Cadillac Softens EV-Only Push

General Motors is backing away from a previous goal of having a 100% BEV showroom by 2030.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

May 2, 2024

3 Min Read
The Optiq EV will launch as a ’25 model later this year.

DETROIT – Cadillac will most likely continue selling internal-combustion-engine vehicles beyond 2030, reversing a previous target of having an all-electric showroom by the end of the decade.

Speaking at the North American presentation of the Cadillac Optiq, GM Vice President of Global Cadillac John Roth says the brand will have “an all-EV portfolio” by 2030, but does not commit to GM’s previously stated goal of an all-EV product lineup by that year.

GM is known to be rushing hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric versions of several vehicles through development at each division in the wake of slowing consumer demand for battery-electrics, a slower walking of federal mandates for 50% of an automaker’s sales to be electrified by 2032 and rising interest in hybrids.

Roth, who took over GM’s luxury brand a year ago, is careful to parse his language around targets and product mix.  “We will be offering an all-EV portfolio and let the customer be our guide,” Roth tells WardsAuto. “What that materializes to…we will work through internally discussing our competitive advantage in the marketplace, and not put all our cards on the table all at once.”

Cadillac plans to have BEVs in all the segments in which it competes, but Roth is leaving open the possibility, and even likelihood, that the division will still be offering ICE vehicles, including hybrids, beyond 2030.

The EPA said in March that under its final rule on the BEV mandate, the auto industry could meet the regulatory limits if 56% of new-vehicle sales were electric by 2032, along with at least 13% plug-in hybrids or other partially electric cars, as well as more efficient gasoline-powered cars that get more miles to the gallon.

Cadillac’s growing BEV portfolio includes the Lyriq luxury CUV, the 2025 Optiq 5-seat CUV (due to launch later this year), the 2026 3-row Vistiq CUV, the small-volume ultra-luxury 2025 Celestiq 5-door liftback and the 2025 Escalade IQ large luxury SUV.

Though Roth is avoiding specifics, another GM source says the division could see an ICE version of the Escalade continuing beyond 2030, as well as hybrid versions of current models like the XT6 and XT4 entering the lineup in the next couple of years. “These are the meetings that have been going on the last two months.” GM engineers, say sources, are speeding hybrid versions of other GM vehicles, such as the Chevy Trailblazer, to the market as fast as the organization can manage.

Ford and GM made big bets on BEVs in the past few years, bypassing hybrids and viewing Tesla Motors and potential BEV vehicles from Apple and Google as threats to market share. Toyota, however, has slow-walked its BEV launches and is instead rolling out hybrid-only versions of some popular vehicles such as the Camry, as well as hybrid versions of its trucks, SUVs and CUVs. The company will soon have hybrid versions of all its vehicles for sale.

In 2023, hybrid and BEV sales in the U.S. each surpassed 1 million for the first time. Hybrid sales rose 65% vs. a 46% gain for BEV sales, per Wards Intelligence. Slower BEV growth is being attributed to high prices and persistent inflation, scarcity of offerings with a net price below $40,000 and insufficient public recharging infrastructure that has moved many car buyers to delay a BEV purchase.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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