General Motors return to Europe with EV-only model

► GM to come back to Europe
► EV range planned for the years to come
► Brand’s Ultium platform makes it possible

Executives at General Motors have confirmed a plan to return properly to Europe after being largely absent for years.

But this time it’ll be different, says GM – with a new line-up of exclusively electric cars. No confused product portfolios, no weakly badge-engineered cars and… crucially no combustion engines to be seen. ‘There is no “if” about this,’ says Mahmoud Samara, who was appointed as president and managing director of GM Europe in November 2021. ‘We have made a clear commitment that we are going to substantially contribute to the industry’s transformation.

‘With the vision under Mary Barra [CEO of GM], we have made the execution from being an auto maker to being a platform maker. We have made a global commitment to having a fully electric range by 2035 and that we will be carbon neutral by 2040.

‘With all that transformation in mind, look at the transformation in Europe. It’s one of the fastest growing EV markets in the world, and if you look at the maturity of the infrastructure that continues to progress. The transition of our business model and the transition to an environment for EVs in Europe is a match made in heaven.’

EV sales boom in UK

How GM is going to re-enter Europe as an EV brand

The key to the EV comeback is General Motors’ new Ultium battery-electric platform (below).

It’s pretty much what you expect: a scalable, configurable set of components with an adjustable-size battery pack under the floor. In the North American market, GM already sells the Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq using the platform, with cars like the recently-announced Chevrolet Blazer EV and Silverado EV also taking advantage of the same toolkit.

In terms of what will come to Europe, Shilpan Amin – president of GM International – says the automotive group wants to create EVs for all markets and all budgets, and isn’t just targeting volume or premium automotive segments. Driving costs down using Ultium allows the group to do that.

That means we could see the likes of Cadillac returning to Europe as an EV manufacturer with its new Lyriq crossover, or the aforementioned Blazer EV from Chevrolet (below) coming to the European market. This is just speculative at present, however.

There’s no word or confirmation of when GM’s grand plan will start to roll out, so we’ll update this page when we know more.

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
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