Meet the Ultium Drive Family, the Interchangeable Powerplant Lineup for the Next Generation of GM Electric Vehicles

General Motors has introduced its Ultium Drive family of electric motors and drive units for future products. Specifically, the lineup consists of "five interchangeable drive units and three motors." To better visualize the Ultium Drive family, here's a handy animation provided by GM:


The most interesting bit in the press release, however, may be these two sentences:

The GM Ultium Drive family covers front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive propulsion combinations, including high-performance and off-road capabilities.

All five drive units are expected to be powered by one or more of three motors including a primary front-wheel drive motor, which can be configured for front- or rear-wheel drive, and an all-wheel drive assist motor.

We know that the all-electric revival of the Hummer is coming up and there is that North American partnership with Honda, but it should be interesting to see what General Motors has in store for its next generation of electric vehicles.

What future models do you predict will be powered by Ultium Drive, and is there anything you are particularly excited (or even hesitant) about?

Read the full press release below:

General Motors’ next-generation EVs are expected to be powered by a family of five interchangeable drive units and three motors, known collectively as “Ultium Drive.” Ultium Drive will help the company transition its current portfolio to a fully electric lineup, providing significant advantages over GM’s previous EVs in performance, scale, speed to market and manufacturing efficiencies.

Ultium Drive combines electric motors and single-speed transmissions to apply power – generated by Ultium battery cells – to the wheels of GM’s upcoming electric vehicles. GM will lead the design and development of Ultium Drive’s modular architecture. 

Ultium Drive will be more responsive than its internal combustion equivalents with precision torque control of its motors for smooth performance. These motors within Ultium Drive are expected to offer industry-leading torque and power density across a wide spectrum of different vehicle types.

GM has built transmissions for many notable automakers,” said Ken Morris, GM vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs. “Making motors, transmissions, driveline components and systems are among GM’s best-known competencies, and our manufacturing expertise is proving not only transferable but advantageous as we make the transition to EVs.”

GM applied 25 years of EV experience to Ultium Drive with lighter and more efficient designs that feature clever integration. For example, by integrating the power electronics into the drive units’ assemblies, the mass of the power electronics has been reduced by nearly 50 percent from GM’s previous EV generation, saving cost and packaging space while increasing capability by 25 percent.

Like GM’s industry-first almost completely wireless battery management system, this consolidation of parts and features also makes it easier to scale Ultium Drive across GM’s future EV lineup.

The power and versatility of these drive units will help GM migrate high-output segments like pickup trucks and performance vehicles to all-electric propulsion while providing the bandwidth to propel GM’s EV portfolio well into the future.

The GM Ultium Drive family covers front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive propulsion combinations, including high-performance and off-road capabilities.

All five drive units are expected to be powered by one or more of three motors including a primary front-wheel drive motor, which can be configured for front- or rear-wheel drive, and an all-wheel drive assist motor.

GM will save on vehicle design and production costs by developing Ultium Drive alongside its next generation of EVs, leveraging internal expertise to improve efficiency and fit drive units and motors into future vehicles.

As with other propulsion systems that are complex, capital intensive and contain a great deal of intellectual property, we’re always better off making them ourselves,” said Adam Kwiatkowski, GM executive chief engineer, Global Electrical Propulsion. “GM’s full lineup of EVs should benefit from the simultaneous engineering of Ultium Drive. Our commitment to increased vertical integration is expected to bring additional cost efficiency to the performance equation.”

Most of the Ultium Drive components, including castings, gears and assemblies, will be built with globally sourced parts at GM’s existing global propulsion facilities on shared, flexible assembly lines, allowing the company to more quickly ramp up its EV production, achieve economies of scale and adjust its production mix to match market demand.

All GM electric vehicles built on the Ultium platform will be powered by Ultium Drive, providing GM’s next-generation EVs with remarkable flexibility and modularity. For more information about GM’s Ultium battery system, please clilck HERE.

Like what you're reading? We rely on your financial support. For as little as $3, you can support Grassroots Motorsports by becoming a Patron today. 

Become a Patron!

Join Free Join our community to easily find more General Motors, Ultium and electric news.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
Rons
Rons Reader
9/17/20 1:28 p.m.

Only one question when do crate motors and transmissions go on sale?

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/18/20 2:32 p.m.

Not to be a pessimist, but once every brand electrifies does the drive unit make much difference anymore?  For generations, the powertrain has been a big differentiator between entry-level, up-market and exotic brands or even between models within the same brand.  I'm sensing that a lot of niche models and brands are about to lose much of their appeal.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/18/20 3:24 p.m.

The fact that GM is so crate-friendly makes me very hopeful.

I think the drive unit will still make a difference. It's not like there's a shortage of V6s in a certain size range today, for example. They all vary a bit in terms of ultimate power and efficiency and noise, and expect that to remain. EVs may distinguish themselves on efficiency (which is not range, but sorta related), charging speed and general NVH control. That last is a place where high dollar stuff can set itself apart, because it's going to come down to how well the car is sorted out aerodynamically and how much sound deadening there is.

And heck, GM uses the same basic engine in a high-end Cadillac, a Corvette, minivans and V8 Silverados. Somehow, those cars still get differentiated.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/18/20 3:48 p.m.

I'm so torn about this. On the one hand, the one thing GM does really well is powertrains (SBC, BBC, LS, LT, Ecotec, etc, etc). On the other hand, GM has a sordid history with anything remotely electric-drive related (EV-1, "mild hybrid" SUV's, Volt/Bolt, etc). I'd also like to point out that at this point the Tesla Model S has been out for 9 model years (12-21). By the time these GM's hit the road it will be what, 24? 25?

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
9/18/20 4:05 p.m.

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

The problem is not the power train in EV's they are proven stone reliable and more powerful than most.  
The problem is marketing. 
     On first glance EV's seem expensive.  In reality they are very affordable when you factor in maintenance and fuel costs. But to do that would have pulled down their profit center -  Trucks. 
         Americans tend to be followers. Preferring the comfort of the familiar over the rewards offered by the unknown. 

STM317
STM317 UberDork
9/18/20 8:23 p.m.

This and the nearly wireless integration stuff really makes GMs approach seem pretty well thought out to me. It seems like they're planning this approach so they can really vary the number of vehicles that use a very similar platform with minimal integration (ie-less engineering time/money) needed. That helps to spread development costs out and reduce the $/kwh of their batteries too which should lead to either lower prices or increased profits.

You don't do all of this groundwork, and spend billions on a new battery plant, and sign agreements with other OEMs to be their battery supplier, unless you're actually planning on making a whole lot of these batteries/EVs. The Volt and Bolt both seem like pretty well executed examples of EV tech, but they were developed in a time when building EVs was super expensive. I'd wager that's a big part of why the Volt and Bolt were small, economy cars and not popular CUVs which would've sold in higher numbers. Seems like GM's finally comfortable enough with EV production costs to really try to tackle this on a large scale and chase profits.

STM317
STM317 UberDork
9/18/20 8:37 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

The problem is not the power train in EV's they are proven stone reliable and more powerful than most.  
The problem is marketing. 
     On first glance EV's seem expensive.  In reality they are very affordable when you factor in maintenance and fuel costs. But to do that would have pulled down their profit center -  Trucks. 
         Americans tend to be followers. Preferring the comfort of the familiar over the rewards offered by the unknown. 

I don't think OEMs were afraid of hurting truck sales with EVs, I think battery costs were too high to justify the investment on a large scale. But cost per kwh continues to drop and demand (or at least public interest) in EVs has grown. Trucks are going to be the next EV battleground.

Ford released some info recently on the upcoming Electric F150, and the language in their release is clearly geared toward fleet buyers. That's a great target for electric trucks since they're more likely to focus on total cost of ownership than what's likely to be a high initial purchase price, most fleet vehicles return to a central location over night where they could charge, and fleet buyers don't care a bit about flashy looks or on stage antics during a product reveal. The only things that matter to a fleet buyer are uptime and total cost of ownership. It has to work as much as possible with as little maintenance as possible. That's where an EV is going to sell well. And eventually, when those trucks are out in the field and the cowboy cos-players see actual working class people doing "truck things" with their EVs, they'll become a bit more desirable to the typical truck buyer too.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle SuperDork
9/18/20 8:43 p.m.

I like it if GM tightly controls manufacturing of the electric motors. I am excited for all the torques. Far as I've heard the Volt is a well engineered and durable vehicle. It'd be cool to see a metamorphosis of GM as an American company. 

My concern would be GM doing like other publicly traded companies (cough elevator industry cough) and getting in a race to the bottom by putting a premium on price - buying motors as commodities. If they do that, be very aware of your warranty expiration date and proceed accordingly. 

bigben
bigben Reader
9/18/20 11:53 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :
     On first glance EV's seem expensive.  In reality they are very affordable when you factor in maintenance and fuel costs.

You know I keep hearing that sales pitch for EV, but I'm still sceptical, especially with the relative infancy of the technology.  Some friends of ours have a Model S and they spent $10k in repairs and maintenance on the stupid thing in the first year. Meanwhile we bought a used Honda Odyssey with 100k mi. on it. I changed the timing belt and water pump shortly after purchase as regular maintenance which set me back less than $200. Other than that two oil changes a year is all that it has needed and we've driven the wheels off it. We're coming up on 150k mi.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
9/19/20 12:29 a.m.

The problem with "the unknown" in the auto industry is that it tends to screw over the consumer. People don't like being hung out to dry when vehicles are so ridiculously expensive.

Watching the ICE parts of the industry for as long as I've been into cars has taught me to never buy the first year of anything. Why should I be the guinea pig?

Last, I'm a mechanic. My repair costs are low. It's going to take me an awful long time to eat up the equivalent cost of a new EV in fuel and parts on my conventional vehicles.

I'm a tiny minority but all this adds up to me never buying a new vehicle, let alone an EV.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/19/20 8:32 a.m.
nderwater said:

Not to be a pessimist, but once every brand electrifies does the drive unit make much difference anymore?  For generations, the powertrain has been a big differentiator between entry-level, up-market and exotic brands or even between models within the same brand.  I'm sensing that a lot of niche models and brands are about to lose much of their appeal.

Think how much the character of an engine impacts a car's driving experience.  Think of how many people soured on the Boxster/Cayman when it moved from a flat six to a turbo four, and how they rejoice at the new 4.0 flat six option.  The turbo four gets little love in the Camaro and Mustang and the V6s get forgotten because the best driving experience is the V8.  For generations, the Corvette has been all about its V8.  What's the real point of a Challenger or Charger if you take the HEMI away?  What's a Lamborghini without the rip-snorting theatrics of its big V12 or V10? 

The electric powertrains I've driven may vary a lot in acceleration but very little in character.  Once every car comes with the tick-the-box options for slow, moderate, quick, and fastest--that all have similar character--then what really separates an Alfa from a Buick from a Kia?

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
9/19/20 9:29 a.m.

It's pretty interesting to see these, but what the hell do they mean by "wireless"? 

Incorporating the inverter into the motor is a VERY good move on GM's part and goes hand-in-hand with their attentiveness to the aftermarket and hobby space with crate motors. GM knows that the new EV field is buying and using Volt cells for their EV projects because they can be liquid cooled and have better discharge rates than Tesla packs; by incorporating the inverter- the most expensive and complex part of any AC motor system- with the motor itself as a single unit they're making it easier for us to put them into other cars. I wouldn't be shocked at all if GM purposefully put some overhead into the inverter so an owner could "turn up" the power as they want, not unlike Teslas over-the-air updates but with an "enthusiast" slant.

In reply to ShawnG :

I totally agree. My next daily will be an EV and I know how to avoid the worst of Tesla's mistakes, but even with that knowledge even if I could buy one now I need to wait longer. The Model 3 is slated for the Y's heat pump in 2021, and god knows what teething issues the CYBERTRUCK will have (which I'm REALLY waiting for, but god knows if it'll fit in my garage).

 

In reply to nderwater :

But how is 'quiet' not a character? What are we comparing it to? Because I can honestly say, in comparison to my AW11s manual steering, non-ABS breaks and 4A-GE that everything feels dead in comparison, especially modern power steering. But I also know it's all relative, because I know i'm a small minority whom likes those things.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/19/20 9:45 a.m.

After you spend some time with an EV, all that ICE "character" becomes almost ridiculous. Like, why is the car making such a big deal about this?

In a car designed specifically for driving like my old Lotus Seven replica, that's part of the experience. There's never a moment where you are not Driving, and the engine I built for that car had more character than anything else I've ever driven. But anything less than that - a modified ND or NA Miata, an E39 M5, a Lambo  - and it comes across as a bit silly. All that drama just to do a thing that can be done so easily. It's like getting into a car with the same terrible suspension you've always known after experiencing what a really good suspension feels like. 

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
9/19/20 10:16 a.m.
nderwater said:
nderwater said:

Not to be a pessimist, but once every brand electrifies does the drive unit make much difference anymore?  For generations, the powertrain has been a big differentiator between entry-level, up-market and exotic brands or even between models within the same brand.  I'm sensing that a lot of niche models and brands are about to lose much of their appeal.

Think how much the character of an engine impacts a car's driving experience.  Think of how many people soured on the Boxster/Cayman when it moved from a flat six to a turbo four, and how they rejoice at the new 4.0 flat six option.  The turbo four gets little love in the Camaro and Mustang and the V6s get forgotten because the best driving experience is the V8.  For generations, the Corvette has been all about its V8.  What's the real point of a Challenger or Charger if you take the HEMI away?  What's a Lamborghini without the rip-snorting theatrics of its big V12 or V10? 

The electric powertrains I've driven may vary a lot in acceleration but very little in character.  Once every car comes with the tick-the-box options for slow, moderate, quick, and fastest--that all have similar character--then what really separates an Alfa from a Buick from a Kia?

I love character. I own a MG TD  with a hand crank for starting.  cutaway doors so you  touch the road. 
manual gearbox with a non syncro 1 st gear,  wire wheels and a convertible top that is normally found someplace in the garage. 
 

But for day to day driving, commuting to and from work in rush hour?  I'll take simple smooth and quiet every day. 

Vajingo
Vajingo New Reader
9/19/20 1:27 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

After you spend some time with an EV, all that ICE "character" becomes almost ridiculous. Like, why is the car making such a big deal about this?

In a car designed specifically for driving like my old Lotus Seven replica, that's part of the experience. There's never a moment where you are not Driving, and the engine I built for that car had more character than anything else I've ever driven. But anything less than that - a modified ND or NA Miata, an E39 M5, a Lambo  - and it comes across as a bit silly. All that drama just to do a thing that can be done so easily. It's like getting into a car with the same terrible suspension you've always known after experiencing what a really good suspension feels like. 

I'd say that last part really depends on what your doing with said crappy suspension. Jumping a  beater over railroad tracks? Worth it. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
9/19/20 3:39 p.m.

I'm glad that they're investing in EV tech, but they have been abysmal record of it. think back to the skateboard chassis and all the R&D and money they spent in developing two generations of it before it finally made it to a production vehicle and proclaiming that it was going to be utilized in a half a dozen a dozen vehicles and it went in three. The ELR, the Volt and the Bolt. Now the Volt and Bolt are definitely solid, but it took nearly 15 years to come to fruition. When I think GM and EV platform flexibility delusions of grandeur is immediately what comes to mind. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/19/20 4:10 p.m.
frenchyd said:

I love character. I own a MG TD  with a hand crank for starting.  cutaway doors so you  touch the road. 
manual gearbox with a non syncro 1 st gear,  wire wheels and a convertible top that is normally found someplace in the garage. 
 

But for day to day driving, commuting to and from work in rush hour?  I'll take simple smooth and quiet every day. 

I get that.  I'd have no problem at all if our minivan was electric.  I'm really surprised no one has brought a fully electric van to market yet.

Keith Tanner said:

After you spend some time with an EV, all that ICE "character" becomes almost ridiculous. Like, why is the car making such a big deal about this?

I had the opposite experience after selling my E36 M3 then leasing a Kia Soul EV.  Like my parents' Nissan Leaf, the Soul EV was a super practical car but halfway through my lease I was seriously craving sound and fury, which is why I ended up with a Jag XK coupe.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
9/19/20 4:27 p.m.

In reply to nderwater :

I like buying a car and keeping it.  Over time I'm rewarded by a car that empowers me because I do my own maintenance. Doing so gives me confidence  to really drive the car

But I can see in the near future the value of just buying transportation as it's needed.  I'm 72 and nearing retirement. My current fleet is 4 vehicles for 2 people. When I need my next car ( an EV ) I'm considering just leasing it. When that lease expires I'll still have 3  so maybe it will be time to down size?  

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
9/19/20 7:40 p.m.

One step closer to that EV'd Maserati BiTurbo!

I think this is one of those times when GM knows it has to stay the course and keep developing something instead of trying it for a generation and a half before giving up.  When they decide to actually follow through painful development steps they do fine. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/20/20 6:00 p.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

One step closer to that EV'd Maserati BiTurbo!

I'm super curious to see whether EV resto-modding catches on. There are plenty of collectable old cars whose drivetrain parts have become unobtanium, or whose OE drivetrains are slow and fragile by today's standards.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/20/20 6:24 p.m.
nderwater said:
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

One step closer to that EV'd Maserati BiTurbo!

I'm super curious to see whether EV resto-modding catches on. There are plenty of collectable old cars whose drivetrain parts have become unobtanium, or whose OE drivetrains are slow and fragile by today's standards.

it's very niche right now partly because of costs...

BUT, as time marches forward and the costs of the tech go down.. I bet electric conversions of retro vehicles will only continue to increase. especially as emissions regs continue to tighten..

Looking at older roadsters and some of the VW buses that have been converted in California.. the EV swap only made them better and honestly.. made them cooler too..

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/20/20 6:26 p.m.

Oh yeah, it's going to be a growing industry. Old school cool without the hassle. My '66 Cadillacs would be awesome as EVs and the old Land Rover would be a very capable beast. There are EV restomods happening already. 

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
9/20/20 6:38 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Oh yeah, it's going to be a growing industry. Old school cool without the hassle. My '66 Cadillacs would be awesome as EVs and the old Land Rover would be a very capable beast. There are EV restomods happening already. 

They look really cool and I would be curious to ride in one. A lot of the old stuff had plenty of engine noise to drown out squeaks and rattles. Would the old car rattles and squeaks be overwhelmingly annoying if they were the only sounds?

Edit-I drove a fast converted 911 a good while back and it wasn't annoying at all. A little squeak of the poly bushings as we pulled out of the shop-but after that it was just silly fast acceleration followed by dead silence at stops.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
9/20/20 11:13 p.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:
nderwater said:
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

One step closer to that EV'd Maserati BiTurbo!

I'm super curious to see whether EV resto-modding catches on. There are plenty of collectable old cars whose drivetrain parts have become unobtanium, or whose OE drivetrains are slow and fragile by today's standards.

it's very niche right now partly because of costs...

BUT, as time marches forward and the costs of the tech go down.. I bet electric conversions of retro vehicles will only continue to increase. especially as emissions regs continue to tighten..

Looking at older roadsters and some of the VW buses that have been converted in California.. the EV swap only made them better and honestly.. made them cooler too..

Honestly? I don't think it'll be emission regulations that drive it, but lack of parts and a desire to keep them "Together" for historical displays.

Not sure on the squeeks and rattles honestly, because you have no engine rocking around coupled with modern suspension knowledge and bushings.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/20 8:57 a.m.

But you still have a lot of parts that make contact with each other, trapped inside a box that is not rigid. Most squeaks and rattles aren't the suspension and the engine, they're the dashboard and trim and stuff inside the doors, etc. The interior on my Cadillacs is very complicated with a lot more parts than a modern car. It was built with a level of manual adjustment/fettling that would make even a Tesla hater impressed. Then you get wind noise which is a harder problem to solve. 

It's definitely a problem that the "drop in a big block with a couple of glasspacks" builder doesn't have to deal with. It'll take some good attention to detail to get it all figured out. And emissions regs will definitely be a factor, engine swaps in California are a PITA for anything that's built after the early 70s. 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
9/21/20 12:47 p.m.

After all this, I still have to wonder, when EV's are the majority of vehicles, where are we going to get the power to charge off of them. Our current electric grids are just barely managing to keep up with the demand currently, add in a couple million EV's and you have, wait for it, Gridlock !!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/20 1:04 p.m.

No. Do some research.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/20 1:12 p.m.

Here's some from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, paraphrased on a quality science/tech site because the original article is behind a paywall: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/01/how-many-electric-cars-can-the-grid-take-depends-on-your-neighborhood/. Short version: until we get to 25% of the fleet as electric, it's not a problem overall. Before we get there, there will have to be some changes. But that's going to take a little while, so we have time.

A big part of the effect comes from WHEN EVs charge. They tend to balance off peak power usage pretty nicely, being most likely to charge overnight. Yes, here comes the imaginary scenario of every EV going on a Cannonball Run recreation all at the same time - but really, that's not the normal use case. 

Also, it's possible for the EVs to coordinate their charging times. Your phone already does some smart charging based on your daily behavior, the cars can network and spread out the load if necessary.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/21/20 1:23 p.m.
Javelin (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm so torn about this. On the one hand, the one thing GM does really well is powertrains (SBC, BBC, LS, LT, Ecotec, etc, etc). On the other hand, GM has a sordid history with anything remotely electric-drive related (EV-1, "mild hybrid" SUV's, Volt/Bolt, etc). I'd also like to point out that at this point the Tesla Model S has been out for 9 model years (12-21). By the time these GM's hit the road it will be what, 24? 25?

Dude the EV1 was great, the Volt and Bolt are great (hey I drove my Bolt again today!) so I am not sure what you're on about there.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/21/20 1:29 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Here's some from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, paraphrased on a quality science/tech site because the original article is behind a paywall: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/01/how-many-electric-cars-can-the-grid-take-depends-on-your-neighborhood/. Short version: until we get to 25% of the fleet as electric, it's not a problem overall. Before we get there, there will have to be some changes. But that's going to take a little while, so we have time.

A big part of the effect comes from WHEN EVs charge. They tend to balance off peak power usage pretty nicely, being most likely to charge overnight. Yes, here comes the imaginary scenario of every EV going on a Cannonball Run recreation all at the same time - but really, that's not the normal use case. 

Also, it's possible for the EVs to coordinate their charging times. Your phone already does some smart charging based on your daily behavior, the cars can network and spread out the load if necessary.

I am not sure if this article delves into the subject much, but one other aspect reinforcing the probability that our grid will likely suffice is that people don't use as much of the car as they tend to buy. They may buy a 300 mile range EV, or a 500 mile range EV, but most will charge only 20-40 miles of that giant battery each day.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/21/20 1:50 p.m.

yep, sign me up for the crate motor version!

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/21/20 3:15 p.m.

It seems like it would be easy to adapt a tube-frame chassis to an EV powerplant and battery pack.  Who will be the first kit-car manufacturer to bring an EV replicar to market?  What classics would you like to see an EV kit car of?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/20 3:31 p.m.
tuna55 said:
Keith Tanner said:

Here's some from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, paraphrased on a quality science/tech site because the original article is behind a paywall: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/01/how-many-electric-cars-can-the-grid-take-depends-on-your-neighborhood/. Short version: until we get to 25% of the fleet as electric, it's not a problem overall. Before we get there, there will have to be some changes. But that's going to take a little while, so we have time.

A big part of the effect comes from WHEN EVs charge. They tend to balance off peak power usage pretty nicely, being most likely to charge overnight. Yes, here comes the imaginary scenario of every EV going on a Cannonball Run recreation all at the same time - but really, that's not the normal use case. 

Also, it's possible for the EVs to coordinate their charging times. Your phone already does some smart charging based on your daily behavior, the cars can network and spread out the load if necessary.

I am not sure if this article delves into the subject much, but one other aspect reinforcing the probability that our grid will likely suffice is that people don't use as much of the car as they tend to buy. They may buy a 300 mile range EV, or a 500 mile range EV, but most will charge only 20-40 miles of that giant battery each day.

True. Imagine if every ICE started using a full tank of fuel every day, the gasoline distribution infrastructure would probably suffer pretty badly.

EVs will only replenish the amount of energy they used that day, but they'll do it every day instead in big chunks.

350z247
350z247 New Reader
10/8/20 2:45 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'm gonna have to disagree with your thoughts on sound and character having no place outside the ragged edge. Even the dullest daily commute can be completely transformed by a quick application of the loud petal up an on-ramp or leaving a stop light. Eventually, we'll get my wife an EV SUV once they iron out the self driving, but I'll never replace my S85, MA1, or Voodoo. The sound of one of them firing to life early in the morning is more than worth it, let alone the sound over 7,000rpm at a track day.

Our Preferred Partners
ouH2mgaQCC6h6nJiOhjQYiZz5G3w3MwzljwInBBWrlCZjokXfuVkAAMCHV2oOtsu