GM, which is working on lithium metal batteries, could achieve a range of 600 miles

The Hummer will be the first GM product to use the Ultium battery platform, and when fully charged, it will have a range of around 350 miles. But GM is now saying that with its Ultium batteries it can get around 450 miles of range for some vehicles. The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq midsize SUV is the second vehicle to use the Ultium system and is expected to get more miles per charge than the Hummer. The Lyriq is a much smaller and lighter vehicle.

Lithium metal battery brigade

For the next phase, GM is working with SolidEnergy Systems to jointly develop lithium-metal batteries that will power future models. Reuss announced the new joint venture at a Washington Post virtual conference. SES is a leader in lithium metal technology and battery management software that uses artificial intelligence. GM Ventures invested in the work of SES in 2015. This latest announcement is yet another expansion of the corporate working relationship.

The new batteries, which are technically not solid-state batteries because SolidEnergy uses liquid electrolytes, will have twice the energy density and reduce costs by 60 percent, said Reuss. Vehicles could travel 500-600 miles on a single charge.

The two companies will also set up a test factory in Woburn, Massachusetts to produce prototypes of a lithium metal battery by 2023.

More metal, less money

This is important as the chemistry of lithium metal batteries is believed to be key to the introduction of electric vehicles. This not only increases the range, but also lowers costs, which means that automakers can sell cheaper entry-level electric vehicles in the future.

This explains the high price of the first Ultium-powered vehicles, starting with the Hummer EV Edition 1 truck valued at $ 112,595, as well as the reason the Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV continue to use older technology and wait for prices to drop that new batteries can offer.

Because the second-generation Ultium batteries are smaller and lighter, they could find their way into a “low-roof sports car” (see Corvette EV), Reuss said.

“Affordability and range are two major barriers to the mass adoption of electric vehicles,” said Reuss. “We believe that with this next-generation Ultium chemistry, we are on the verge of a one-off improvement in energy density and cost. There is more room for improvement in both categories and we intend to innovate faster than that.” any other company in the field. “

Backward compatible batteries

GM has already completed 150,000 simulated test miles with the new battery in its labs at the Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, Reuss said. Work on the new chemicals is “backward compatible” so that future models can be updated.

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