Future Buick EV Plans Revealed66
We’ve heard quite a bit about future General Motors electric vehicle programs like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV, so we would not blame anyone for wondering where a Buick EV may fits into the automaker’s future product portfolio.
Buick hasn’t been left behind in GM’s plan to bring 20 new electric vehicles to market before the end of 2023. The automaker recently divulged its plan to release two new Buick EV crossovers, one of which is described as a “CUV” and the other as an “SUV.”
Buick describes the SUV model as having “more conventional crossover proportions that maximizes interior space and cargo,” while the CUV “will feature more expressive proportions with a greater emphasis on form and athletic fashion.” We interpret this as meaning one model will be more about practicality and everyday use, whereas the other will be a bit more style-forward and have some more performance and flare.
Like the Cadillac Lyriq, the Buick EV models will ride on GM’s new BEV3 dedicated electric vehicle platform and use its proprietary Ultium battery technology. Ultium batteries will range in size from 50 kWh to 200 kWh, with the largest battery providing up to 400 miles of driving range in certain models. GM has not released any details on the Buick electric crossover’s powertrains, so we don’t know how big the battery will be or how much power it will have. It stands to reason the crossovers will be offered with all-wheel drive, though.
GM has said in the past that its future EVs would feature its Super Cruise hands-free semi-autonomous technology and we’d be surprised not to see it appear in the two Buick EV crossovers.
With Buick now only producing crossovers, these two upcoming Buick EVs will be a natural fit in the brand’s lineup. It’s not clear when we should expect either to arrive, but we know that GM is going full steam ahead on its various EV programs, so it will be hard at work trying to get both to market ASAP.
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Why won’t Buick take a serious look at the all electric E300Plus that GM just launched in China?? $12,000 and 160 mile range for an entry level EV sounds workable for a city or urban transportation vehicle.
Let’s face it, GM and EV’s blah, blah, blah. All talk, no walk. If they do happen to put something out, it looks like something from a high school auto shop, a re-used ’70s Japanese mini van that runs on batteries.
My concern is about practical, city or urban transportation at an “entry Level” price range. The Chevy Dealership told me to buy the Bolt for only $47,000 which I do not consider ” entry level”. It seems the bottom end of electric cars is non-existent. I don’t expect them to look like a Corvette but I do expect affordability for people of modest income . I expect a range of at least 150 miles and room for two people and a bag of groceries. It should be purpose built for city and urban transportation. I do not consider electric cars with a range of under 100 miles as practical. We need a creative commitment from the manufacturers to entry level electric cars. We should have plenty of advertising, availability, home charging, dealership charging, and nationwide infrastructure support. Without Federal Government support it will be a rough road to an electric car transition for America. Anybody remember the first Transcontinental Railroad? It received substantial Federal Government support even though we were in the midst of a Civil War!!
Why does the federal government have to build the infrastructure for electric cars? Private industry built the infrastructure for the ICE vehicles, get the product out there, build the sales and the charging station chains will start appearing. In the interim, the auto manufacturers would be wise the invest in a few charging stations, ala Tesla, to get the ball rolling while the EV’s increase in the population. The “support” the railroads received came by way of free federal land in the then wide open western states/territories. The amount of land required to build a charging station is far less than the right of ways granted the railroads. Besides, there currently are a lot of federal tax incentives to aid the building of the charging stations.
Tesla’s investment in charging infrastructure is a dead end. They needed to do it because it would have been near impossible to sell an EV without a place to charge it publicly in the beginning. But as public charging has increased the need for a private networks has greatly decreased.
What makes charging infrastructure very different than gas stations in need by the consumer. Gas stations are required for ICE vehicles. If you have a car and drive it you will go to a gas station. So if I’m going into the gas station business I find a spot that has a concentration of car traffic and build a station.
For EVs a large concentration of car traffic doesn’t mean your charging station will get any business. A lot of owners will just charge at home. So outside of locations off the freeway, most are going to be opportunistic charging (grocery stores, malls, movie theaters, etc…) And even the chargers near highways will peak during the weekends and holidays. They might have a very low usage outside of those windows.
So the EV charging station chains will have to be smart in picking their locations. Many of them will probably start at the areas of existing commercial concentration, what’s wrong with that? Many of the current malls have gas stations around their perimeter, so it must work. After that, you will see the EV charging stations along interstates and major highways, just like now. And just like now, some will make it, and some won’t. But we can’t build the future of EV’s around “might’s”, “maybe’s” and “possibly’s”. It will take the same guts and enterprising foresight that built Mobil, Chevron, Shell, ARCO and all the other gasoline service station chains.
That’s the point outside of interstates all others locations are really supported by the businesses the chargers reside at. Once again gas stations are required by ICE vehicles. EV charging outside your home is hit or miss. The only place they might be successful is near apartment complexes.
I did not say the Federal Government should build the infrastructure for electric cars. The key word is support. The “free” land the Federal Government provided for the Transcontinental Railroad had value that helped the private sector railroads actually build the railroad. If the Federal Government can enhance the transition to electric cars with most of the heavy lifting being done by the private sector, I say that is good. What this support would look like in the end is yet to be determined. Perhaps we have some common ground during this time of great division in America.
Just as long as that common ground is privately acquired and not provided gratis by the Federal government, i.e., taxpayers. I believe we will be all EV someday. I had hoped to see it in my lifetime. But, my lifetime is getting shorter, and the movement to EV’s is glacial at this point. I had actually anticipating having my last vehicle being an EV, but, sadly that didn’t happen. As I’ve said before, the main drawbacks to EV’s taking off in the market place are quick charging stations in the abundance of gasoline stations, and EV’s that people actually want and can afford to buy (no more ugly shrunken SUV/CUV things at ridiculously high prices).
How about utilities or auto manufacturers and the already existing gas station chains work on a mutually beneficial arrangement to establish banks of charging stations, first in areas where the electrics are selling and then be prepared to expand to meet increasing demand? Gas stations could expand with cafe, coffee and donuts while the customer waits on a 20 minute supercharge on the battery and the utility makes money, gas station makes money? Better buy stock in some of the big utilities! I envision the utilities also working with car dealerships to install a bank of charging stations for a nominal fee plus sharing some of the charging profit with the dealership. Coffee and donuts in the showroom while the customer looks over the latest vehicles being offered? I believe synergistic relationships could be established as long as profit is involved.
There you go, now you’re getting the idea. It doesn’t always have to be the Federal government doing the building. They have a tendency to screw up projects like this anyway. It really doesn’t matter who the partners are, other than the obvious you mentioned, there could be some ballsy new companies that see profit in future EV services, and are willing to put up the money now to get the ball rolling. You got to remember, people in this country can do wonderful things once they put their mind to it!