Hybrids & Electrics

What is the GM Ultium Battery?

There was a slightly confusing Will Ferrell Super Bowl ad about the General Motors‘ Ultium Battery that may have left you with a few questions. For example, what is the GM Ultium battery? Also, why is Will Ferrell driving the Cadillac Lyriq and challenging us to beat Norway? 

Will Ferrell’s GM Ultium Battery Super Bowl ad explained 

General Motors has some explaining to do after their Super Bowl 55 ad. For example, why does Will Ferrell hate Norway? Apparently, it’s because Will and GM feel as if the United States can do a better job than Norway when it comes to electric vehicles. 

According to CNET, over half of the vehicles sold in Norway are EVs, while only 4-percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. are electric. That’s one wild difference that GM wants to make up for with new EV models coming by 2025, including the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV

Using comedians was a sure way to get our attention. Still, the main take away from the ad is the fact that the automaker promises to be more serious about getting more Americas in electric vehicles. This comes as the Biden administration promotes zero-emissions powertrains too.  

GM Ultium Battery chemistry 

The new GM battery is a Tesla killer, according to some. But as Design News explains, Ultium cells are flat pouch-style cells. They were developed in partnership with LG Chem and will be produced in the former GM assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. 

Andy Oury, General Motors’ Lead Architect and Strategy Manager for High-Voltage Battery Packs, shared that this is a new chemistry. They have taken a standard nickel manganese cobalt chemistry and added aluminum. 

Cadillac Lyriq crossover EV parked in the neighborhood from the Johnny Depp classic Edward Scissorhands
Cadillac Lyriq | GM

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The Lyriq will feature a battery pack with about 100 kilowatt-hours of capacity. Its cells employ NCMA (Nickle-cobalt-manganese-aluminum) chemistry to reduce the amount of cobalt needed by 70-percent compared to the batteries currently used in the Chevy Bolt EV. 

Thanks to aluminum, the nickel content can be increased, and the cobalt content can be reduced, providing customers with more range at a lower cost. The flat-pouch design also reduces complexity and enhances cooling. Also, multiple methods of charging will be available, and the battery packs take up less space. 

Was Will Ferrell driving the Cadillac Lyriq? 

Yes, Will Ferrell was spotted driving the 2022 Cadillac Lyriq. However, as it arrives in 2022, it could be called a 2023 model. Anyways, the Lyriq is a luxurious electric SUV that is helping modernize EVs. 

According to Car and Driver, Cadillac suggests the Lyriq will be available in a single-motor rear-wheel-drive variant and a dual-motor all-wheel-drive model. It should have a range of over 300 miles and rides on the new General Motor’s scalable battery architecture. 

The Cadillac Lyriq is an electric vehicle that will be featured in one of two Super Bowl ads GM has planned for this year's game.
The Cadillac Lyriq is an electric vehicle that will be featured in one of two Super Bowl ads GM has planned for this year’s game. | Cadillac

It will be tackling rivals such as the Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace, and Tesla Model X. We don’t know much about this new vehicle yet. However, Cadillac shared that the Lyriq could start below $60,000. This would allow the Cadillac Lyriq to be eligible for state incentives in California and New York. 

The Jaguar I-Pace can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 4.3 seconds. So the Lyriq will have to be sporty to compete. It can connect to DC fast-charges and home power outlets as well. Also, the design allows the Lyriq to be nimble yet incredibly spacious for passengers and cargo.