Cadillac to Lead GM’s Electric-Car Effort

January 11, 2019 at 9:44 AM

General Motors Co. has named Cadillac as its lead electric vehicle brand and the first to use the carmaker’s upcoming EV-specific “BEV3” platform.

The highly flexible chassis can be used to carry a wide array of body styles with front-, rear- and all-wheel drive electric powertrains. The platform will be complemented by a flexible battery architecture that can be scaled to suit specific vehicle types and performance levels.

GM has offered no initial details about the upcoming Cadillac model, including where it will be built. Until now, GM’s Chevrolet unit has pioneered the company’s EV modest EV offerings with soon-to-be dropped Volt extended-range hybrid and current all-electric Bolt sedans.

Cadillac introduced its own variant of the $33,000 hybrid Volt—a $76,000 sport coupe called the ELR—in the U.S. in 2013. The car, with an all-electric range of about 35 miles, was dropped three years later after sales of only 2,300 units. The brand also is phasing out the Chinese-made plug-in hybrid version of its CT6 rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan after two years.

GM told investors in 2017 that it was developing a modular EV platform that eventually would carry 11 types of electrics ranging from small cars to large SUVs. The company said at the time that it expected its EV operations to become profitable by 2021 and reach annual sales volume of 1 million units by 2026.