General Motors participated in the 2020 Barclays Global Automotive Conference today, and took the liberty to tease some important electric vehicles that the company claims will hit the road no later than 2025. While we have spent no shortage of time writing about the 2022 GMC Hummer EV up to this point, a more attainable electric pickup truck was teased today: a Chevrolet Silverado EV. With the Ford F-150 Electric being hyped recently, this quiet reveal seems to be an GM’s rebuttal to growing electric vehicle space.
The electric Chevrolet pickup truck was used as a background prop, and other images of the vehicle aside from two camera angles were otherwise unavailable. What we can make out, however, is a very polygonal body style, there’s no division between the truck bed and the cab, and there appears to be minimal sculpting done to the front fascia. It has little resemblance to the Silverado of today, and little resemblance to sketches teased by GM Design. That said, there’s a chance that the Silverado EV will look different from what we see here today by the time Chevrolet shares more details, based on the swift development timeline we’re observing with the Hummer EV.
Little is otherwise known right now of the Chevrolet Silverado EV. But here’s what we do know: it will share the same platform as the Hummer EV, as well as its battery technology. In other words, the GM BT1 Platform, and the highly modular Ultium battery system, with a range target 400 miles on a single charge. When it eventually comes to market, expect it to be produced at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant alongside the Hummer EV, which was recently rebranded as “Factory Zero” for buzzy reasons. GM has earmarked a staggering $2.2 billion USD in this plant alone for re-tooling, while the Spring Hill Assembly plant in Tennessee will see another $2 billion. This kind of money alone could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of an All Electric Future™.
During the presentation, GM CEO Mary Barra, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain Doug Parks, and Chief EV Officer Travis Hester detailed the company’s electric vehicle strategy, with Chevrolet launching a refreshed Bolt EV, a larger Bolt EUV, “Crossovers”, “Low Roof Entries,” and a “Full-Size Pickup.” Indeed, they stopped short of calling this electric truck a Silverado EV. And it could very well be called something else when it hits the market, but we don’t know at this time.
Pricing and other information for the Chevrolet Silverado EV remain at large, but we can safely assume it will take the fight directly to the Ford F-150 Electric, which will launch in 2022. Based on Ford CEO Jim Farley’s remarks that the upcoming F-150 EV will not price the truck around the six-figure mark, contrary to more lifestyle oriented trucks like the Rivian R1T, Bollinger B2, and Hummer EV Edition 1. The Silverado EV will likely follow suit of the electric Ford truck.
The electric pickup truck market appears to be a big arms race right now. Established automakers from the likes of GM and Ford, and now even FCA, are working around the clock to bring their respective plug-in trucks to production before the other. In this space are also several newcomers. Telsa, Rivian, Bollinger, Lordstown Motors and (maybe) Nikola are all hungry contenders. That said, demand for these vehicles remains a big question that won’t truly be answered until these vehicles come to fruition. However, there are early positive signs. For example, Ford has decreed that it will boost F-150 Electric production by 50 percent from its original targets, while the Hummer EV Edition 1 was fully reserved in just 10 minutes, with thousands more on a waiting list.