Cadillac’s First Electric Car (SUV) Is Still 3 Years Away

Cadillac EV

JAN 28 2019 BY MARK KANE 68

GM develops a tailor-made BEV platform, similar to VW’s MEB, but it will take 3 years?

In 2018, Cadillac set its new sales record of 382,184 according to Deborah Wahl, Global Chief Marketing Officer. However, in the U.S. sales decreased by 1.1% to 154,702 – and are way lower than leading premium brands – Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

It’s important to reflect on the future of the brand, which in 1978 was selling over 350,000 cars, but mostly in U.S.

One of the answers for the future is to be electric cars. Cadillac will lead General Motors’ new EV initiative and is expected to introduce its first model… three years from now.

The timing suggests that the decision on the development of an all-new BEV3 architecture for a broad range of electric cars was made recently – late, but hopefully not too late.

The new platform will be suitable for electric cars:

  • various sizes and body types (including SUV/CUV)
  • all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive
  • both left-hand and right-hand drive

The important word in the announcements is “profitable” as after previous experiences, GM really needs to find a profitable patch both for itself and for dealers.

“Cadillac will be GM’s lead electric vehicle brand and will introduce the first model from the company’s all new battery electric vehicle architecture, GM’s foundation for an advanced family of profitable EVs.

The flexible platform will provide a broad array of body styles and will be offered in front-wheel, rearwheel and all-wheel configurations.

Its most critical components — including the battery cells — are being designed for maximum usability across all programs. The battery system will also be adjustable, based on vehicle and customer requirements.”

The time is ticking away. In the U.S., GM hit the federal tax credit phase-out procedure so the only way to profit on BEVs will be to leverage scale. High scale to stay competitive will be required in China (the biggest EV market). We guess that this is the main reason why the all-new general EV platform is needed for many models of various brands (starting with the premium Cadillac to recover as much costs as possible).

GM’s BEV3 architecture


Categories: Cadillac, Chevrolet

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68 Comments on "Cadillac’s First Electric Car (SUV) Is Still 3 Years Away"

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I’m most interested in what the “LCV” is going to be.

Large cargo vehicle.

Light Commercial Vehicle. AKA a Van.

Light cargo vehicle, I think, like the Nissan NV200 or the Ford Transit Connect.

With two new SUVs, their sale will increase. An electric Cadillac sedan should do well. It needs to be large and comfortable. Their sporty sedans failed to make a dent in the market, so they should focus in what is already working for them (smooth sedans and SUVs in various sizes).

Since when has GM focused on what’s works with BEVS?

If I were a crusty old shareholer, who “didn’t believe it”, I want them to keeping *f’ing up their EVs. Pollution entitlement seems to be working with their truck strategy. So, why not?

The sport sedan ELR outsold the ‘large and comfortable’ PHEV sedan CT6 by a factor of TEN.

All the Great Brains here said the ELR never sold, but never say ‘boo’ about the CT6 Phev.

The ELR is not a sedan, it was a 2+2 coupe. And the trade war killed the Chinese built CT6 PHEV sports sedan in Amercia after being wounded by not offering Cadillac premium features like SuperCruise and Bose Sound.

Cadillac CT6 PHEV is doing quite well in China.

The CT6 PHEV did come with SuperCruise. It was a terrible seller before trade got Trumped up. Bill’s right, nobody ever talks about how much worse it did than the ELR, but that’s because it’s barely worth mentioning – ELR was one of only a few models available back in the day.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

No, it didn’t. The CT6 gasser had it, but not the PHEV. Supercruise may have come shortly before it was killed, but certainly not initially.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Define “quite well” in numbers, because it’s way down the list.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

And the CT6 was moribund as soon as it arrived in the USA because it’s a crap PHEV. 62mpge! In China it is helped by being domestic, and monied city-dwellers needing a plug-in to get a plate, but in the USA, competing against other premium makes it didn’t stand a chance.

Oh thats what it was – Oh ok, – I was wondering what I was driving for 4 years now.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Rubbish. People laughed at it, and laughed but weren’t surprised at its pathetic sales. But because it was built in and for China, there wasn’t much of a push in the USA anyway and it was quickly ignored.

The ELR was Cadillac’s first effort, there was a big build-up with people excited by the look, and then came the trainwreck of pricing and discounting. It was also earlier in the new plug-in era.
So the ELR was a much bigger story.

And it came with ash trays in the rear seating positions. I love mine. And I really liked my ELR as well. And before that, I had a Volt.

I keep saying my next car will be an EV, but… EVs do not work with my drive cycle yet. I still make 850mi round trips to grandma’s house. It’s so far out in the boonies that I can’t even fly there easier than driving.

ATS, CTS and CT6 are the sport sedans (3 sizes, like the German brands). None of them sold well, people who want a sport sedan buy European brands or Tesla. Cadillac customers want big cushy sedans like the XTS which outsold these superior models. Lincoln sold out the $100k continental limo with suicide doors in hours, the regular model is struggling. It is the market reality, Cadillac and Lincoln sedan customers want an American style soft highway cruiser.

The ELR was their first electric car.

Technically it’s either a PHEV or a EREV…

PHEV, EREV and BEV all end in the noun EV.

So does HEV and FCEV.

They are misnomers because the Prius is most certainly not an electric vehicle.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

They aren’t misnomers, it’s just that people like you confuse engineering terms with generalities.

Aside from a Bolt EV re-design due in 2020, we wont see any new GM electric vehicle until 2022?

You mean Bolt discontinuation once the tax credits dry up.

Bolt EV will continue on likely with updates. In fact we may still see one or two other BEV2 vehicles in the short term.

That’s what GM said, but with no follow up.

The year is still early.

Yeah Paul – seeing as they so easily discontinued the ‘best selling’ VOLT, I’d fully expect them to quickly discontinue the BOLT, especially since it doesn’t owe them anything. Bolt ev sales will shrivel up in the USA due to the competition being $7500 cheaper. They don’t make a RHD model anywhere so that kills the UK and Australia. Pretty dumb since the Ampera had a RHD model and was sold world-wide.

Its especially amazing since, per Bob Lutz, GM has spent $BILLIONS on fuel cell technology before even releasing the VOLT.

You have to wonder about the current crop of Geniuses at GM – they will discontinue IMPORTANT vehicles to the corporation as soon as monthly sales figures aren’t forthcoming.

Then they’ll launch a crash-unbelievably-expensive program on Fuel Cells (my opinion of GM just dropped 10 points after reading about the hassle Lutz had getting the VOLT approved – in view of the TOTAL WASTE of HUGE amounts of funds for Fuel Cells. What does GM have to show for it? A steroided Colorado for the Army? )

There is the Buick Enspire. Buick definite plans to sell it in China, but there is a question of whether it will be sold in the USA. Buick did trademark the name in the US, so it seems like they are at least considering selling it in the USA.

And if you mean globally, there may be other models planned for China, since they have partnerships with 2 or 3 Chinese car companies.

It was trade marked a little over a month ago…

also they are doing the Velite 6 in China, was supposed to be in production last year but it was delayed do to battery supplier quality issues.

This is a Cadillac announcement of days nothing about Buick or Chevrolet.

Probably will see something in China.

Doubt much of a redesign. Probably offer some better option packages, and/or price reductions. Could see them adding more safety features as options/standard.

3 years then another 2 years then next year but delayed another year….seen it been there done that, GM to big fat and slow.

What precedent are you referring too? GM delivered both generations of Volt and Bolt EV on time. This isn’t Tesla.

Timing makes sense, as previous presentations have showed them getting to $100/kWh at the pack level sometime around 2021. Which the price point for build an EV and comparable cost to ICE.

Exactly – crazy that a company that doesn’t benefit from the, “lose money to make money” mentality that Wall Street extends to certain companies but not others would choose to wait until it could actually turn a profit building BEVs.

Regular companies that are held to traditional, rational standards will build electric vehicles in volume as soon as it’s possible to actually make a profit doing so. Audi/Porsche sooner than later, because they command a premium that allows it (and are being forced to by several countries); Cadillac/GM later because they can’t tack on an extra 20% premium for being a Cadillac/GM product. The next mid-engined Corvette will have comparable performance to a Ferrari 488, but will cost 1/3rd. Why? Because it doesn’t say, “Ferrari” on the back. Same thing vis-a-vis Tesla, Porsche, Audi, etc.

Well Tesla can have a higher price because they have the only game in town for performance EV’s. Even their price structure will change once there is competition.

Very cool. Now, let’s rewind the time back to Jan 2017 and introduce – along or instead of the Bolt – a “Lux compact CUV” and a “non-Lux compact CUV”, to cover the whole range between $30K barebones and $60K++ with options, with two different powertrains, and two different battery sizes – and see what would happen. Probably nothing, though, but it’s nice to day-dream.

Part of this is because GM sold their platform engineering group when they sold Opel to Citröen. Virtually every car GM has on sale now runs on either a Daewoo platform (small cars) or a derivative of an Opel platform.

By far GM’s largest engineering group is in Warren, MI. Do you honestly think they just twiddle their thumbs all day?

Disappointed with GM

Why? Because they can’t afford to sell at a loss for years? Because Wall Street expects them to have a P/E? Because they have to wait until battery prices drop far enough to make large-volume BEV sales practical for their consumer base? How are any of those things GM’s fault?

Because they were an early leader in the space and they will soon be toward the back of the pack. All the companies coming out with compelling BEVs this and next year except Tesla have the “challenges” you list but only GM doesn’t seem to be doing anything new.

What EV’s will be here by 2021 in any volume?


Because they already have a car in that segment with the Bolt? That was first to market. Still the most affordable 200+ mile range EV in the US.

“Toward the back” of what segment? The $50k+ segment? Yeah, because that’s not the segment they ever “lead” with. The 3 is NOT a “$35k” car, the Bolt and Leaf are, so who’s leading that segment?

Please. GM is becoming king of vaporware announcement now

GM seems to be trying to delay and kill everything they can in the US, until they find out how well the lobbying association they belong to does lobbying the current Administration’s EPA to gut and block green car regulations.

Now that’s leadership.


I’ll get a cheap model 3 before this comes out. Tesla rules.

Define cheap? Sub $40k? I’ll bet you don’t.

Changed my mind, until they get the bumper design/assmber fixed… reports of bumpers still falling off. Hurry up telsa this is an easy fix.

Go Tesla!

Go non sequiturs!

Gotta love GM, They learned how to do one page ‘paint-by-numbers’ ever since Toyota 2 years ago did the same thing saying:

1). Small cars will be BEV
2). Medium cars will be PHEV.
3), Big cars (like the Mirai), will be hydrogen.

Glad to see that GM has people who can make little car figures. I guess they don’t get specific since their Chinese Partner hasn’t given them many specifics yet as to the vehicle ‘they’ll’ develop.

Vaporware has a tendency to take years and then years more and then years more.

Funny how both Volt’s and the Bolt EV were also vaporware. But somehow magically were put into production on time. At what point do we stop calling something vaporware after a company has a track record on following through on it’s commitments?

What do you think the odds are that In 3 years Cadillac will be even further behind Tesla than it is right now?

Yup, and of course everyone will be waiting to buy Cadillac BEVs at fat margins by then, in particular old white climate-change deniers 🙂

How about letting some of the engineers who actually designed the Volt and the Bolt, affect EV strategy? They at least seem to know what they’re doing.

RACIST COMMENT. If you had done that with anyone else you would have been banned here and everywhere.


It can lead the parade of the other 19 “electrified” vehicles they will be producing within the same time frame.
Going all electric but not currently.

GM’s EV strategy shows all the survival skills of a lemming.

3 years from now means 2022. If it’s true Cadillac’s EVs will be on sale just like VWs and Audis announced 10 years ago.. good timing

When GM tried to compete globally with less rental car sales they had to go through bankruptcy to catch up to global expectations. The Bolt was a cheaply made compliance car.GM, like Harley, can not use its name to sell cars anymore. These new vehicle must be as good or exceptional vs competition.