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General Motors reveals ambitious platform for all-electric future
Last Updated: 2020-03-05 07:16 | Xinhua
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General Motors (GM) revealed on Wednesday its third-generation global electric vehicle (EV) platform powered by low-cost batteries, which the U.S. automaker believes will help transform itself to an all-electric future.

"What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale that rival our full-size truck business with much less complexity and even more flexibility," said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO.

"Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future," she told the audience at an event detailing GM's EV technologies and upcoming products.

Starting Wednesday, GM is gathering hundreds of investors, analysts, media members and policymakers to share details of its ambitious EV strategy on the GM Tech Center campus in Warren, Michigan.

The heart of GM's strategy is a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries, and a modular propulsion system.

According to GM, the new platform and propulsion system can power affordable transportation, luxury vehicles, work trucks and high-performance machines.

Vehicles built on this modular platform will offer an estimated driving range of up to 400 miles (640 km) or more on a full charge, with 0 to 60 miles (96 km) per hour acceleration as low as 3.0 seconds, and a battery energy storage ranging from 50 to 200 kWh.

The EV battery cells will be mass produced at a 2.3 billion-U.S. dollar joint venture plant that GM and LG Chem plan to build in Lordstown, Ohio.

The new battery will drive cell costs below 100 U.S. dollars per kWh, said GM, adding that ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs can drive the costs even lower.

The Cruise Origin, a self-driving, electric shared vehicle, already shown to the public in January in San Francisco, was the first product revealed using GM's third generation EV platform and Ultium batteries.

GM said that its Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick brands will all be launching new EVs starting this year.

The major gas-powered automaker has in recent years invested heavily in electric vehicles, including a 2.2 billion-U.S. dollar EV assembly plant near Detroit. It has also partnered with other companies to develop autonomous vehicles (AV).

Meanwhile, GM has been gradually withdrawing from other non-profitable operations in Europe and Asian Pacific region to allocate capital for its EV and AV strategies.

Earlier this year, GM agreed to transfer two plants in India and Thailand to Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors.

The largest U.S. automaker in terms of vehicle sales has also announced its decision "to wind down sales, design and engineering operations in Australia and New Zealand and retire the Holden brand by 2021."

GM has expressed that all the moves are aimed at building on its comprehensive strategy to strengthen its core business, drive significant cost efficiencies and transform to an all-electric future.

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