Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Thursday 5th March 2020. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story to save you time.
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GM REVEALS NEW EVS, BATTERY TECH AND PLATFORM
GM said today: “The heart of GM’s strategy is a modular propulsion system and a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. They will allow the company 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”
ULTIUM BATTERIES AND PROPULSION SYSTEM HIGHLIGHTS
GM’s 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.
GM’s flexible, modular approach to EV development will drive significant economies of scale and create new revenue opportunities, including:
Continuous Improvement in Battery Costs: GM’s joint venture with LG Chem will drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh. The cells use a proprietary low cobalt chemistry and ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower.
Flexibility: GM’s all-new global platform is flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars and commercial vehicles with outstanding design, performance, packaging, range and affordability.
Capital Efficiency: GM can spend less capital to scale its EV business because it is able to leverage existing property, including land, buildings, tools and production equipment such as body shops and paint shops.
Complexity Reduction: The vehicle and propulsion systems were designed together to minimize complexity and part counts beyond today’s EVs, which are less complex than conventional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. For example, GM plans 19 different battery and drive unit configurations initially, compared with 550 internal combustion powertrain combinations available today.
Rising Customer Acceptance: Third-party forecasters expect U.S. EV volumes to more than double from 2025 to 2030 to about 3 million units on average. GM believes volumes could be materially higher as more EVs are launched in popular segments, charging networks grow and the total cost of ownership to consumers continues to fall.
New Sources of Revenue: By vertically integrating the manufacture of battery cells, the company can reach beyond its own fleet and license technology to others.
The first generation of GM’s future EV program will be profitable. The initial programs will pave the way for further accretive growth. GM’s technology can be scaled to meet customer demand much higher than the more than 1 million global sales the company expects mid-decade.
UPCOMING LAUNCHES AND REVEALS
Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick will all be launching 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 Cruise Origin, a self-driving, electric shared vehicle, shown to the public in January 2020 in San Francisco, was the first product revealed using GM’s third generation EV platform and Ultium batteries. Next will be the Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV in April. Details about its launch will be shared then. The reveal of the Ultium-powered GMC HUMMER EV will follow on May 20. Production is expected to begin in Fall 2021 at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, GM’s first assembly plant 100 percent dedicated to EV production.
A UNIQUE, LOW COST BATTERY CHEMISTRY AND EASY TO MANUFACTURE DESIGN.
GM’s new Ultium batteries will have the highest nickel and lowest cobalt content in a large format pouch cell.
Large format pouch cells require less wiring and plumbing than small cylindrical cells.
Our battery management system is built in, which eliminates 80 percent of the battery pack’s wiring compared to the Bolt EV.
GM’s joint venture with LG Chem to develop and mass produce battery cells will drive cell costs below $100 per kWh. Ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower.
New technologies under development to improve charging, cycling, range, cost and battery life include:
Zero cobalt and zero nickel cathodes
The use of electrolyte additives to heal cell “scratches” that reduce cycling
Solid state batteries
Jalopnik says: “The Detroit Free Press was there to scribble down some nuggets of info on GM’s EV plans, which involve selling over 1 million EVs by 2025. The news site writes that among the 11 vehicles shown—10 of which were physically present, and one of which the Free Press says was just a rendering—were three “dramatic” Cadillacs, two Buick SUVs, four Chevys, and “the first two GMC Hummers.” The third EV Caddy presented was an Escalade-sized SUV. A three-row vehicle, GM presented a machine with “high-def screens that literally stretch along the dashboard the full width of the car, from pillar to pillar,” the Detroit Free Press writes. It sounds like GM is upping its screen size game on its future EVs.”
CHEVY BOLT EUV SHOWN WITH SUPER CRUISE, LONGER WHEELBASE, IMPROVED DESIGN
“GM didn’t just show off the new 2021 Chevy Bolt EV today, they unleashed the long-rumored more crossover version of the Bolt called the EUV…and it came with some surprises along the way.” says Seth from Electrek: “I’ll start with the bad news here since that is short. The Bolt EUV batteries are the same as the 66kWh Bolt using the same BEV 2 platform. However, with the bigger, heavier vehicle, the range will be shorter. I’d guess about 245 miles EPA or so. Also, there will NOT be an AWD version which is my biggest gripe. The Bolt EUV is basically a stretched Bolt with some new amenities. It sits at roughly the same height with a 3-inch longer wheelbase, 3-inch longer trunk space, and a more SUV-like front hood. Level 2 charging is faster. That bigger hood space allows for a bigger 11kW charging inverter which is close to 46 amps at 240V. GM hasn’t nailed down a delivery date for the EUV but plans to announce more this summer. It will come after the 2021 Bolt so expect that it will arrive mid-2021 or so.”
GM’S NEW ULTIUM BATTERY ISN’T BETTER THAN TESLA’S
“When GM spilled details on its new Ulitum battery, it revealed that capacity will be up to 200 kWh and range of vehicles equipped with such batteries will boast up to 400 miles of range. The numbers are impressive, but the misleading headlines make it seem as though the figures somehow trump Tesla.” says Eric for InsideEVs: “400 miles of range is an impressive figure, but remember that Tesla has already stated its future vehicles will go much farther than that. In top-spec form, the Tesla Cybertruck has a claimed range of over 500 miles from a battery pack of an undisclosed size. 500 is a lot, but guess how far Tesla says the new Roadster will go? Over 620 miles per charge. Tesla’s today can almost hit 400 miles on just 100-kWh of battery, so saying that GM’s 200-kWh Ultium battery tops Tesla’s is a statement that surely misses the mark. It’s bigger, but not necessarily better.”
BIG BIG CELLS
“Big, big cells. The focus, according to Andy Oury, lead engineer for the battery packs, was to “let the cell be all it can be.” To that, pouch cells provide a packaging and design advantage, and they’ll soon provide a cost advantage. GM chose to apply large-format cells, with the widest electrode rolls in the industry—”the fewest number of the largest cells possible,” as he put it—to help cut wiring and connectors within the modules. The 100-Ah cells GM is using are each the equivalent of about 20 of the 2170-format cylindrical cells Tesla uses in its Model 3 and Model Y, Oury said.” according to Green Car Reports: “The company worked to clarify what the differences are at its presentation and why skateboard strategies are actually limiting: Neither the entire BEV3 component set nor its Ultium electric propulsion technology are limited to a particular chassis or body floorpan. This means that cars and crossovers can continue being uni-body while the toughest electric trucks can be body-on-frame, and still share components. Many of the cars and crossovers will be built with some shared body and chassis components nevertheless. “
CHEAPER BATTERIES BY 2025
“The batteries currently powering the Bolt cost $145/kWh, while the new Ultium batteries produced under the joint venture with LG Chem will drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh (by 2025). The cells use a proprietary low-cobalt chemistry, and GM expects that ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower in the coming years.” says CleanTechnica who were there in person: “The batteries will be manufactured in the new LG Chem/GM plant in Ohio, with an initial annual capacity of 30 GWh. When GM reaches its goal of 1 million EVs produced annually (by 2025), that equates to the manufacture of 250 million cells per year. The modular propulsion system and global EV platform powered by the Ultium batteries will enable GM to produce vehicles for every segment of the market, including entry-level cars, work trucks, and high-performance sports cars.”
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