In a statement released this week, GM said that “engineering advances have increased the previously stated GM-estimated maximum range of Ultium-based vehicles from 400” to 450 miles.
This GM-estimated figure represents the maximum possible range for an Ultium powered vehicle and does not mean that all vehicles with Ultium batteries will be able to travel this far on a single charge. It’s likely that only select GM EVs, such as those with very large battery packs, will be able to achieve this range figure in the real world. The automaker did not say what kind of engineering advances helped increase the range of its Ultium battery system.
Additionally, the automaker said this week that its Ultium battery system is “expected to bring EVs closer to price parity with gas-powered vehicles.” This is mainly due to the fact that all Ultium batteries use a single common cell, allowing GM to use them in everything from trucks to mass-market commuter cars and even high-performance vehicles. The second-generation line of Ultium batteries, which GM is working on now and predicts will be ready by mid-decade, will result in even more cost savings, boasting twice the energy density at less than half the cost of today’s Ultium chemistry.
“Ultium already represents a milestone achievement in electrification, with battery pack costs nearly 40 percent lower than those in the Chevrolet Bolt EV,” GM said in a statement. “Despite the pandemic, GM’s work on EVs accelerated during 2020.”
“Now, just eight months after the technology was first revealed, GM is projecting that second-generation Ultium packs, expected mid-decade, will cost 60 percent less than the batteries in use today with twice the energy density expected.”
The first GM vehicle with an Ultium battery pack to go on sale is the 2022 GMC Hummer EV. Order books for the battery-electric pickup opened last month, with deliveries of the Edition 1 model set to begin late next year. The GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 has a 350 kWh battery pack providing an estimated 350 miles of range.