internal combustion engine models already in the lineup. 

For example, the report said Cadillac will reveal an electric "globally sized luxury three-row SUV." That matches the description of its current XT6 SUV, a detail not previously disclosed.

Also new, Cadillac will offer an all-electric SUV with "attainable luxury — similar to today’s Cadillac XT4."

Another hint at Cadillac's upcoming EV lineup is a statement in the report that there will be a full-size, three-row luxury SUV that reflects the iconic Escalade.

Finally, GM has previously said it will hand-build a halo, vehicle called the Cadillac Celestiq, but in the report GM discloses that only 1.2 Celestiqs will be made per day. 

GM's plans to push EVs

GM has promised to bring at least 20 new electric vehicles to market by 2023. GM has said it plans for additional models beyond that, with a vision of an all-electric future to support its mantra of "zero crashes, zero emissions, zero congestion." 

"Transitioning to all-electric vehicles is central to a zero-emissions future," said GM CEO Mary Barra in the opening statement of the report. "Our new, flexible platform and Ultium battery system will help us build EVs across all our brands. By mid-decade, we expect to sell a million EVs a year across our global markets."

More than 80% of EV charging is done at home, Parker said, but GM is vocal on its desire for a federal policy that will support more charging stations and other infrastructure to make EV ownership more desirable. Also, GM seeks consistent consumer government tax incentives for EV purchases, Parker said. 

Here are the EVs coming that are listed in its Sustainability Report: 

Cadillac

The Lyriq SUV to start production in 2022 A globally sized luxury three-row SUV that emphasizes interior space and cargo capability An SUV EV with attainable luxury — similar to today’s Cadillac XT4 — and aimed at a key global growth segment A full-size, three-row luxury SUV that reflects elements of the Escalade Cadillac Celestiq hand-made ultra-luxury EV with projected build rate of 1.2 vehicles per day

GMC

GMC Hummer EV pickup truck that will offer 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 pound-feet of torque and 0 to 60 mph acceleration in three seconds GMC Hummer EV SUV builds off the GMC Hummer EV truck but will be configured as an off-road-capable SUV

CHEVROLET

A mid-size SUV targeted to U.S. customers who are looking for an electric option in this segment Chevrolet battery-electric pickup. It will offer more than 400 miles of range on a single charge Chevrolet Bolt that features a distinctive SUV design inspired by the Chevy Blazer and offers Super Cruise driver assistance — the first vehicle outside of Cadillac to do so

Buick

Two new all-electric vehicles will be the new face of the brand.

A Buick SUV will offer more conventional crossover proportions that maximize interior space and cargo A Buick SUV will feature more expressive proportions with a greater emphasis on form and athletic fashion

Additionally, GM's self-driving Cruise Origin will be the first production vehicle from GM's partnership with Honda.

GM's manufacturing targets

GM is investing $2.2 billion to retool its Detroit-Hamtramck plant to assemble all-electric vehicles there. It will start building the electric GMC Hummer next year, then the Cruise Origin.

In fact, GM insiders dub the plant, "Factory Zero" because the cars it will build will all have zero emissions. GM has said once the plant is fully operational, it will create 2,200 jobs.

In its Sustainability Report, GM said it will allocate more than $20 billion of capital and engineering resources to its electric and autonomous vehicle programs between now and 2025.

GM continues to build a battery cell plant in a joint venture with LG Chem near Lordstown, Ohio, which will make Ultium cells. The Ultium battery enables a variety of electric vehicles to be built across brands and segments on the same platform. 

Furthering its commitment to the environment, GM said by 2030 half of the content on each of its new vehicles to be sourced from "non-virgin" or recycled items. It is also studying using bio-based materials such as algae in future cars.

Other goals: By 2025, GM plans for 90% of its global facilities to produce zero waste. By 2030, all of GM's U.S. plants will run on renewable energy. By 2040, all of GM's global plants will run on renewable energy.

'More work to do'

GM also is committed to people, especially improving inclusion and diversity in its workplace, Parker said.

For 2019, 31.% of GM's U.S. workforce self-reported as Black, Asian, Latino or American Indian.

GM's report said women hold 32.2%  of GM’s top management positions within two levels of the CEO, and it is the only major U.S. company with both a female CEO and CFO. 

For the year, GM hired 18,311 people globally, of that 6,768 were women.

In early June, Barra penned a letter to employees amid the race protests announcing she was commissioning and would chair an Inclusion Advisory Board made up of internal and external leaders, effective by the end of the quarter. Its goal is to inspire GM to be "the most inclusive company in the world."

"We've been recognized on the work we've done on inclusion and diversity but we realize we have more work to do," Parker said. "We're optimistic that our voice along with the voice of others can make changes in this area."

©2020 the Detroit Free Press. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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