When General Motors projected record EV sales despite dropping the sales-leading Chevy Bolt from its lineup, I was doubtful. But in the second quarter, GM delivered. More specifically, it delivered a record number of EVs. EV sales were up 40% year-over-year, and 34% over last quarter. And the General's just getting started.  

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GM's Ultium Saga

General Motors bet the farm on its new electric-vehicle architecture, dubbed "Ultium." It got off to a rough start, with software problems that plagued the Cadillac Lyriq and Chevy Blazer EV. The Blazer even left us stranded. We started to doubt GM's plan, but then the company delivered the affordable, 300-mile-range Equinox EV, and made us believers again. Now, the company's Ultium plan is finally starting to pay dividends.

What should be the company's highest-volume EV, the Equinox EV, just launched a month ago. More affordable versions are set to arrive later this year, with one that could cost less than $30,000 after tax credits. If GM can deliver a 300-mile-range electric crossover at that price, it should add even more momentum to GM's Ultium push. By the end of the year, GM says it'll have 10 electric nameplates on sale. We expect those to be:

  1. Chevy Equinox EV
  2. Chevy Blazer EV
  3. Chevy Silverado EV
  4. Cadillac Lyriq
  5. Cadillac Optiq
  6. Cadillac Celestiq
  7. Cadillac Escalade IQ
  8. GMC Sierra EV
  9. GMC Hummer EV SUV
  10. GMC Hummer EV Truck
Chevrolet Silverado RST EV First Drive Photos

If GM doesn't count the Hummer Truck and SUV as separate products, there may be another mystery product in there. But either way, the company's lineup of EVs was basically nowhere this time last year, sustained by the ultra-low volume GMC Hummer, troubled early versions of the Lyriq and the soon-to-be-dead Bolt. By the end of this year, the company will have solid options in most of the most important categories, with a few flagships to carry the torch.

Plus, as new models enter the fray, older Ultium cars are hitting their stride. Lyriq deliveries grew 441% year over year, from 1,348 to 7,294 quarterly sales. Hummer EV deliveries went from basically none—47 in Q2 2023—to 2,929 in Q2 2024. Equinox EV sales just barely kicked off, with 1,013 deliveries, but Chevy managed to move 6,634 Blazer EVs and 2,196 Silverado EVs. The Bolt hung on for another act, too, as leftover 2023 models made up 1,374 of GM's quarterly sales. GM's overall retail EV registrations are already up 17% year-to-date, which the company notes far outpaces the industry's overall 10% gain.

This news also dispels the "no one wants EVs" narrative, as EV sales are once again growing while internal-combustion sales stagnate. Overall GM sales grew 0.6 percent, a minuscule figure compared to EV sales. And since that number includes EV sales, the figure for ICE-only sales is even more underwhelming. If GM can continue launching Ultium-platform vehicles without the software issues that plagued early Lyriqs and Blazers, the General may be poised to be the best-positioned legacy automaker in the EV marketplace. 

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