General Motors’ Cadillac luxury brand is aiming to release its first electric vehicle as soon as 2021 in China, with most if not all of its vehicles sold globally to be fully electric by 2030. 

The reiteration that GM EVs are running on schedule comes from a media event Thursday in Detroit, where Cadillac president Steve Carlisle also told reporters that Cadillac was on track for sales growth in China this year, even though the world’s largest vehicle market (and largest EV market) has contracted this year. 

According to a range of sources, a large, fully electric Cadillac SUV, expected to focus in on the U.S. market, is expected in late 2023. 

Cadillac electric crossover SUV based on GM BEV3 modular platform

Cadillac electric crossover SUV based on GM BEV3 modular platform

GM earlier this year said that Cadillac would become the “lead electric vehicle brand” for GM. That was part of a company-wide plan that was first announced in late 2017, in which GM first detailed that it intends to launch 10 vehicles on its dedicated EV platform—including a three-row SUV, a low-roof model, and a van. 

During negotiations with the UAW earlier this fall, GM agreed to a $3 billion investment in GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck factory that will include building its electric pickup there, plus other future EVs and battery modules. Reuters had previously cited sources also placing the future Cadillac at that plant.

A compact electric Cadillac SUV could be produced in the U.S., potentially with other models, from 2023 on.

The news comes just a day after GM’s official reveal of its next-generation full-size truck-based SUVs for Chevrolet and GMC—with the inclusion of diesel but no mention of electric. According to the Detroit Free Press, CEO Mary Barra declined to comment on the possibility of an upcoming electric version of those two SUVs, but she did note GM’s aim to go “all-electric” in the future. 

2020 Cadillac Escalade

2020 Cadillac Escalade

Carlisle told reporters that Cadillac had no intent of exiting the segment, although it wasn’t clear whether the Escalade lineup as a whole will go fully electric or whether there will for some time be a parallel electric model. But he noted that the luxury brand will need a range of 300 miles to be competitive, with an eventual target of 400 miles—probably the best indication that the electric SUV will be on its own separate platform rather than an electric conversion of its full-size gasoline/diesel SUVs.

“It’s the end of the ICE age for Cadillac,” he said, in a reference to the retirement of internal combustion engines.

Engines out, real model names back

Carlisle also confirmed that Cadillac’s alphanumeric naming strategy that pushed letters last decade (SRX, CTS, SLS, STS, BLS), and then eased into numbers this decade (XT4, XT5, XT6, CT3, CT5, CT6), is on the way out, to be replaced by real model names. 

“Escalade is an awesome name,” said Carlisle, according to Reuters. 

So the question now becomes, which if any Cadillac names from the past—or even potentially ones for the future—get you charged up? Let us (and possibly GM) know in your comments below.