2022-03-07 | New Roads Magazine

The Future Electric: Battery Technology

GM’s chief sustainability officer offers a peek into Chevrolet’s all-electric future, with some groundbreaking battery technology and a flexible EV platform on the way.

Kristen Siemen is a huge fan of electric vehicles.

“You get in and put your foot on the accelerator and it’s quiet, it’s smooth, it’s exciting,” says Siemen, chief sustainability officer at General Motors. “There’s nothing like that feel in a typical combustion vehicle.”

Siemen believes we are at a tipping point with electric vehicles. Costs are going down, charging stations are being installed, and improvement in battery technology is making it easier to go farther.

“Climate change is real and urgent,” adds Siemen, “and electric vehicles play an essential part in that challenge. Business needs to play a leading role here, and for GM that means leading a transformation toward an all-electric future.”

1. Actual charge times will vary based on battery condition, output of charger, vehicle settings and outside temperature. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations. 2. Actual charge times will vary based on battery starting state of charge, battery condition, output of charger, vehicle settings and outside temperature. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations.

1. Actual charge times will vary based on battery condition, output of charger, vehicle settings and outside temperature. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations. 2. Actual charge times will vary based on battery starting state of charge, battery condition, output of charger, vehicle settings and outside temperature. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations.

Back in 2016, Chevrolet made waves when it launched the first all-electric Bolt EV. Since then, as Siemen notes, the commitment to going all-electric has only grown.

“Chevy set the benchmark for affordable long-range EVs when we launched the Bolt, and we are adding the Bolt EUV to the lineup. These are great examples of where we see the future going toward all-electric,” Siemen says.

“As we look at an all-electric future, we’re looking at offering vehicles at all price points, from trucks to sedans and everything in between,” she says.

At the heart of this electrified future will be a highly modular system based on the new Ultium Platform — not used on the current Bolt EV or Bolt EUV, but one that will be used to create the all-electric Silverado, Equinox EV, Blazer EV, and more. 

“We’re completely focused on Ultium and focused on bringing battery cost down to improve performance to please customers, and offer more affordable EVs,” Siemen says. “Our commitment shows how serious we are about an all-electric future. We have said we will invest $35 billion to bring EVs to market. Manufacturing batteries at scale to bring the cost down is core to that.”


CHARGING, SIMPLIFIED

The 2022 Bolt EUV comes standard with a Dual Level Charge Cord, allowing owners to conveniently use a standard three-prong outlet for Level 1 charging or a 240-volt outlet for Level 2 charging without purchasing a separate charging device.


Siemen’s outlook on future adoption of electric Chevy vehicles is bright, in part because of the company’s efforts to make charging accessible. Chevrolet has agreements with Qmerit and EVgo to help make charging at home and on the road more like the model drivers are accustomed to today, with gas-engine vehicles.

“What excites me the most about an electric future is really knowing the capability and expertise behind Chevrolet,” says Siemen. “I am an engineer at heart and by training, and we are taught to solve problems. We are given difficult tasks and come up with creative ways to solve them, and we are trained to provide customer experiences that are exciting and fun. There is no compromise there.

“I am excited to see what this EV future holds,” she adds. “I personally believe global warming is the largest problem of our generation, and I think that Chevy will play a critical role in solving that.”

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*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

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