General Motors (GM) announced that its Ultium Platform recovers and stores the waste heat originated from the power electronics, propulsion components and batteries of electric vehicles (EV). The OEM also reports that this feature increases charging speed, reduces the energy needed for heating, increases range by 10 percent and enables sportier driving.
“Having a ground-up EV architecture gives us the freedom to build in standard features like Ultium’s energy recovery capabilities,” said Doug Parks, Executive Vice President, GM.
This characteristic allows the platform to make use of humidity from both the outside and inside of the vehicle, taking advantage of the passengers’ body heat and heating the cabin faster than some internal combustion engine (ICE) systems.
Recently, GM allied with mining company Glencore to obtain cobalt from the latter’s Murrin Murrin operation in Australia for the manufacture of the Ultium Platform’s battery cathodes. In 2021, POSCO Chemical and GM announced a joint venture to collaborate on the construction of a factory in North America to process Cathode Active Material (CAM) for this vehicle platform.
“Our work with POSCO Chemical is a key part of our strategy to rapidly scale US EV production and drive innovation in battery performance, quality and cost,” said Parks.
The Ultium Platform can power several types of vehicles, from mass market to high performance. In late April 2022, GM’s Chevy announced that its first ever all electric Silverado will be powered by the Ultium Platform and offer an estimated 400-mile range on full charge. But not only GM’s vehicles will benefit from Ultium batteries. Honda allied with GM to develop accessible EVs and both companies aim to start producing millions of them by 2027, as reported by MBN.
The efforts towards the development of the platform and its use are aligned with GM’s mission to advance towards an accessible and inclusive all-electric future. To accelerate the achievement of this goal, the OEM has committed to reduce its water use by 35 percent by 2035 and invest US$750 million in charging infrastructure through 2025. Meanwhile, the automaker has also simplified the charging experience by integrating charging networks and mobile apps. GM also plans to become carbon neutral by 2040, according to 2021 GM’s sustainability report.
GM is also working on the transformation of assembly plants for EV-related production such as the one located in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila. The plant is undergoing a production halt as it transitions to manufacture Electric Vehicles (EV), which will turn the state into the first Mexican region to produce these vehicles, according to Coahuila’s Ministry of Economy.
GM understands that to progress towards a greener future, collaboration is needed. For this reason, on April 25, 2022, GM invited suppliers to sign the Environmental, Social and Governance Partnership Pledge to achieve carbon neutrality, among other social and governance goals.
“There are economic and social imperatives in lowering emissions and addressing climate change while cultivating a just transition,” said Jeff Morrison, Vice President of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, GM.