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General Motors Touts Electric Future at CES 2022

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Kicking off this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, General Motors CEO Mary Barra touted several new electrification initiatives the automaker is pursuing amid the ongoing EV revolution.

Dubbing that push the "Ultium Effect," which is based on the company's multi-purpose EV platform by the same name, Barra spent a good amount of her presentation talking about GM has positioned itself to be a leader in the auto industry through the coming decade as electric vehicles become more prominent.

“Technology driven by purpose will change the world,” GM Global Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl said in a statement. “GM is redefining how people and goods are moved. Our commitment to a vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion has positioned us to lead. As we implement our growth strategy, we have an opportunity and, frankly, an obligation to create a better future for generations to come. That’s the Ultium Effect.”

The headliner of GM's show at CES was the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. Set to have two models available when it launches in early 2023, the full-size EV pickup "was developed from the ground up and leverages the power of GM's Ultium Platform." Both an RST First Edition and work model geared more toward fleets will offer a GM-estimated 400-mile range on a single charge, a load floor of up to 10 feet, available four-wheel steering, a 17-inch LCD infotainment screen and "the latest vehicle technologies that can evolve over time."

The Silverado EV will also be the company's first vehicle to make use of Ultifi, GM's companion software platform to Ultium and will start just under $40,000. 

In addition to the Silverado EV, Chevy will roll out Equinox and Blazer EV SUVs in 2023 as part of the automaker's push to have 30 available EVs in its lineup by 2025. Barra announced the Equinox EV would have an estimated MSRP starting around $30,000. 

Geared more toward fleets, Barra also announced that General Motors' BrightDrop commercial division would expand partnerships with both FedEx and Walmart.

Walmart signed an agreement with GM to reserve 5,000 EV600 and EV410 electric delivery vans "to support the retail giant's growing last mile delivery network." FedEx has signed an agreement reserving "priority production" for 2,000 vans over the next few years, as well as working on a plan to add up to 20,000 more in the years to follow. 

“BrightDrop’s mission is to decarbonize the world’s deliveries. We leverage the best of two worlds – the innovation, agility, and focus of a technology startup with the engineering and manufacturing might of General Motors,” BrightDrop President and CEO Travis Katz said in a statement. “This combination, coupled with BrightDrop’s holistic solution set, gives us powerful advantages that uniquely position us to support the world’s largest delivery companies, like Walmart and FedEx, with their robust sustainability goals. Today’s commitments showcase our ability to power the electrification journey of some of the world’s biggest companies.”

On top of all of that, Cruise, GM's autonomous driving branch, is working on "a comprehensive path to autonomous mobility" with the goal of having the first personal AVs on the market "as soon as mid-decade." Super Cruise, GM's hands-free driving system, is on pace to be available in 22 vehicles across GM brands by next year.  

“We are witnessing what’s possible when innovators and problem solvers embrace the opportunity to change the world, knowing they have the tools and technology to do precisely that,” stated Wahl. “With that capability comes the responsibility to use it. GM’s Ultium Platform means we no longer need to imagine a zero-emissions future; we can start building it.”

Image: General Motors

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