General Motors on Monday unveiled its plans to offer an electric vehicle “for every wallet and every customer” in the Middle East at its Exhibit Zero Arabia event at the World Trade Centre.
GM’s ambitious initiative is based on a plan to launch 13 new EVs in the Middle East by 2025 – led by the GMC Hummer EV, Chevrolet Bolt EUV and Cadillac LYRIQ.
A key component of each of these new vehicles is GM’s third-generation global EV platform powered by “Ultium” batteries. The company says its Ultium technology has reduced battery costs by 40 percent, adding that the unit cost will decrease further as EVs are adopted and production increases over the decade.
While GM has stated its intention to target buyers of all demographics with its EV onslaught, the vehicle likely to generate the most interest in our region is the GMC Hummer EV. The Hummer brand had a noticeable presence in the Middle East until declining sales and an increasingly uncompetitive line-up resulted in its closure in 2010.
While Hummers of old were dinosaurs with rudimentary underpinnings, the reborn battery-powered iteration—now positioned as a nameplate for the upscale GMC brand—is a techno powerhouse by comparison. It will be offered in both pickup and SUV formats, broadening its reach in the market.
Although GM has not yet revealed detailed technical information about the GMC Hummer EV, it is believed that the top-of-the-range version will have three electric motors and deliver 1,000 horsepower. The Ultium battery platform will enable it to sprint from 0-100 kilometers per hour in just over three seconds and provide a range of 600 km on a full charge.
Among the Hummer EV’s cool features are removable roof panels, an optional adjustable air suspension, and a new four-wheel steering feature that allows it to “crab” sideways—drive diagonally—which should increase its off-road capabilities.
Production of the GMC Hummer EV has begun at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, less than two years after GM announced a massive $2.2 billion investment to overhaul the facility to build a host of all-electric trucks and SUVs.
Also of potential interest in our region – especially as the electric charging network expands rapidly – is the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, positioned as an affordable battery-powered hatchback. The compact Chevy is backed by respectable stats that include a range of 400 km and a 0-100 km/h sprint in seven seconds. If GM can get the pricing right, the Bolt EUV could be greeted by a receptive audience in the UAE.
The third major EV debutant up GM’s sleeve is the Cadillac LYRIQ. Dressed in futuristic garb and with a state-of-the-art cabin, the Caddy will go head-to-head with offerings from the likes of the Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes EQC and Tesla Model X. Likely to go on sale in 2023, the LYRIQ will be available with a single electric motor driving the rear axle, as well as a dual motor driving both axles.
The Middle East EV offensive is part of a worldwide GM initiative, where it plans to invest $35 billion through 2025 in electric and autonomous vehicles, with more than 30 new electric cars launching globally. The automaker expects global EV revenue to grow from about $10 billion in 2023 to about $90 billion annually in 2030.
GM also used the Exhibit Zero Arabia event to announce that the OnStar system will officially launch in the UAE on Thursday, December 2. OnStar is an in-vehicle safety and security technology that provides customers with a suite of connected services.
“With the approval and support of the UAE Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, Dubai and Abu Dhabi Police and the UAE Ministry of Interior, we are so excited to launch OnStar in the UAE on December 2, following our first regional launch in Kuwait earlier this year, says Gary West, CEO of OnStar and Future Mobility for GM Africa & Middle East.
“OnStar gives customers peace of mind that no matter the situation, they can press the red button and get support from an OnStar Advisor 24/7, 365 days a year.”
Updated: 23 November 2021, 05:24