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GM Moves Ahead With Battery Plant

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The first steel goes up during construction July 29, 2020 at the all-new Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio.

The construction of the new battery plant near Lordstown, Ohio is one of the main pillars of General Motors’ electric vehicle strategy took another step forward with the first pieces of steel being raised.

GM chairman Mary Barra said steel construction at the all-new Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown got underway this week. Ultium Cells LLC is a potentially $2.3 billion joint venture between GM and LG Chem that will mass-produce Ultium battery cells for electric vehicles and create more than 1,100 new jobs in Northeast Ohio, she said.

Barra also noted in a call with analysts that the Lordstown plant will be one of two battery cell plants in the U.S., she said. The other plant is Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. Barra also said she is confident the cost of the cells will drop to $100 or less once production is up and running, making electric powertrains more competitive with internal combustion engines.

(Could General Motors change its name? Barra doesn’t say no.)

The new Ultium plant will produce cells for the new GMC Hummer EV and likely the Cadillac Lyriq.

“We are excited about the progress that our team has made, and we look forward to the finished product – a nearly 3 million-square-foot plant,” said Ken Morris, vice president of Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs, in a statement.

“Our joint venture with LG Chem will allow us to produce advanced battery cells in Lordstown, with the goal of reducing battery costs to accelerate EV adoption and ultimately benefit customers.”

Despite the pandemic, product development work on GM’s future EV and AV portfolios continues to progress at a rapid pace. On Thursday, Aug. 6, the Cadillac Lyriq show car will debut virtually, introducing the next chapter for the luxury brand.

(GM, LG Chem investing “upt to $2.3 billion” in new battery joint venture.)

Production timing remains on track for the Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV, both of which will be powered by the Ultium battery system.

The plant is part of a $2.3 billion joint venture between GM and LG Chem.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the company’s operations around the world, it has not delayed General Motors plans to introduce as many as 20 electric vehicles by 2023, according to a new “sustainability report” released earlier this month.

“Despite significant macro challenges, all of GM’s Ultium-powered EVs remain on track for production, including Cadillac Lyriq, GMC Hummer EV truck and Cruise Origin,” GM noted in the report, which details the company’s efforts to improve its response to challenges such as climate change, pollution, waste of natural resources and the need for greater diversity in its ranks.

(GM suffers big drop in second-quarter sales.)

During a conference call with reporters Dane Parker, GM’s chief sustainability officer, added the development of GM’s new fleet of EV’s has not been delayed by the lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many engineers to work from home.

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Source: https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2020/07/gm-moves-ahead-with-battery-plant/

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See 2021 Cadillac Escalade Get Driven With Blocked Windshield

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The 2021 Cadillac Escalade test units are out and about, and first drives have already been orchestrated. A handful of journalists and YouTubers have started pouring out content about the full-size luxury SUV. That includes us with our Escalade First Drive Review.

The Fast Lane, however, took a different route and made videos that are out of the ordinary. We’ve seen the channel do some off-roading with the Escalade, something owners won’t probably do when they get their hands on one.

This time, The Fast Lane Truck does a review with the Escalade’s bevy of tech toys. And as crazy as you would expect from the channel, the folks there tried to drive the SUV with a blocked windshield and front windows. How? By using the Escalade’s VR function displayed on the instrument panel. The resulting video was bonkers, which you can watch on top of this page.

Speaking of, the driver was able to go around the course without issues, twice even, and you can see in the video that he even reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) before coming to a halt.

Before you raise your pitchforks, let us all be reminded that TFL Trucks did the test on a close course, so the test looked safe. Although as expected, both the driver and his passenger felt queasy after the virtual drive. But overall, at least now we know that you can still drive the new Escalade even if your windshield got broken – so as long as the front camera’s intact.

See the full crazy test on video and let us know what you think through the comments section below.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450745/2021-cadillac-escalade-camera-test/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Fancy Acer Book RS By Porsche Design Comes With Carbon Fiber Cover

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Porsche RS models are revered for their performance both on and off the race track, as they are admired for their flurry of carbon fiber materials. Porsche Design is back with another collaboration to showcase its styling prowess – this time it’s with Acer and its latest laptop.

Named the Porsche Design Acer Book RS, this fancy laptop signifies a new partnership between the two brands, something that fuses Porsche Design’s functional design philosophy and engineering mindset with Acer’s technological innovations and deep-rooted knowledge in the global computer segment.

The high-end notebook comes with a minimalist design, but a closer inspection reveals a 3k carbon fiber cover, striking a contrast against the diamond-cut CNC-machined chassis. With the use of this lightweight material normally used for race cars, the entire Acer Book RS only weighs 2.76 pounds (1.25 kilograms) while only measuring 0.63 inches (15.99 millimeters) thin.

Underneath the classy body, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS is equipped with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics and optional discrete NVIDIA GeForce®MX350 GPUs and 16 GB of RAM. The 14-inch FHD IPS3 touchscreen is covered with a layer of Antimicrobial4 Corning Gorilla Glass with an immersive 90% screen-to-body ratio.

The Porsche Design Acer Book RS will be available in North America with a starting price of $1,399.99. A premium package, which comes with equally great-looking accessories such as premium package i7 notebook, travel pack, and mouse, will be priced at $1,999.99. This chic Acer laptop will also be available in Europe and in China.

This isn’t the first time that Porsche designed a gadget. Back in 2018, a Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS came into fruition, which had a price tag that started at $1,800.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450660/porsche-design-acer-book-rs/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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GMC Hummer EV’s WTF Mode Does A Weird Song And Dance Before Launching

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First thing’s first. What the heck is Watts to Freedom? In short, it’s the GMC Hummer EV version of Tesla’s Ludicrous Plus launch mode, both in function and in its gimmicky nature. What does that mean? Ludicrous refers to Ludicrous speed from the classic 1987 Sci-Fi spoof Spaceballs. Meanwhile, the acronym for GMC’s Watts To Freedom is WTF, and we’re sure you know what else that stands for. But wait, there’s more

Engage WTF mode in the recently revealed GMC Hummer EV, and you won’t just launch to 60 mph in three seconds. For starters, the truck will hunker down a couple of inches before putting its GM-estimated 1,000 horsepower (735 kilowatts) to the ground. That’s a functional component of going fast, but less functional are the sounds that emanate from the Hummer EV’s speakers and animations that pop up on its digital screens.

Watts To Freedom Screenshot

GMC doesn’t offer a specific description of what this means, but the B-roll footage below takes us through the process starting at the 28-second mark. Once activated, a low-pitch humming sound reverberates through the speakers, and a snazzy animation on the main screen morphs to a third-person view of a Hummer EV poised on a space-themed runway. Meanwhile, the dash displays “Watts To Freedom” with stars and bars, along with a message that advises “repeated usage will cause accelerated wear on vehicle.” The driver can choose cancel or let’s go, which isn’t quite as catchy as I want my mommy or bring it on but hey, you get the point.

Selecting let’s go puts the system into motion. The truck lowers (which is also shown on the instrument display) and the driver is eventually prompted to press the brake and accelerator. This is the interactive part, as the driver must brake hard enough to get the all-important green checkmark to then floor it, all while the sound increases in both intensity and annoyance.

With the pedals mashed and the Hummer EV ready, release the brake and it’s off to the races. Presumably, drivers will be concentrating on the road while sprinting to 60 mph, so they won’t see the mini starfield flashing on the digital instrument board next to the speed readout. However, everyone will hear what sounds like the USS Enterprise going to warp speed through the speakers. At least it’s more pleasant than the low-resonance buzzing that starts it all off.

Is the GMC Hummer EV fast? Yes, it certainly is. However, experiencing all the pomp and circumstance that’s not at all similar to Tesla’s various quirky Easter eggs could easily be considered gimmicky in the best of circumstances. We’re at least curious to try it all in person as opposed to seeing a close-up on a video, but we suspect these aspects of WTF Mode might have more than a few people asking WTF GMC was thinking with all this.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450196/hummer-ev-wtf-sound-animation-launch/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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