After GM’s official dedication yesterday of its Detroit-Hamtramck plant strictly for electric cars, Electrek spoke with Mark Reuss, the company’s president. We wanted to hear directly from GM leadership about its level of commitment to quickly deliver on multi-billion-dollar, global EV plans. Here is an edited version of Reuss’s discussion with us and a small group of reporters.
Can you talk about the pace of EV adoption and when you expect a tipping point?
The turning point is now because we have to plan for an electric portfolio to eventually become the standard. I don’t think there’s an inflection point that says it’s 30%, 40%, 50% adoption. And I don’t want to put a year on that because the customer will decide based on solving the friction points, such as price, range, and infrastructure, that prevent people from buying electric vehicles as a primary vehicle and not a secondary vehicle. It’s our job to solve all of those, and that’s what we’re doing.
Will your next EV be a Cadillac SUV or a pickup?
You’ll see multiple pickup trucks, but not all pickup trucks are the same. There are all sorts of micro-segments within pickup trucks. There are mainline high-volume segments. There are midsize and full-size segments. There are a lot of things we haven’t announced yet, but there’s a wide bandwidth that we can accomplish with our battery-electric truck platform.
Will your EVs be North-America focused?
These are global vehicles. The battery strategy and architecture is very global. And so when we design our new battery packs, they are designed to accommodate things like a prismatic-cell structure that is highly used in China, or our more mainline pouch system that we have with LG in North America and the United States. That flexibility to do those orientations and configurations of cells enables a footprint that is quite different.
Will your battery packs keep getting bigger?
No. When we started with the Volt and the Bolt, we probably over-designed those battery packs. They may never die. But along the way, you learn how to control it and how people really use it, which until you do it, you’re guessing. So with better efficiency along the way, you’re decreasing the cell cost and size and improving the curve of performance and value, independent of cell chemistry.