December 12, 2019 / 6:02 PM / 4 months ago

Cadillac vehicles shifting to electric from gas by 2030: executive

DETROIT (Reuters) - The head of General Motors Co’s Cadillac luxury brand said on Thursday that a majority, and possibly all, of the brand’s models would be electric vehicles by 2030.

FILE PHOTO: A Cadillac XT6 vehicle is seen at the La Fontaine Cadillac dealership in Highland, Michigan, U.S. September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Cadillac president Steve Carlisle also said Cadillac was on track for “low double-digit” sales growth in China in 2019, despite a drop in overall sales in the world’s largest vehicle market.

Retail Cadillac sales in the United States were on track this year for their first increase since 2013, Carlisle said.

Cadillac has previously signaled a move toward electric models.

Carlisle also confirmed Cadillac would offer a large electric sports-utility vehicle (SUV) similar to the Escalade and that it could continue to sell internal combustion models alongside electric vehicles, depending on consumer demand.

GM expects to begin production of the large Cadillac electric SUV in late 2023 at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant as part of a planned $3 billion overhaul of the factory, sources have previously told Reuters.

GM’s luxury brand also plans to introduce a compact electric SUV in China in 2022, with a companion model slated to go into production in the United States in late 2023, suppliers said.

Cadillac showed a concept for a midsized electric SUV earlier this year.

The division will use names for its future electric models, moving away from number and letter names such as CT6 or XT5. “Escalade is an awesome name,” Carlisle said.

Cadillac will refresh its existing gasoline-powered models one more time over the next decade and then focus on the electric models, he said.

“None of us knows how quickly the transition will take place,” to a fully electric lineup, Carlisle said.

A key challenge for electric vehicles is driving range and Carlisle said Cadillacs will need a range of 300 miles to be competitive. Eventually, he said, “you need to be at 400 miles” with charging times in minutes.

Cadillac also will expand the number of models equipped with GM’s Super Cruise semi-automated driving system, Carlisle said.

GM executives have previously suggested that a more advanced version of Super Cruise was in the works.

Reporting by Joe White in Detroit; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and David Clarke

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