By Chris Katje

Automaker giant General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) unveiled its Cadillac Escalade IQ electric vehicle on Wednesday.

One of the key leaders of the Cadillac brand shared details on the recent product unveil and how GM is driving the future with electric vehicles.

A Cadillac vehicle with the emblem driving on the highway. General Motors unveiled the Cadillac Escalade IQ, first full-size zero emissions SUV. (DAVID HURLEY/UNSPLASHED) 

General Motors unveiled the Escalade IQ, an electric version of the flagship Cadillac Escalade. The vehicle joins a growing portfolio of electric vehicles sold by the automaker.

“GM envisions a world with zero crashes to save lives, zero emissions, so we can provide future generations, and they can inherit a healthier planet and zero congestion, so customers can get back such a precious commodity, that we seem to have lost a lot of over the years, which is time,” said Cadillac Director of Planning and Product Strategy Jess Bala while telling viewers during Benzinga’s “Driving the Future of Electric Vehicles” virtual event.

Together, these initiatives are part of General Motors’ zero, zero, zero pledge and a key focus for the company.

The Escalade has dominated the full-size luxury vehicle segment since being introduced 25 years ago, Bala told Benzinga.

“With the Escalade IQ, we are changing the game completely,” she said.

Cadillac was able to take the best of advancements in design and technology and start with a blank canvas to create the Escalade IQ, Bala explained.

“We think nothing will come close to this incredible vehicle.”

The launch of the Escalade IQ comes after Cadillac has introduced and unveiled several other electric vehicle models.

“We will be filling the portfolio with more EVs to be announced later this year.”

One of the standout features of the Escalade IQ is the third row seat, an attribute sought by families, whether in an electric vehicle or a traditional internal combustion engine SUV.

A Cadillac vehicle with the emblem driving on the highway. General Motors unveiled the Cadillac Escalade IQ, first full-size zero emissions SUV. (DAVID HURLEY/UNSPLASHED) 

“It is the seventh most important reason for buying the vehicle.”

The Escalade IQ will be the second zero emissions electric SUV for the Cadillac brand above Cadillac’s compact electric SUV, LYRIC. The incoming full-size electric SUV will share the same chassis as the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV.

Bala said that third row seats are the most important reason for getting an SUV for people under the age of 34.

The Cadillac leader said the reaction to the Escalade IQ has been “overwhelmingly positive” with the exterior design, 450-mile range and 55-inch interior screen among the features people are talking about the most.

General Motors has yet to make any announcements on the EV versions for its full size SUV models, including Chevrolet’s Suburban & Tahoe and GMC’s Yukon & Yukon XL.

Cadillac launched a full marketing campaign for the Escalade IQ, which will use a theme of going through a renaissance and seeing changes, something that is happening at the automaker with the transition to EVs.

“To help tell our story we partnered with Simu Liu, who himself went through a personal renaissance from accountant to esteemed actor.”

Bala said GM is prepared to scale to one million electric vehicle units in North America by 2025, thanks to its Ultium platform and new vehicle models announced and still to come.

“Committed to an electric and autonomous future for the globe,” Bala said.

Every light-duty vehicle made by General Motors will be fully electric by 2035, according to Bala.

General Motors’ goal to be fully electric in its car line-up meets the same timeline as the state of California will ban the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2035.

She also touched briefly on the charging announcement from General Motors to partner with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA).

“We at GM, and Cadillac as well, are very committed to putting the customer at the center of everything we do.”

The Cadillac leader said the partnership will see GM and Tesla work together on a single charging standard.

“We believe NACS is the right way to do that.”

She said General Motors will continue to collaborate with electric vehicle leaders in the future to drive the sector forward.

Bala was recently named the managing director for General Motors Australia and New Zealand, and she will assume this new role at GM on September 1, 2023.

Produced in association with Benzinga