Tesla and Ford are already moving towards electric vehicles. GM has been working on Ultium battery systems. Ford is working on an electric Escape and Tesla is bringing the Model 3 to the US market. If these moves are successful, the rest of the world will follow.
GM’s Ultium battery system
GM’s new Ultium battery system is designed for maximum versatility. This new battery system utilizes pouch-style cells and features an exclusive low cobalt chemistry. The cells will stack horizontally or vertically in battery packs. Each cell weighs about five pounds and is 18 inches long, four inches wide and half an inch thick.
GM will use the Ultium battery system to power its next-generation EVs. The new cells are modular and stack horizontally or vertically, enabling a larger vehicle to be powered by a smaller battery. The new cells can support any shape of electric vehicle and are capable of providing between 300 and 450 miles per charge.
GM’s Ultium battery system will reduce cell costs to under $100 per kWh. This has long been the holy grail for battery development. Though Li-ion cell prices have dropped 87 percent since 2010, they still remain dauntingly high at $156/kWh in 2019. GM expects that cell prices will drop about four percent per year and energy density will rise at a similar rate. GM is betting the future on Ultium-powered electric vehicles and is confident that it can overcome these hurdles.
GM’s new electric F-150 pickup truck
GM’s new electric F-150 has several advantages over Ford’s conventional model. For one, the electric truck uses many of the same parts. It also costs less than the conventional F-150. However, it doesn’t have as long of a range as the Ford model, which starts at $40,000. The company is hoping to sell as many as 10 electric pickups by mid-decade. Other battery-electric trucks being planned include the Toyota Tundra and Ram 1500. Rivian also plans to build an electric truck.
GM’s new electric F-150 pick-up truck relies on China less than the conventional version. The company plans to build three battery plants in the US and has promised to announce a fourth soon. Tesla is also partnering a Nevada plant with a Texas facility, and other automakers are expected to follow suit. Interest in electric vehicles varies widely by region. Interest is greatest in the West and lowest in the South. Regardless of region, however, other polls have shown that interest in EVs is growing.
The electric F-150 pickup truck has several advantages over the traditional gas-powered truck. The new truck is likely to be a better option for fleets of commercial vehicles. However, the cost of ownership and the availability of fast-charging stations may be factors that affect the decision to buy the truck.
Tesla’s new electric Model 3
Tesla is bringing its electric vehicle battery production to America in a new plant. This is part of a trend toward making key parts of a vehicle locally. Until now, American automakers have been lagging behind their Asian counterparts in battery development, but this trend may be changing. GM and Ford have both announced plans to bring battery production to the United States.
Tesla has begun contacting reservation holders in the US and is asking them to switch to a new version of the Model 3 that uses the new LFP battery cells. Previously, Model 3s were equipped with Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA) cells, but the company is switching to LFP cells for its new cars.
The battery pack is a major component of the Model 3’s power supply, which is why the company is ramping up production and improving the battery design. A new Model 3 battery costs between $12,000 and $13,000, which includes the battery, as well as miscellaneous parts and labor. However, the battery replacement for a Model Y is still a mystery.
Ford’s new electric Escape
Ford knows what drivers want when it comes to plug-in hybrids. The company’s Energi models came on the market nearly a decade ago and proved drivers were ready to make the switch. These Energi models included the Fusion sedan and C-Max hatchback and were the perfect on-ramp to electric vehicles. Now, Ford has made a hybrid version of the Escape, their compact crossover.
Ford’s new electric Escape battery is available in a number of trim levels. The SEL trim level is the most affordable and comes with rear parking sensors and a faux leather interior. It also has a hands-free power liftgate and a remote start feature. There’s also an optional navigation system with SiriusXM traffic and travel link. The SEL also has standard features, including a rearview camera and a roof-rack side rail.
The base S model comes with a 4.2-inch radio display. On the other hand, the SE model comes with a 8.0-inch touchscreen and the latest Sync 3 infotainment system. It also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All Escape models also come with a smartphone app that gives remote access to vehicle telematics. A 10-speaker B&O Play audio system is standard on the Titanium trim level, as is in-dash navigation.