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Cadillac will become GM's lead electric-car brand

Cruise will also launch self-driving fleet in the US this year.

2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

General Motors on Friday provided a look at its future plans for electric and autonomous vehicles. GM promised in November 2018 that it would double its investment in EVs and AVs, and now we have more clarity on what exactly that means.

Cadillac will be the first GM brand to use the company's newest EV architecture.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

For electrification, GM says that Cadillac will become the company's "lead electric vehicle brand." Cadillac will introduce a new model on GM's new EV platform. The flexible EV architecture will be able to be configured for front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations, while its battery capacity will be "adjustable" for different applications.

There are no details on which type of vehicle Cadillac will first build on the new electric chassis. But the platform is said to pave the way for "an advanced family of profitable EVs" across GM brands. According to Reuters, the platform will be called "BEV3."

Cadillac doesn't offer an electric car currently, though it previously offered the Volt-based ELR plug-in hybrid and a plug-in hybrid version of the CT6 luxury sedan. GM said in 2017 that, by 2023, it would sell at least 20 electric vehicles globally.

Cadillac's most recent electrified model was the CT6 plug-in hybrid.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

GM also provided an update on its efforts to bring autonomous cars to market. The company's Cruise division will launch "self-driving vehicles in a dense urban environment this year." Though no more details were offered, Cruise has intended to launch a fleet of self-driving shuttles that are based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Actually launching the vehicles for commercial use this year would be a huge leap forward for the company.

Given that Cruise recently teamed up with DoorDash for autonomous deliveries in San Francisco, it's quite likely the "dense urban environment" is San Francisco.

GM also noted in its investor update that it expects improved 2019 profits. The automaker also said it expects US car sales this year to remain strong, likely "in the low 17-million range."