Time to kick things into high gear.
This was a big week for General Motors. The American car giant unveiled the Cadillac InnerSpace Concept, previewed the new Chevy Blazer EV and Equinox EV, and, most importantly, revealed the production-spec 2023 Chevy Silverado EV with 400 miles of range. CEO Mary Barra, as part of her keynote address for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), also made clear that GM is moving quickly on yet another vital segment: fully electric heavy-duty trucks. She confirmed the Silverado and GMC Sierra HD pickup trucks will also be fully electrified no later than 2035.
"As previously announced, our plan is to have all new light-duty vehicles be electric by 2035," she said. "Today, I'm pleased to announce that we'll introduce all-electric heavy-duty vehicles on that same timetable. These all-electric heavy-duty trucks will be engineered to deliver effortless heavy-duty hauling and towing."
In addition, these HD trucks, favored among construction workers and farmers, will provide "a range needed to get the toughest jobs done." At present, GM's HD trucks are built at the Flint Assembly plant in Michigan but it remains unknown whether the all-electric versions will be produced there as well. A GM spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
It's possible these EV HD trucks will be on the road prior to 2035, but this depends on a number of factors that have yet to be decided. For starters, GM needs to successfully launch both the Silverado EV and the soon-to-be-revealed Sierra EV.
Those launches won't be fully completed until around 2024-2025 and then lessons can be learned and applied. Both of those light-duty trucks will be assembled at the new Factory Zero in Detroit. Between now and then, GM will sell ICE and BEV-powered trucks side-by-side as part of an overall transition process. Not all truck buyers are ready to make the big change immediately.
The automaker's decision to proceed with BEV HD trucks is not just smart business but also its confidence in its Ultium battery technology and platform. Ultium tech will underpin over 30 new EVs that GM aims to launch globally by 2025. A massive $35 billion investment in electric and autonomous vehicles by that year is another driving factor.