GM’s Revolutionary Ultium Platform: Moving Towards an All-Electric Future
General Motors has committed to move towards an all-electric future with dozens of new electric vehicles set to be introduced over the next decade and beyond. A key component of this plan is their groundbreaking, versatile Ultium platform. What is Ultium? Read on and we’ll explain.
The revolutionary Ultium platform is engineered for range, power, and flexibility, fitting just about any kind of vehicle. For those unaware, a vehicle platform is a shared set of engineering tools and overarching design philosophy that can be used to develop multiple different vehicle models. Essentially, it’s the foundation that underpins a vehicle model. But even though a vehicle platform allows for the development of multiple different models, it doesn’t mean these vehicle models aren’t customized or developed with individual characteristics in mind. Thanks to modular battery and drive unit combinations, GM’s Ultium platform can support a wide range of vehicle styles from trucks to SUVs to cars and even commercial vehicles. Unlike many rigid traditional vehicle platforms, Ultium can be easily modified for different sizes and styles of vehicles.
Ultium’s battery system is a key component of this platform, also featuring a modular and flexible design, but with a common battery cell design across different vehicle types. The heart of the system, Ultium’s batteries can stack cells vertically for pickup trucks and SUVs or horizontally for performance vehicles, allowing Ultium to reach just about any customer and segment. Unlike traditional cylindrical battery cells, Ultium battery cells have a flat shape, taking up less space and allowing for efficient stacking. This means GM’s engineers can truly optimize energy density and vehicle layout like never before. It would take 20 small cylindrical cells to produce the power of just one Ultium large-format cell. With battery packs up to to 200 kWh, approximately double that of a typical EV battery, Ultium batteries have the potential to generate over 640 km of range on a single charge, a truly astounding distance for an electric vehicle.
GM is also looking towards environmental sustainability as a key component of EV development. Ultium battery cells feature a state-of-the-art Nickel Cobalt Manganese Aluminum (NCMA) chemistry, reducing cobalt content by over 70%. GM is also continuing to pursue ethical sourcing of raw materials, with a focus on sourcing from North America when possible.
Thanks to this flexible and efficient technology, Ultium is truly the future of electric vehicles. GM will be able to develop vehicles quickly and effectively, utilizing shared Ultium components while avoiding traditional requirements to design around gas tanks, engines, wiring, and exhaust pipes. Look for exciting new EV offerings from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC in the near future, with some EV options available now including the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Talk to a Preston Sales Consultant to learn more about GM’s electric future and current offerings!