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September 16, 2020 12:30 PM, EDT

GM Introduces ‘Ultium Drive’ to Power EVs

A teaser image of the GMC Hummer EV, which will debut on Oct. 20.A teaser image of the GMC Hummer EV, which will debut on Oct. 20. (GMC)

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DETROIT — General Motors Co.'s future electric vehicles are expected to be powered by five drive units and three motors known as “Ultium Drive,” which will help the company transition its lineup to all-electric, the automaker said Sept. 16.

GM is pushing for an all-electric future with major investments and partnerships to help eliminate barriers that could prevent consumers from considering an electric vehicle, such as cost and range anxiety. The Detroit automaker plans to spend $20 billion through 2025 on electric and autonomous technologies. One of those investments is a multi-billion battery-cell manufacturing facility in northeast Ohio that will supply the cells for GM’s new Ultium batteries.

GM claims the Ultium batteries are unique to the industry because the large-format pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack, allowing designers to optimize battery storage and layout for each vehicle’s design.

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Ultium Drive will combine electric motors and single-speed transmissions that apply the power created by GM’s Ultium battery cells to the wheels of electric vehicles. It covers front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive propulsion combinations, including high-performance and off-road capability.

Components of Ultium Drive will be built with globally sourced parts at GM’s existing global propulsion facilities, which will allow the company to more quickly ramp up its electric vehicle production and adjust production mix to match market demand, the automaker said.

In August, GM debuted the Cadillac Lyriq, the luxury brand’s first all-electric vehicle. The GMC Hummer EV will debut on Oct. 20.

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