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GM Reveals All-New Flexible Platform and Ultium Batteries


General Motors’ all-new modular platform and Ultium batteries will be the heartbeat of its all-electric future – powering electric vehicles in every segment to meet the needs of every person.

General Motors’ vision of a world with zero emissions will be powered by a future where every vehicle is an electric vehicle. Customers are ready for this change, and third-party forecasters expect U.S. EV volumes to reach about 3 million units on average by 2030.

To contribute to a better planet and scale its future EV portfolio at a rapid pace, GM revealed an all-new modular platform and Ultium batteries during a week-long event at the GM Design Dome. Nearly 2,000 employees, investors, dealers, policymakers and media traveled to Warren, Michigan to see the technology firsthand.

GM displays new flexible global platform on a show floor in the GM Design Dome.

GM’s all-new global platform on display at the Design Dome.

“Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. “What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale that rivals our full-size truck business with much less complexity and even more flexibility.” 

A Flexible Global Platform

GM’s platform, which features modular battery and drive unit combinations, is flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars and commercial vehicles with outstanding design, performance, packaging, range and affordability.

One platform can underpin vehicles of all sizes – from Cadillac cars to Chevrolet trucks to GMC HUMMER EVs.

Combined with the Power of GM’s Ultium Batteries, Select Vehicles Could:

  • Enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles on a full charge with 0-60 mph in as low as 3 seconds
  • Have energy ranges from 50 to 200 kilowatt-hours
  • Support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive applications

The key building blocks of the Ultium battery system are large scale, high-energy cells that will be the best large-format cells in the industry. Engineered in partnership with LG Chem, they use both advanced chemistry and a smart cell design that’s optimized for a broad portfolio of EVs. 

A GM scientist testing EV battery elements and parts in Warren, Michigan.

GM engineers and scientists are actively researching and testing new elements in battery chemistry to lower cost and increase charge times. Here, a scientist is facilitating a pressure test at GM’s Estes Engineering Center battery lab in Warren, Michigan.

Banded together, multiple cells form a battery module, and a cluster of battery modules make up a battery pack. The flat shape stacks efficiently, allowing for less wasted space, fewer electrical configurations and a simplified cooling system.

Ultium is so unique that it can contain either vertically- or horizontally-stacked cells to integrate into vehicle design – vertically for trucks, SUVs and crossovers, or horizontally for cars and performance vehicles.

It gets even better with Ultium’s innovative feature – digital programming. As new chemistry is developed and becomes available, the battery management system could digitally update the modules.

The drive unit strategy is also modular, enabling the front-, rear- and all-wheel drive variations. The motors were designed in-house at GM, and the modular platform is the first of its kind to support both front- and rear-wheel drive variants.

Drive unit part being tested in a GM facility

Drive unit testing in a dyno chamber at GM Global Propulsion Systems in Pontiac, Michigan.

Lower Costs, Higher Potential

Together the improved chemistry, efficient design, battery and drive unit flexibility, along with GM’s ability to manufacture at scale in its joint venture with LG Chem, will allow GM to make remarkable progress in driving down costs for customers.

The cost won’t be the only attractive element. The battery design allows GM’s creative designers to reimagine vehicle styling. Starting from the ground up, less space needed for batteries means more room for people – leading to better passenger comfort and bolder, more dynamic exteriors designed to improve aerodynamics for greater vehicle efficiency.

Ultimately, the modular platform enables GM to craft EVs that are safe, beautiful, affordable and fun to drive. 

General Motors’ All-Electric Future

Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC will be launching new EVs soon. Models will stretch across every vehicle segment to meet the EV needs of every person. 

GM has defined how people travel for more than a century and is looking forward to reimagining mobility in the next 25, 50 and 100 years. EVs make the world a better place today and will for generations to come.

To read more about GM’s vision for a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, check out:

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