GM has elected to keep its internal combustion engine and electric vehicle operations together instead of splitting them into separate entities.
This news comes a week after GM’s crosstown rival, Ford, announced its plans to divide its operations between Ford Blue and Ford Model e. Ford Blue represents the American automaker’s arm of ICE-focused endeavors, while Ford Model e is dedicated to electric vehicle affairs. Ford hopes to become more competitive as a result of this decision.
According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, Tim Grewe, director of GM’s electrification strategy, says that the automaker simply does not see a need to follow suit and separate its ICE operations from that of its EVs. “We’re not feeling any disadvantage to keeping them common,” he said.
Grewe said GM’s development of two proprietary systems for its EVs – Ultium battery technology and the Ultifi software connectivity system – make it simple to keep ICE and EV operations together. “Because of this fundamental building block approach and the ability to say we have this data farm in Ultifi, we’ve made investments in the infrastructure and technology to say we’re keeping [EV and ICE] together,” Grewe said. “We’re benefitting from that.”
Grewe brought up the GMC Hummer EV Pickup as an example of how keeping the two propulsion systems common can actually be beneficial. When GM engineers working on the Hummer EV discover something innovative, it makes its way to the Ultifi data farm, and can then be applied directly to ICE-powered vehicles under GM’s umbrella.
“Having that capability to run the same across our entire business, from a technical point of view, is enabling,” Grewe said. “We don’t see it at as a problem. We’re able to accelerate our schedules. We’ve redefined our process so we can develop a vehicle in half the time, when it’s an EV.”