GM has fast-tracked its electric-vehicle program in pandemic slowdown

Teaser for Cadillac Lyriq electric cossover SUV based on GM BEV3 modular platform

General Motors is steadfast that its next-generation electric vehicle program, revealed in March, is moving ahead as planned despite the pandemic slowdown and corresponding budget cuts elsewhere in the company.

“We haven’t changed our plans at all, and we’re continuing to be full speed ahead on executing what you saw here on EV Day,” said Ken Morris, GM’s VP for autonomous and electric vehicle programs, in a Tuesday afternoon call with media. “I can affirm for you that we have not cut any of our spending or activities around the Ultium propulsion system vehicles like the Cadillac Lyriq and Hummer EV.”

And, Morris teased, it’s even fast-tracked one that it didn’t show that day, in a closed, no-cameras glimpse of 10 future EV products for the press, dealers, and analysts.

“For one vehicle, we’re even maybe pulling that one ahead based on how the program is being executed right now; we’ve added a lot of things that were not even talked about at EV Day,” he said.

Morris offered no further insight on what that might be. One possibility is the chiseled coupe profile—an electric Chevy Camaro, as some enthusiasts pegged it—that was teased in a video accompanying EV Day but not shown or discussed there.

The situation won’t change the rollout order of its BEV3 products either, which means the Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV will be the first two to make it to market, in the second half of 2021.

Reveals were delayed, products aren’t

Outside of that private preview in early March, neither the Lyriq nor the Hummer EV have been revealed yet. Morris said that he’s seen some outlets erroneously reporting the delayed unveiling of those vehicles as product delays. The company is waiting for when it can do the kind of unveil that “really does justice to the product.

Possible electric Chevrolet Camaro in GM Ultium teaser video

GM hasn’t broken down what its targets are for sales or market growth, but it has said that it plans to sell 1 million fully electric vehicles per year globally by 2025. Morris anticipated that there’s going to be “a kind of a pivot point mid-decade where the acceptance and the sales are going to increase on these just because they’re great products.”

Electric vehicles haven’t been immune to cancellations elsewhere in the industry. The slowdown has already claimed the Lincoln product that had been in the pipeline with Rivian.

Although GM’s future BEV3 vehicles have been kept on pace, not even all of GM’s EVs have been exempt from slowdown delays. As the automaker confirmed in March, after the slowdown started, it decided to delay the refreshed Bolt EV to the 2022 model year from its original 2021.

“If you liked the article, share it in ...”