GM unveils long-range battery in fresh electric car push

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AFP-General Motors on Wednesday unveiled a new long-range battery to power an expanded lineup of electric cars as part of an effort to catch sector leader Tesla.

GM said its Ultium batteries would have a range of up to 400 miles (645 kilometers) between charges, designed for fast charging and adaptable for a variety of vehicles.

The biggest US carmaker said it is ramping up its move into electric vehicles with several new electric models starting this year including a new version of the Bolt EV, launching in late 2020.

“Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future,” said GM chairman and chief executive Mary Barra.

“What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale that rival our full-size truck business with much less complexity and even more flexibility.”

The GM strategy is based on a “modular propulsion system” and the new pouch-style battery cells which can be stacked vertically or horizontally depending on the layout of the vehicle.

“Thousands of GM scientists, engineers and designers are working to execute an historic reinvention of the company,” said GM president Mark Reuss.

“They are on the cusp of delivering a profitable EV business that can satisfy millions of customers.”

While GM was among the first to make an electric car, Tesla has been growing quickly and gaining value as it adds new models.

GM is planning electric vehicles under the Cadillac brand and an electric GMC Hummer.

It is also producing autonomous electric vehicles through its Cruise unit based in California.

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