News is coming out of General Motors that their premium Cadillac brand is about to follow the lead of other luxury car makers and become predominantly all-electric at some point in the near future, potentially as soon as 2030.
It has long been rumored that a shift to an all EV line up could be in the cards for the brand, and this was confirmed by the President of Cadillac, Steve Carlisle, in a recent interview with the press. He didn’t go as far as guaranteeing the change but did suggest that plans are already in place to shift towards mostly EV production within the next decade.
This change will begin with General Motors’ planned production of a new, large Cadillac all-electric SUV in late 2023 at its Detroit Hamtramck plant. The car will mark the start of a $3 billion overhaul of facilities at the plant that will see a shift to battery-powered cars instead of the current gas-powered models currently made there. The new SUV will carry the Escalade name and be a full-sized sport utility vehicle. While Carlisle confirmed that the car will be offered with an electric engine primarily, he also stated that an internal combustion engine version will also be offered, at least initially.
It’s pleasing to hear the President of a big automotive brand like Cadillac making a statement like this, especially off the back of the expected dip in sales predicted by the China Association of Automotive Manufacturers.
This news doesn’t seem to have phased Carlisle, or the brand’s owners at General Motors, who predict to see a growth in the “low double digits” for EV sales in the Chinese market. Any increase in the sale of electric cars is great news, especially in China, a country that has taken to EVs quickly due to government subsidies and an urge to tackle pollution levels in cities.
Where the Chinese market is concerned, Cadillac has no intention of slowing down and is planning to introduce a compact all-electric SUV by the end of 2022. This is expected to be a similar vehicle to the Escalade SUV released in the U.S. a year later but will be geared to the Chinese audience.
The rise in sales in China wasn’t the only sales increase announced by Carlisle, who spoke of increased units shipped in the U.S. market for the first time since 2013. Although numbers are still relatively small compared to GM’s other car brands, any increase in car sales, especially for a brand looking to jump headlong into the EV market, is good news.
The use of the Escalade name also marks a change in direction for the carmaker as it reverts back to a much-loved title and away from the alpha-numeric system it had used over the past few years.
Carlisle spoke enthusiastically about the name change, “Escalade is an awesome name,” and confirmed plans to refresh its current gas-powered models one more time over the next decade before shifting to electric models. Of the transition, he said, “None of us know how quickly the transition will take place,” but he went on to state that 2030 is a target the company hopes to hit.
In addition to announcing the shift to all EV cars, Carlisle also stated that the company hopes to expand the number of cars equipped with GM’s Super Cruise semi-automated driving system in the near future.
It appears the future of electric cars is here, and it could be (in part) powered by Cadillac.