Five Things You Don’t Know about the Ultium Battery

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A close up shows an Ultium battery with a dragon.

Many people have hailed GM’s new Ultium battery and platform as a technological marvel that will pave the way for them to take over the EV market. I don’t know if all that’s true, per se, but it’s certainly an impressive step forward for GM and their various brands. The little that we’re already seeing of it in development – such as on the all-new GMC Hummer – is enough to demonstrate that it’s going to be a big deal for many years to come. And yet, there are quite a few things about this impressive new battery system that many people don’t realize.

Thing #1 – The Design Allows for Various Configurations

One of the key things that set the Ultium battery apart from the batteries at other companies like Tesla is that it has a flatter, rectangular design. While Tesla’s batteries are cylindrical, like the AA battery in your favorite bedroom accessory, the Ultium battery is rectangular, more like a 9V battery. This means they can be stacked and arranged horizontally or vertically, whereas Tesla batteries have to be configured in a vertical arrangement. So GM’s engineers have more freedom in developing EV models and figuring out how to set up the batteries in a car.

Thing #2 – It will be Used Across Various Brands

General Motors has a number of brands they own, including GMC, Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac. One of their main goals in developing the new Ultium battery and platform was to have something they could use across all of their brands. So while it’s getting started now in Cadillac and GMC, you’ll see it in their other brands, too – like in the upcoming Chevy Silverado EV.

Thing #3 – The Name “Ultium” Comes From The Bible

While most people think the name “Ultium” just sounds cool or like a comic book character, GM actually drew inspiration from the proverbial Good Book in naming their new platform.

“The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head Ultium emblazoned.” (Rev 13:1 NIV)

While I don’t personally think they’ve named their new EV platform as an indication that it’s a precursor to the end times, it’s still an interesting coincidence. I’m sure they simply thought it was a neat word and wanted to score some points with evangelicals (who doesn’t!?).

Thing #4 – They’re Easy to “Recycle”

There have been a lot of worries about what we’ll do with all of these batteries that are being made for EV models once they’ve run through their lifespan. As EVs are taking over the market, there will be a big problem with recycling hundreds of thousands of batteries in the years to come. Fortunately, GM has thought about this and made their new Ultium batteries very easy to recycle and dispose of. The chemicals within the batteries are completely safe to consume – once you’ve gotten the most from your GMC Hummer, you can just crack open the batteries and drink the delicious nutrients contained within!

Thing #5 – They’re Designed with Fractal Engineering

While much of the design of the Ultium battery platform is still under wraps, I’ve got reliable sources inside GM that have told me about their creation. Inside each battery is another, smaller set of batteries that gives it power. Inside each of those batteries, there are smaller batteries even still, with yet smaller batteries within those. The entire power system is a recursive loop of batteries within batteries that never ends – it’s batteries all the way down!

Editor’s Note: Based on a recent press release from GM, we’re not sure the chemicals within the batteries are actually safe to drink. Until we have confirmation for this story, we suggest only letting your children drink one battery per day so as not to overdo it. And don’t let them go swimming within 40 minutes of drinking battery juice. Thank you.

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