You won’t be able to turn on the TV without seeing a commercial for one or drive past your local Chevy dealership without noticing a giant banner broadcasting one either. We’re talking about an EV, and the truth is electric vehicles are the wave of the future, with more models being introduced with each passing year. It started with hybrids back in the early 2000s, with the Prius dominating the segment, then more EVs began to tumble off of production lines, including the discontinued, yet beloved Chevy Volt, affordable Nissan LEAF, the dependable Chevy Bolt, and not to mention the copious offerings from Tesla. It seems as though every brand is making EVs these days, but what’s the goal behind it, and what are the plans for the future? Well, Chevy has a solid plan in place, and it not only means more electric vehicles found in its inventory, it also includes a plan to increase sustainability to create an industry for the future.
There are a lot of promises out there from many automakers claiming that by a certain year, their lineup will contain a certain number of EVs, and Chevy is among one of the power players. The celebrated automaker has lofty goals for its all-electric future, with a mission to unveil 30 new EVs by 2025 across the world. That’s not too far away, and so far, we’d say the folks at Chevy are making good on their promise. In addition to the Bolt EV and larger EUV, which are already available in the Chevy lineup, the most recent news is that of the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV. The Silverado EV joins others like it, including the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, and Tesla Cybertruck, offering drivers the capabilities of a truck with the efficiency of electricity.
Having just put the finishing touches on its Factory ZERO facility, located in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan, GM is committed to a zero-emissions future. The factory, which has been a part of the manufacturing process since the mid-1980s, has recently been overhauled into a more sustainable facility and one of the most advanced in the entire country. From renewable energy usage to sustainable manufacturing processes, even a wildlife habitat on its grounds, the Factory ZERO facility is the brainchild of years of research by the company. In fact, GM has committed to using renewable energy in all of its U.S.-based manufacturing plants by 2030. All of this, combined with advanced manufacturing techniques, sets the GM brand up for success in a future that’s hurtling toward EVs.
The Ultium Platform
As you pass by your local Chevy dealer, chances are you may see some new lingo on their signage, both on their vehicles and in their showroom. For starters, the term Ultium may start to come up more often, which is the platform by which all of Chevy’s electric vehicles will be powered.
This groundbreaking platform showcases batteries that outlast the competition, producing longer range, enhanced performance, and faster charging options, propelling the Chevy EV arsenal ahead of its rivals. This all-new modular system features a pouch cell design, which consists of an aluminum film layer surrounded by a semi-solid lithium-ion, as opposed to a rigid casing. Vertical stacking of the cells allows the batteries to fit into a wide variety of vehicles, with their lighter weight positively impacting vehicle performance and range.
In addition to the enhanced flexibility of pouch cell technology, Ultium batteries increase the capabilities of vehicles without increasing the cost, which makes them very advantageous to a variety of drivers on a budget. Through this enhanced technology, GM will pave the way for other automakers, once again, by utilizing a totally wireless battery management system. This will allow these batteries to be reused for other needs instead of being disposed of.
The Ultifi Experience
In addition to an advanced battery management system and the latest innovation in battery design, electric vehicles from GM will feature the Ultifi software system, which seeks to provide continuous evolution of its vehicles. Found in offerings like the Chevy Silverado EV and the GMC Hummer EV, Ultifi separates the vehicle’s hardware from its software. This allows for regular over-the-air adjustments to its software, increasing performance and functionality without having to bring the vehicles into a facility. The emergence of more cloud-based services, as well as more features, can be expected with the Ultifi software, which is revolutionizing the industry as we know it.
Enhancing GM’s Vehicle Intelligence Platform, or VIP for short, the Ultifi software provides faster updates to its vehicles, offering these upgrades to millions of customers without affecting the vehicle’s hardware. By compartmentalizing the software, more is possible to create vehicles that are even better than we could have imagined. In addition to normal system upgrades, drivers will have a chance to choose from packages of upgrades, as well as personalized options and more. Getting the most out of your vehicle is now possible, and as the technology behind this continues to advance, it’s to be expected that much more will result from the Ultifi program.
Chevy has some goals to achieve in the next couple of years; however, the brand is well on its way to achieving them. Already you can enjoy the compact Bolt EV, which offers up to 259 miles of range on a single charge, plus a spacious interior with 36 inches of rear-seat legroom. For those loving the Bolt but needing more space, the Bolt EUV is in the lineup, providing drivers with a 247-mile maximum range, comfortable room for five, and available hands-free driving capabilities through Chevy’s Super Cruise technology.
Next year, the Silverado EV will be rolling out onto Chevy dealerships across the country, showcasing intense power, capable of towing up to 10,000 lbs and offering up to 400 miles of range on a single charge. With its big reveal behind us, the Silverado EV is a highly anticipated arrival, boasting two trim levels, a basic Work Truck, perfect for the hard worker, and a more luxurious RST for those who require more sophistication in their travels, plus many more staple Silverado features.
Chevy’s best-selling SUV, the Equinox, is on the plans to become electrified. This family-friendly model has been a top-seller for years, offering loads of space inside, a sturdy build outside, and affordability that can’t be beat. In addition to the Equinox, another famous Chevy model will also join its electric siblings, the iconic Blazer. Re-emerging onto the scene only a few years ago after a hiatus, the Blazer showcases brilliant styling, a driver-centric interior, and athleticism that’s difficult to deny. The electric versions of these models are expected to hit dealership lots as early as spring 2023.
The Future Is Electric
From an advanced software system capable of delivering consistent over-the-air upgrades and a battery system designed for maximum performance to a facility with sustainability at its core, there’s a lot to look forward to with the Chevy brand. There are many claims flying around about plans for an all-electric future, and when it comes down to it, will all of these claims become a reality? It’s evident that electric vehicles are quickly becoming the “it” cars on the road and beyond, and as we strive to better our planet, reduce emissions, and build more sustainable products, EVs play a major role in that. For Chevrolet, there’s an obvious commitment to meeting these goals and to this electric future. After all, creating a better place for us to thrive starts with the evolution of the way we travel.