Cadillac faces an ambitious to-do list as it prepares to make its lineup fully electric within the next decade, starting with the Lyriq crossover unveiled this month.
The list goes beyond installing charging stations at dealerships and in major metro areas before Lyriq production starts in late 2022.
"There are an awful lot of questions that come from first-time EV owners," said John Malishenko, COO of Germain Motor Co., which has dealerships in Ohio, Michigan and Florida. "It's a very different way of transporting yourself. We have never had to think about range. We have never had to think about refueling. We have to have answers to those questions. It goes beyond just having the equipment to sell and service. It's how viable is it as a transportation option."
General Motors is partnering with EVgo to add 2,700 fast charging stations in about 40 markets over the next five years, and the company is planning to train dealers nationwide.
Cadillac said the Lyriq, powered by GM's proprietary Ultium batteries, will have a range of more than 300 miles at launch, which may ease many consumers' range anxiety. Still, the brand faces competition from rivals' upcoming EVs and is implementing new requirements that could force dealers to make some tough and potentially costly decisions.
"We're working with our entire network to make sure that we're all on the same page here in terms of what this product represents and what we need to do to be ready when it comes time for going on sale," Steve Carlisle, president of GM North America, told reporters this month. "We have quite a lot of work to do with our dealers on a get-ready basis. They're very much engaged in the process and excited."