General Motors confirmed it will reveal its new Chevrolet Blazer EV on July 18.
The all-electric version of the compact crossover is the latest in a rapidly growing list of battery-powered vehicles confirmed for production by the Detroit automaker. All told, GM plans to spend $35 billion putting at least 30 battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, into production by 2025, CEO Mary Barra previously said.
“The all-new 2024 Chevy Blazer EV will be revealed on July 18,” Barra revealed in her latest tweet. “Developed from the ground up, the Blazer EV offers a groundbreaking mix of style, performance and technology. Stay tuned to learn more.”
The new, all-electric version of the Chevy Blazer is scheduled to reach U.S. showrooms by spring 2023, GM previously noted. It first announced plans for the Blazer at the Consumer Electronics Show last January, also confirming it will add BEV versions of the Silverado pickup and Equinox crossover.
While the automaker didn’t offer further information about the Blazer EV a number of specifics have already started to emerge, with insiders hinting at other details.
Like the new Cadillac Lyriq just going into production, the Blazer EV is based on a new, skateboard-like platform that mounts its battery pack and motor drive system below the vehicle’s load floor. It is one of several dedicated EV architectures GM has developed.
Unlike the subcompact Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV models, the Blazer EV will use an entirely new “Ultium” battery technology developed by GM in cooperation with South Korea’s LG Chem. The automaker is preparing to open up the first of four North American plants to produce those new batteries, this one located in Lordstown, Ohio.
The new batteries, GM claims, have a higher energy density than the cells used in the Bolt models. They’re cheaper to produce and, the automaker says, will be less prone to failure, including the battery fires that caused a massive recall of Bolt models and a 9-month production halt.
The Blazer EV also will use the new Ultium electrical architecture developed specifically for electric vehicles. Among other things, it reduces the number of microprocessors scattered all over the vehicle, and it is designed to speed up charging times, as well.
Based on what GM plans for other BEVs, Blazer will be offered in several different trims with various drivetrain configurations. That could include both a single, front-mounted motor version, as well as a twin-motor all-wheel-drive model. Blazer EV will all but certainly have the higher-performance SS package it teased earlier this year. That would target the likes of the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, as well as the GT version of the Kia EV6 set to debut later this year.
It’s unclear if GM will offer more than one battery pack option — a strategy used by some competitors. But, if so, a long-range pack is likely to deliver north of 250 miles and might challenge the 314-mile max range offered by the Mach-E.
The new Blazer EV picks up on a few of the key design cues used with the conventional, gas-powered Blazer SUV, but it also introduces a number of distinctive details. Like many of the latest generation of battery-electric vehicles, that includes an LED lightbar riding above a sealed grille. The real air intakes are mounted below the bumper and are intended to cool the battery pack and motor drive.
The new image shows what looks like a cutout at the front of the driver’s door. The low angle of the pic makes it difficult to determine what that actually is but that is roughly where the charger port will be, based on a prior image of the Blazer. The EV may also get an air curtain system to reduce turbulence and drag around the front wheels. Aerodynamics are critical to the range of a battery-electric vehicle
GM’s EV plans take shape
While GM has said it plans to introduce at least 30 BEVs by mid-decade, it has not revealed the number that will reach the U.S. Some will target overseas markets such as China where a pint-sized micro-EV developed in cooperation with SAIC and Wuling is currently the best-selling battery-electric vehicle.
What’s clear is that the automaker does plan to have a full portfolio. That will include products for all four of its North American brands, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. It recently showed off BEV concepts for the Buick brand, including the swoopy Wildfire. And it’s been teasing the debut of the Cadillac Celestiq supercar.
Along with the Chevy Bolt pair, GM currently is selling the big GMC Hummer EV pickup and will shortly begin delivering the Caddy Lyriq. Among products now confirmed for production are the Chevy Blazer and Equinox SUVs, an SUV version of the Hummer, and EV versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.
An “electrified” version of the Chevy Corvette is coming in 2023. It’s unclear if that will be a conventional or plug-in hybrid. A BEV version of the sports car will follow later in the decade, GM confirmed.