GM Jumps Onto the Bandwagon With Its Ultium Batteries — What Does It Mean?

GM recently revealed its new Ultium batteries, designed to support the growth of its EV portfolio and a third-generation global EV platform.

As industry incumbents are adopting an approach that we have been pursuing since the founding of Tanktwo, it’s unequivocal validation that everyone is heading in the right direction.

One of the key selling points of the Ultium batteries is the flexibility: “the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design.”

Here are some key insights on this new development:

    • It’s a big step forward for GM to realize that one size really doesn’t fit all in the battery world. The “flexible” battery approach is the first step in breaking out of the limitations imposed by “monolithic” battery blocks, which is hindering the adoption of electrified commercial fleets at the commercial scale.
    • GM’s system allows battery packs to be configured to fit different types of products and configurations at the time of manufacturing. This means while there’s more flexibility in the form factor and capacity for each EV model, the vehicles still face the same constraints as current EVs do (e.g., range anxiety, limited capacity of old infrastructure) after they roll off the assembly line.
    • The battery in the final product still behaves like a “monolithic” block because there are no user-serviceable parts. As such, we speculate that it’s not GM’s intention to allow users to change the capacity of the battery so they can respond to the range requirement of individual trips after the vehicles leave the plant.
    • The move toward and more importantly, the positioning of a “flexible” system means that major car manufacturers are realizing the need for a flexible battery system, which could make or break the widespread adoption of EVs.

 

The move toward a truly flexible battery system for EVs is inevitable. But the future is already here.

If you’re familiar with Tanktwo’s patented technologies, you’d realize that the system we have developed surpasses GM’s Ultium batteries in terms of flexibility by a long shot.

In fact, a battery system that we developed for an international aerospace and defense provider resembles the stacking configuration of GM’s battery packs — allowing as many or as few battery units to be used as a response to the intended purpose.

The difference is that the operator can add or subtract the number of battery units based on the requirements of each trip to achieve the range needed without adding unnecessary weight.

The same concept applies to our String Cells and liquefaction technology, which extend the flexibility beyond manufacturing to ongoing service and usage. For example, commercial fleet operators can adjust the capacity of each vehicle to meet the needs of each trip and optimize cost-efficiency.

In addition, our String Tank can be of any shape and size to conform to a wide range of design parameters because the String Cells can be packed to fit containers of any configuration without any human intervention.

Flexibility in EV battery configuration will be one of the keys to making electrification feasible from both operational and financial perspectives. See how our unique ecosystem of patented technologies position our partners, investors, and customers in the right place and at the right time to benefit from the convergence of influences in electrification, mobility, and data analytics with minimal risks.