Buick is a brand that hasn’t exactly popped off over the last few years, at least in the West. The company has been building some serious market share in China, while shifting some decent numbers of compact and mid-sized SUVs in the US. The company has recently just filed a trademark in Canada for the name Electra, suggesting the company may have some electric plans in its near future.
As noted on the Rivian Owners Forum, Buick also debuted a concept by that very name at the Shanghai Auto Show in late 2020. The electric crossover was said to offer a “sneak peek at Buick’s vision for a new intelligent electric future.” Departing heavily from the Buick Electra land yachts of the mid-20th century, instead, the concept showed off a daring, futuristic design. It looks almost like some kind of high-riding sedan, with the stance of an SUV paired with a lower, sleeker greenhouse than usual.
The Electra concept is said to be powered by GM’s Ultium battery technology, providing high energy density, lower cost, and better packaging. The nickel-manganese-cobalt and aluminum (NMCA) chemistry cuts down on expensive cobalt content by around 70%. GM will naturally be hoping that the technology, as used in the new Hummer EV, won’t face the same issues as the batteries it has previously sourced from LG.
The design of the concept is very conceptual, so to speak; the butterfly doors alone suggest its far from a production-ready model. However, it suggests that Buick may be testing the waters with the name and design language, feeling out the response ahead of a future model launch. Interestingly, the Canadian trademark filing comes almost a full year after the concept was revealed in Shanghai, suggesting the company may be firming up its plans in this regard.
Most automakers are now getting serious about plans to go electric; it follows that Buick would do the same. Even more so, it would be a strange move in this era to go ahead and build a car called “Electra” with a conventional drivetrain. Thus, expect to see an electric Buick in the coming years, and chances are, it may draw heavily from the concept seen here.
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