Why the Rumored Cadillac Escalade Electric SUV Is Essential to a Growing EV Market
Rumors this past weekend circulated about a car that could be extremely important to growing the electric vehicle market in North America, in the form of the Cadillac Escalade Electric SUV.
An anonymous source close to the brand's mooted EV plans spoke to enthusiast site Cadillac Society, claiming that Caddy's engineers expect the luxury SUV to achieve 400 miles on a single charge. That would catapult the brand right to the front of the pack in terms of range, where the Tesla Model X currently leads the SUV class with up to 325 miles in its current form.
On a related note, here's why Elon Musk recently removed hope for a refresh of the Model X.
Similarly, Tesla expects to hit the 400-mile mark with its high-end vehicles by the time the Cadillac Escalade Electric SUV is expected to arrive in 2022, while Rivian should also be producing its R1S model in this category by then. Elon Musk himself has stated last month that "it won't be long before we have a 400-mile-range car," so it's clear that this will be the next focal point, at least at the top end of the market.
All of this bodes well for the North American EV market, which is sorely lacking in options for buyers in the popular large SUV segment.
Here's more about the model's history in 20 Years of the Cadillac Escalade.
Cadillac Escalade SUV EV Competes in Model X Territory
It's been clear for many months now that General Motors (GM) is positioning Cadillac for a lead role in the parent company's EV plans. Back in January, the brand announced that its EV models would be "the vanguard of [General Motors'] move toward an all-electric future,"
Caddy has only the slightest presence in the EV world up to this point.
The Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid (PHEV) was well-received in terms of drivetrain, fit and finish, but the $75,000 premium price tag put off many potential buyers. In many ways, the car was a very well-appointed Chevy Volt, albeit one with a price tag twice as high as GM's most popular electric model to date. Then there was the Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid, which also failed to sell well and was discontinued in 2018 as a result.
However, mere dalliances with the PHEV format do not an EV brand make.
GM's luxury brand is now set to launch several all-electric vehicles, with the Cadillac Escalade EV SUV potentially one of the most important. It will reportedly ride on GM's latest battery-electric vehicle drivetrain, one that is expected to be rolled out to other GM models as the company makes progress towards its goal of 20 new electric vehicles by 2023.
The range and ride will put the Cadillac Escalade Electric SUV in direct competition with the Tesla Model X, which is Tesla's best-selling top tier model so far this year.
See where the Tesla Model X fits into this list of the best-selling electric cars of 2019 so far in this video. (Please subscribe to Torque News YouTube Channel for daily automotive news and analysis).
According to GM Authority, the Cadillac Escalade sold more than 35,000 units in North America last year, making it a prime candidate for electrification. If the brand can convert even 15-20% of those buyers into EV sales, it will stack up impressively against the Tesla Model X.
On the subject of Tesla's future, here's how hybrid battery packs could help the company extend its EV lead.
Cadillac Leads GM's Electric Vehicle Line
What Chevrolet has started, Cadillac could well take over in the next few years. The Chevy Volt and Bolt EV have provided the overwhelming majority of GM's electric model sales to date, but that responsibility could soon be passed to Caddy.
On the subject of Chevrolet, here's why the rumored specs for the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV failed to impress some current owners.
In the same January announcement discussing its plans for the marquee brand, GM confirmed that Cadillac is set to become the automaker's primary EV brand.
With a smaller crossover SUV in the works and the Cadillac Escalade EV occupying the larger SUV end of the market, we can expect to see more electric versions of existing models join Cadillac's lineup in the near future.
This is great news for anyone interested in electric vehicles at the higher end of the market. While the Tesla Model X is undeniably a leading option for electric SUV buyers, its futuristic styling and complicated design choices aren't for everyone. An established luxury brand jumping into the marketplace with next-level range is exactly what the segment needs.
It will be exciting to see General Motors lead the way, it the rumors of the Cadillac Escalade Electric SUV's capabilities turn out to be accurate.
Do you think an established luxury brand like Cadillac can transition successfully to electric vehicles? Let us know in the comments. See you in my next story where I am discussing how Electrify America is handling Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona Electric, and other charging issues.
Steve Birkett is an electric vehicle advocate at Plug & Play EV. You can follow him on Twitter at @Plugandplayev, Instagram and Youtube at Plugandplayev Channel to send him EV news tips.