Things are about to start moving quickly at General Motors (GM) on the electrification front. Not a week goes by these days without some new bit of news or at least a new rumour popping up.
This week, the story is the possible introduction of an electric Cadillac SUV, made in the form of the Escalade but built on the structure of the future all-electric GMC Hummer.
If we look back to the beginning of 2019, on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, we see Cadillac previewing its first electric vehicle, an unnamed three-row crossover. At the time, the company said that it would be "the first of GM's new-generation electric vehicles".
Today, GM unveiled some of its plans for those EVs, notably confirming development of a new Cadillac vehicle roughly the dimensions of the Escalade, but which would use the platform of the future GMC Hummer electric vehicle. Cadillac didn't reveal anything beyond that about the model-to-be, but it did have more to say about the Hummer EV’s platform.
Most notably, we learn that an essential part of the structure is GM's new Ultium batteries. According to the automaker, these can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack, allowing designers to optimize the layout and storage for each model. GM says its trucks will be equipped with 800-volt batteries with a rapid-charge capacity of 350 kW, with 200 kW batteries offering a range of 400 miles, or 644 km. The new Ultium batteries have been designed for rapid Level 2 charging, as well as even-faster DC operation.
When GM announced the Hummer's return, they said the product would have the ability to reach 96 km/h in just 3 seconds thanks to an output of 1,000 hp (745 kW) and 11,500 lb-ft of torque. GM also said it will use internally designed engines that support front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive and accommodate more performance-oriented configurations.
General Motors will assemble the new GMC Hummer at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant. Interestingly, rumours circulated late last year that the firm would build the electrified Hummer alongside an electric pickup truck and the electrified version of the Escalade. It wouldn't be an stretch to deduce that the latter model is the one and the same Escalade-sized electric Cadillac destined to be built on the new Hummer EV platform.
This is just the beginning of GM's electrification strategy, which promises to be ambitious and attention-grabbing in the coming months. The Cadillac Lyriq, the division's first all-electric SUV, will make its debut next month, and in May, we'll meet the GMC Hummer. That will be followed by a new version of the Bolt later in the year, as well as a Bolt EUV (SUV) variant in the summer of 2021.