GM has been pushing ahead with its electric vehicle programs.
The global pandemic has forced automakers like General Motors to shutter factories and delay anticipated vehicle programs in order to weather the storm.
But one arena in which GM is plowing bullishly ahead is electric vehicles. In a conference call with reporters, GM's Vice President in charge of electric and autonomous vehicles, Ken Morris, said the company was "absolutely on time" with its numerous current EV programs.
"We haven't lost a beat," he remarked.
That's despite an anticipated 43% drop in global EV demand for 2020 stemming from the novel coronavirus and its economic impact, forecast by energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, or WoodMac.
Morris, who says he's been working remotely for nearly two months now, says that remote work is nothing new for General Motors, which has amassed plenty of experience working with its many partners in different time zones, including San Francisco-based Cruise Automation. "This situation has only amped that up," he says.
With the lockdown thus constituting a comparatively small obstacle for engineering and development work, GM has been able to push full-steam-ahead with its various EV programs - although Morris still isn't sure when the GMC Hummer will be revealed. He says that GM is trying to find a means of revealing the Hummer that "does the vehicle justice."
But in the meantime, GM hasn't cut funding for its EV programs, and during the lockdown, the automaker even accelerated the development schedule for one of its coming EVs, although Morris didn't specify which. Even GM's partnership program with Honda, which will spawn a pair of new pure-electric vehicles to be sold by both automakers, is moving "full speed ahead... The pandemic has not affected us."
GM's ambitious electric vehicle plans include a future battery architecture called "Ultium" that's aiming for a drop in the cost-per-unit-energy to $100 per kWh or less; a flexible, scalable EV platform architecture; and a slew of new pure-electric vehicles, including a Cadillac crossover and a hand-built Cadillac flagship sedan.