Triggered by a slew of unveils and announcements about electric trucks inbound in the near future, General Motors has been spurred to action. It is looking to the GMC brand to come up with an electric pickup truck to take on its prime rivals.
Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC, told CNBC that the carmaker is actively exploring the possibility of an electric GMC Sierra as well as battery-electric SUVs. It’s no coincidence that GMC wants an electric pickup, since Ford made the very same announcement concerning its popular F-Series trucks.
General Motors intends to start its electrification drive with the Sierra in its pickup range.
CNBC reports, “A fully electric version of the GMC Sierra would likely be accompanied by a battery-electric version of the more mainstream, albeit higher-volume Chevrolet Silverado, said David Cole, director-emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The trucks share the same underlying platform, as well as conventional internal combustion powertrains. That would increase economies of scale and bring down the cost of developing and producing a battery drive system, several industry observers pointed out.” Aldred wouldn’t confirm if development had already started, but directed back at GM CEO Mary Barra’s comments last year that the company is on a “path to an all-electric future.”
Of course, if the GMC Sierra is set to get an electric drivetrain, the Chevrolet Silverado will expectedly follow the same path. However, GMC also wants SUVs to adopt electric propulsion. GMC’s other brand, Cadillac, is poised to lead the American conglomerate’s foray into electric SUVs. GMC will first electrify smaller crossovers in its portfolio of brands followed by bigger SUVs.
Cadiillac's as-yet-unnamed crossover will be the first to lead GM's charge in the electrified luxury vehicles space.
Since a lot of SUVs share platforms with pickups, we can expect cars like Chevrolet Yukon, Tahoe, Suburban to go all-electric eventually. Finally, CNBC also reported: “For his part, GMC chief Aldred told CNBC that battery technology still carries a fairly hefty premium that makes it difficult to target mainstream segments, unless a carmaker like GM is willing to accept lower margins. As a result, the executive said, automakers would likely target higher-end products.
“Pickups, on the whole, carry some of the highest profit margins in the auto industry, particularly some of those sold through the GMC brand. But the entire industry has been pushing pickups up-market, adding on more options and luxury touches to drive up the price.”