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GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq EVs on schedule despite pandemic

These new electric vehicles are still slated to be revealed later this year.

GM EVs

GM has a whole bunch of electrified vehicles on the way.

Craig Cole/Roadshow, General Motors

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has not slowed down. The company says both the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer electric vehicles are on schedule, despite shutdowns around the world, though oddly, GM seems to have forgotten that it intended to reveal the Lyriq in early April.

"Product development work is proceeding at a rapid pace," Ken Morris, vice president of electric and autonomous vehicles at GM, said while speaking with media over the phone on Tuesday. In fact, the timing of both projects has actually lent itself to working remotely, he explained. "We're very, very proud of both."

"We're absolutely on time with executing both those products," Morris said. The same should also be true of GM's Ultium battery technology and its BEV3 vehicle platform. Morris even said one vehicle's development cycle has actually been pulled forward based on how well everything is going. While he wouldn't mention any specific reveal dates, Morris said both the Hummer and Lyriq will debut "definitely this year, but I'm hoping sooner than later."

GMC Hummer EV

This is what the grilles of GM's reborn Hummer models should look like.

GMC

If the coronavirus situation continues the way it has for the last couple months, GM will not be able to unveil these new, all-electric vehicles the way it normally would, either at an auto show or an invite-only event (hence the Lyriq's earlier cancellation). "I think we're going to have to come up with something more digital," Morris said. That could be disappointing for media, since to really appreciate a vehicle you have to see it in the flesh, but time will tell what the automaker ultimately does.

GM is betting the farm on its next generation of battery-powered cars, crossovers and trucks, since, according to Morris and others, the future is electric. This company is working to bypass traditional hybrid vehicles and go straight to EVs.

"We have to provide vehicles that people really want to buy," Morris said. And the automaker's next crop of all-electric products should be beautiful, versatile and "technically very, very capable." Core to all this is GM's Ultium battery system, which uses unique lithium-ion chemistry. This is something that should also help the company sell EVs at a profit, which hasn't necessarily been possible in the past.

GM's Ultium technology looks so good it even attracted the attention of Honda . The two automakers are now collaborating to build two Honda-branded EVs

lyriq-sketch

The Cadillac Lyriq will be a high-style, all-electric utility vehicle.

Cadillac

When asked about whether GM has made any breakthroughs in the recycling of old automotive batteries, Morris said he didn't have a good answer and that the company is looking into this, as well as second-use cases for old battery packs.

GM's new crop of electric vehicles is not out yet, but it's already pushing to prepare the buying public for them. "We really are gearing up and working with our sales force to effectively sell EVs," Morris said. And it seems to be working. Deliveries of the Chevrolet Bolt were up more than 36% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020. GM is working to train dealers and help prepare customers for coming electric revolution. "It is our future," Morris said.

Against the odds, it's full steam ahead on development work at GM. "We haven't missed a step or beat on EV products," Morris said. "We will be ready when we said we would be ready."

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Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

Updated May 12, 2020 2:30 p.m. PT

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Written by  Craig Cole
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
craig-cole-hs
Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
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