Everything GM Announced at Day Two of CES 2021

An all-electric future is upon us

Key Takeaways

  • General Motors announced its plans to ramp up efforts for a completely electric world in transportation at CES 2021. 
  • The company is focusing on batteries, new EV models, and entering into the e-commerce market to achieve its all-electric goals. 
  • GM’s BrightDrop has partnered with FedEx Express to deliver packages more efficiently and with zero emissions.
A concept vehicle unveiled by GM at CES 2021.
Courtesy of GM

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), General Motors focused its keynote on what the company is doing to make an all-electric transportation future a reality. 

From batteries, to new EV models, to concepts, to the e-commerce market, GM made many announcements during day two of CES 2021. The company’s goal is "zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion," and while all that sounds ambitious, Tuesday’s announcements are proof the company is getting there. 

"We are at a moment when our world’s reliance on gas-powered vehicles will begin transitioning to an all-electric future," said Mary Barra, GM's chairman and CEO, during Tuesday’s keynote. 

Electric Vehicle Market 

Behind every electric vehicle is a reliable and innovative electric battery, and GM announced its latest battery at CES called the Ultium. The battery cells produce 60% more energy capacity than existing electric battery cells thanks to a flat rectangular pouch design, allowing higher energy density in a smaller space and requiring less wiring. 

The battery also produces up to 450 miles of range on a single charge and is 25% lighter and 60% more cost-effective than current EV batteries. 

These new batteries will be used in newly announced models like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, a fresh take on the Chevy Bolt EV. Over the next five years, the company will debut 30 new EV models. Some of these include the Cadillac Lyriq and the Cadillac Celestiq, both announced on Tuesday.

Concepts Of The Future

Perhaps some of the more interesting tech GM debuted included its concept models, which take the idea of electric transportation and pair it with the possibilities of the future of personal transportation. 

The Cadillac personal autonomous vehicle concept is a luxury transportation experience that GM calls a "mobile living room." It has an artificial intelligence-controlled, biometric-based user interface to change the cabin’s temperature, humidity, light, and even scent. 

A personal drone from GM.
Courtesy of GM

Another exciting concept GM has created is a Cadillac personal drone. GM describes it as "the future of where personal air travel is possible." 

Essentially, it’s a single-seat personal drone with four motors that can travel up from rooftop to rooftop up to 56 mph. 

While both of these EV models are only concepts, it’s intriguing to think about what electric travel could look like beyond just the vehicles we have become accustomed to. 

Electrifying Delivery 

Finally, GM unveiled its plans to help delivery businesses with fleets of vehicles more easily cross over to the electric side. BrightDrop is GM’s latest business venture and offers "an ecosystem of electric first-to-last-mile products, software, and services to empower delivery and logistics companies to move goods more efficiently."

"BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services," Barra said in a press release. "We are building on our significant expertise in electrification, mobility applications, telematics, and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers to move goods in a better, more sustainable way."

Two EV models make up GM’s BrightDrop venture: the EP1 and the EV600. The EP1 is a propulsion-assisted, electric pallet developed to move goods over shorter distances, such as from the delivery vehicle to a customer’s front door.

EV600 Delivery vehicle from GM.
Courtesy of GM

The delivery hub can get up to 3 mph, depending on the operator’s walking pace, and can carry approximately 23 total cubic feet of cargo with a payload capacity of 2,000 pounds. 

So far, FedEx Express has partnered with BrightDrop in a pilot program of the EP1. The pilot found that couriers could handle 25% more packages with the EP1 than without it. 

FedEx Express also is slated to become the first customer to use the EV600, BrightDrop’s electric delivery van. The EV600 is built to carry EP1 models and can get up to 250 miles of range with zero emissions. It also has a cargo area security system with motion sensors to keep the cargo secure while out on delivery runs. 

Want more? See all our coverage of CES 2021 right here.

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