December 13th, 2019 by Steve Hanley
Just the other day, we reported on General Motors’ secret plan to transition to electric cars — to sell larger gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks. If that strategy works out, Cadillac may be the primary beneficiary. Steve Carlisle, president of the Cadillac division, told the press in Detroit this week it could be an EV-only brand by 2030, according to a report by CNET Road Show.
Image courtesy of Cadillac
The end of the next decade could be “the end of the ICE age,” Carlisle joked. Emphasis on “could.” First, a number of things need to happen, primarily a groundswell of consumer demand for electric cars. Note that Cadillac has no plans to lead that groundswell, only a plan to be ready to ride the wave if it happens. Even if that doesn’t, Cadillac will still be offering mostly electric vehicles and the division’s focus will be on electric cars by 2030, Carlisle said.
“The performance you’ll get on each and every EV is exciting. We’re looking forward to a much higher level of performance on everything across the range,” Carlisle said. Well, duh. It’s really no surprise that electric cars, which can access gobs of smile inducing torque with the touch of a toe, outperform their gasoline power equivalents in most cases. Welcome to the 21st century, Cadillac.
GM’s flagship division is busy developing an electric car toolkit similar to the MEB platform introduced recently by Volkswagen, which will allow various size vehicles to be built using the same basic architecture. But its first EV offering will be a large crossover SUV that so far has been seen in concept sketches on the internet. Carlisle says the development of that car is “moving along very well.” He promised more news about the car early next year. It is expected to have a range of at least 300 miles, although 400 miles is a goal that is being pursued.
Carlisle ruled out any hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fuel cell powered Cadillacs but acknowledged there may be gas and battery powered vehicles of similar dimensions sold beside each other during the coming decade. The company is also working on a battery powered version of the gargantuan Escalade, so Cadillac will not be downsizing its vehicles any time soon.
Why will Cadillac be the face of electric cars for General Motors? That’s simple. Carlisle says new tech is expensive and luxury consumers are “demonstrably more open minded to electric cars and automated driving. [Cadillac] is at its best when it’s leading in technology and innovation.” Some of us who still remember the ill fated Cimarron and Catera may beg to differ with that notion.
Carlisle teased that Cadillac could enter new markets with “really cool electric cars.” He got a glimmer in his eye at the suggestion of a new Cadillac quad motor electric sports car, although it will have to dig deep into the division’s engineering pool to come up with anything that can compete with the upcoming Tesla Roadster 2.0. Looking back at Cadillac’s dismal track record with two-seater sports cars, starting with the dreadful Allanté, the division might want to think long and hard about that plan. (READ MORE)