The new 2021 Escalade is out of the bag, but what about its EV alter ego?

With the fifth-generation Cadillac Escalade out and about, we can now turn our attention to the all-electric version of the big-boned luxury SUV.

Cadillac changed quite a lot of the Escalade equation, and although the flagship SUV still shares its platform with the likes of Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, the new bag of goodies includes an independent rear suspension, curved OLED displays inside, and both gasoline V-8 and diesel straight-six engines. But how about the all-electric Escalade? What’s in store for the emission-free Caddy SUV? Here’s everything we know so far about the Cadillac Escalade Electric.

A Short Cadillac Escalade Electric News Timeline

Cadillac Escalade Electric - Everything We Know Exterior
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A quick Google search shows us that rumors about an all-electric Cadillac Escalade have been floating online since 2019. Back in November 2019, a ‘forecaster’ spoke to The Detroit News claiming General Motors plans to build the electric version of the Cadillac Escalade at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, according to “intel from sources in the industry.”

A couple of months earlier in the summer of 2019, Cadillac Society published a report saying that the Escalade is going EV with as much as 400 miles of range on a full single charge.

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The article quoted unnamed “sources familiar with future Cadillac product plans” saying that the all-electric Escalade won’t be introduced at the same time as the fifth-gen model. This actually verifies, since the new Cadillac Escalade already made its debut and there’s no sign of its all-electric derivative at the time of writing.

When Is the Cadillac Escalade Electric Coming?

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At this point, we can only estimate a time of arrival for the Cadillac Escalade Electric, and we believe it could pop up sometime in the beginning of 2022 or 2023.

Although that seems legitimate, Car and Driver believes it should reach the market in 2025 the latest. Regardless, we’ll be following the topic closely and provide any updates in due time. Also keep in mind that the pure-electric Escalade will join the current lineup instead of replacing one of the existing versions.

What will power the Cadillac Escalade Electric?

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According to Cadillac Society – but this time via a more recent report – the new Cadillac Escalade EV will sit on the new BT1 all-electric underpinnings developed by General Motors with all-electric utility vehicles in mind.

Besides the Escalade EV, the architecture will also trickle down to the likes of Chevrolet and GMC.

It’s also worth noted that BT1 is compatible with front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, and all-wheel-drive configurations.

How Much Range Will the Electric Cadillac Escalade Have?

The BT1 platform allows GM to fit its new Ultium battery tech which allows for an energy capacity ranging from 50 kWh to a whopping 200 kWh. What’s more, the Ultium battery can have its cell stacks positioned vertically or horizontally, allowing GM to use it for a wide range of body styles – for example, cars and performance vehicles will get horizontally placed stacks, while larger SUVs and trucks would accommodate vertically mounted stacks. With the Escalade EV potentially having a 200 kWh battery pack, it could have a range of 500 miles or more in the real world!

What Will the Cadillac Escalade EV Look Like and How Fast Will It Be?

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According to Car and Driver, the concept version of the Escalade Electric featured a new design compared to the 2021 Escalade, with a more steeply raked windshield and less boxy shapes.

GM also mentions that 0-60 mph acceleration could be as low as three seconds thanks to “motors designed in-house”, but that’s the only detail we get. Equally important, every Ultium-powered electric car (the Escalade EV included) will support Level 2 and DC fast charging, with GM saying that the truck platform (likely to underpin the Escalade Electric) will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability.

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Given the lack of any other related info from Cadillac, we expect the Escalade Electric, or at least its range-topping version, to rely on the same powertrain announced for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV. If that’s the case, then we’re looking at more than 745 kW (1,000 horsepower) and as much as 11,500 pound-feet of torque (15,590 Newton-meters) coming from three electric motors tasked with spinning all four wheels.

2021 Cadillac Escalade drivetrain specifications
Engine 6.2L V-8 VVT DI with Dynamic Fuel Management and Stop/Start Duramax 3.0L DOHC I-6 Turbo-Diesel
Bore & Stroke (in / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92 3.30 x 3.54 / 84 x 90
Block & Cylinder Head Material: Cast aluminum Cast aluminum
Valvetrain: Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder, variable valve timing Dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder
Fuel Delivery: Direct high-pressure fuel injection with Dynamic Fuel Management High-pressure, common-rail direct injection (36,250 psi / 2500 bar); electronic throttle valve
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 420 / 313 @ 5600 (SAE certified) 277 / 207 @ 3750 (GM estimated)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 460 / 623 @ 4100 (SAE certified) 460 / 623 @ 1500 (GM estimated)
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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