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GM is building an electric Chevy Silverado with 400 miles of range

GM is building an electric Chevy Silverado with 400 miles of range

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The electric pickup battle is just beginning

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Chevrolet 2019 Silverado Reveal Event Ahead Of The 2018 North American International Auto Show
Image: Getty Images

General Motors just confirmed it’s making an all-electric version of the Chevy Silverado pickup truck, the company’s bestselling vehicle. The new truck will be powered by GM’s new EV battery and will offer around 400 miles on a full charge.

The company did not immediately say when the electric Silverado will go on sale, but GM president Mark Reuss said at an event on Tuesday that the company will also make commercial fleet-focused versions of the truck. GM has been teasing an electric Silverado for months now. It previously said it may not release a pickup EV until mid-decade and hadn’t officially announced the truck was coming until Tuesday.

The electric Silverado will be made at “Factory Zero,” the recently rebranded Detroit-Hamtramck plant dedicated to EVs and AVs that GM is currently retooling at a cost of more than $2 billion. It’s the same plant where GM will build the all-electric Hummer SUV and Hummer pickup.

An electric Silverado is a big step for GM and its Chevy brand — the automaker is planning to sell some 30 electric vehicles globally by 2025 — but it’s not too surprising considering that rival Ford already has an electric F-150 in the works. Ford’s electric pickup is due out next year. The Silverado is so important to GM that it’s currently selling versions of the truck that are missing a microchip that helps improve fuel economy thanks to the global semiconductor shortage.

A slew of other electric pickups are supposed to hit the market in the next few years. Rivian’s R1T pickup is due out later this year. Tesla’s Cybertruck is supposed to start shipping sometime around the end of this year or early 2022. GM’s own electric Hummer pickup is meant to go on sale around that same time.

Many other startups are working on electric pickups, too, including Lordstown Motors — which is backed by GM and is planning to manufacture its trucks at the legacy automaker’s former factory in Lordstown, Ohio. GM was at one point negotiating to take a stake in electric trucking startup Nikola, which was working on a pickup before it became mired in scandal. Before that, GM reportedly wanted an exclusive deal with Rivian, which left room for Ford to partner up with that EV startup.

The Silverado EV will undoubtedly be a flagship vehicle of the custom electric vehicle platform GM announced last year, called Ultium. Designed to be modular, the Ultium platform is what will power most of GM’s forthcoming electric vehicles. The company has promised the platform will be able to provide as much as 400 miles of range in the biggest configurations, and that the trucks built on Ultium will feature 800-volt architecture that allows for really fast charging.

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