You knew this day was coming.
There’s really no way around the fact that sooner or later, electric cars will start to take over the dealership lots and soon after, the roads. And we’re not just talking about a Tesla pickup truck either because America’s favorite trucks, the F-150, Silverado, and Ram, are all going to start seeing battery packs and electric motors replace their gasoline and diesel power plants. Even the new Ram has started down the path, coming with a 48-volt mild hybrid system in some trims.
Ford, on the other hand, has already outlined plans for both hybrid and fully electric F-150s, and General Motors has mentioned that it's thinking of doing the same. But thanks to what General Motors President Mark Reuss told analysts at the UBS Global Industrials and Transportation Conference, we now know that an electric pickup from GM is a sure thing.
Reuss’ speech was covered by Wards Auto and details how GM plans to tackle the challenge of building more electric cars. Turns out, its strategy will look a lot like Volkswagen’s, where the automaker will build a single and highly customizable modular platform to underpin a large number of its vehicles. The platform will be so flexible that GM will be able to get at least 10 different body styles out of it, thanks in part to how easy it is to vary an EV’s drive wheels (it just takes a motor at the desired wheel and a flexible power cord rather than a driveshaft, differential, and the like).
"This architecture is the canvas on which we will paint a profitable EV program,” Reuss says. "We can build everything on this (platform) from just three drive units: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or e-all-wheel drive.”
And when Ruess says that he wants the platform to extend to a large number of GM vehicles, he means it, because the auto giant is gunning to have a fully electric lineup sometime in the near future. "We will have a complete electric lineup, including a pickup truck that’s in development,” said Ruess.
The main hurdle, of course, is cost. But with the price of batteries falling and the cost of building efficient internal combustion engines (or buying greenhouse gas credits to offset inefficient ones) rising, costs will soon reach parity. "We’re going to reach parity a lot sooner than people think,” Ruess says. "(ICE) compliance will become expensive. All these things and more will lead to greater consumer acceptance of EVs, plus they are going to be great cars.”