Ultium Cells, the electric vehicle battery cell joint venture between Detroit’s General Motors Co. and South Korean chemical company LG Chem, has started construction with ground preparation on the future site of its manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, product development work on GM’s future EV and autonomous vehicle portfolios continues to progress at a rapid pace, according to the automaker. The Cruise Origin was revealed in San Francisco earlier this year, and production timing remains on track for the yet-to-be-revealed Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV, all powered by the Ultium battery system.
In early March, GM unveiled the heart of its electric vehicle strategy, a modular propulsion system and a third-generation global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries.
The new EV battery, propulsion systems and platform, the company says, will allow the GM to compete for nearly every customer in the market today, whether they are looking for affordable transportation, a luxury experience, work trucks, or a high-performance machine.
GM says its flexible, modular approach to EV development will drive significant economies of scale and create new revenue opportunities.
Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick all are planning to launch new EVs starting this year. The next new Chevrolet EV will be a new version of the Bolt EV, launching in late 2020, followed by the 2022 Bolt EUV, launching Summer 2021. The Bolt EUV will be the first vehicle outside of the Cadillac brand to feature Super Cruise, the industry’s first true hands-free driving technology for the highway, which GM will expand to 22 vehicles by 2023, including 10 by next year.
The automaker says its new Ultium batteries are unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design.
Ultium energy options range from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds. Motors designed in-house will support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and performance all-wheel drive applications.
Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capability while our truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability.