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General Motors confirmed one of the 20 electric cars it plans to release by 2023 will be a full-size Chevrolet pickup. It quietly announced the model in the 179-page 2019 sustainability report it published this month.
Chevrolet pledged its yet-unnamed pickup will offer over 400 miles of driving range on a charge, but it chose not to disclose additional details about the truck. It could be marketed as a greener alternative to the Silverado, or it could arrive as a standalone model. Similarly, we don’t know precisely when it will make its global debut.
General Motors has other pickups and SUVs in the pipeline, and we’re betting they will all share at least some components under the sheetmetal. GMC’s much-hyped Hummer will be offered as a pickup and as an SUV. And, in the same report, Cadillac sketched out plans for a full-size, three-row luxury SUV that builds on the Escalade’s DNA. All of these models will have roughly the same footprint, so some structural components will be likely shared in the same way that the Sierra, the Silverado, and the Escalade are built on the same basic architecture.
Moving beyond trucks, Chevrolet also confirmed it will release a midsize electric crossover and the smaller, Bolt-based model it announced several months ago. GMC will initially settle for the two variants of the Hummer as its only electric options, while Cadillac’s Escalade-like model will be joined by the Lyriq, what it described as a “globally-sized three-row SUV,” an XT4-sized model, and the Celestiq. As we’ve previously reported, the latter is an ultra-luxurious flagship model that will be assembled by hand in extremely limited numbers. Cadillac predicts it will manufacture 1.2 vehicles daily. Insiders have hinted the sedan may carry a base price of over $200,000, a figure which would make it the most expensive regular-production car manufactured in the United States.
Finally, Buick will release two electric models. One is described as an SUV with more conventional crossover proportions, while the other is a crossover with “more expressive proportions.”
Most of the aforementioned electric vehicles will be powered by the Ultium battery technology General Motors is busily developing. All told, the company is allocating about $20 billion of its capital and engineering resources to bringing the 20-plus electric cars it promised to the market in a timely manner. This massive push partially explains why the guillotine is falling on some of its less popular models, like the Impala and the Sonic.
The success of this costly shift towards battery-powered cars will depend largely on whether demand for electric technology increases in the United States. In 2019, the only electric car in the General Motors portfolio was the Bolt, which logged 16,418 sales. It was outsold by the Chevrolet Corvette, the GMC Savana, the now-retired Chevrolet Impala, the tiny Chevrolet Spark, and even the Chevrolet Cruze, which was axed in March 2019.