An electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado will go into production in early 2023, according to a report filed by Automotive News. The pickup truck, the first electric Silverado, follows the GMC Hummer EV to the market. We’ve already witnessed the Rivian R1T’s debut and will soon see the arrival of the Ford F-150 Lighting, two additional all-electric truck models.
The Silverado, although coming to the market later than some competitors, will build on GM’s new Ultium-battery platform. That architecture has yielded the Hummer EV and will soon include the Cadillac Lyriq utility vehicle. This initiative is part of GM’s plan to build 25 electric vehicle models globally by 2025.
We haven’t seen the official debut of the Silverado yet. That’s planned for the CES event in Las Vegas after the first of the year. What we do know is that the Silverado EV will come with all-wheel steering, an all-glass roof, and have a projected range of 400 miles. Chevrolet also plans to make the truck available to consumers and for fleet sales.
The electric Silverado will be built in Detroit at GM’s Factory Zero EV plant. That facility currently builds the Hummer EV pickup and later the Hummer EV SUV. Further, the plant will produce the Cruise Origin, the company’s bespoke autonomous shuttle.
Towing and Range
One big test for electric trucks is how well their towing capacity will hold up. Owners of gas-powered trucks are used to towing upwards of five tons, sometimes higher, a feature shared by electric models. Indeed, the Rivian R1T claims an 11,000-pound tow rating, which rivals full-size gas trucks. Its electric range is a respectable 314 miles, but that isn’t possible when towing. Notably, the company states that when towing, the R1T may lose upwards of half its range capacity, which is about 160 miles.
That deficiency was recently chronicled by a Rivian driver who pulled a Ford Shelby Mustang GT on a twin-axle trailer from Detroit to Los Angeles. The driver took a route where Electrify America charging stations were available but also chronicled the need to stop frequently for charges. Thus, towing capacity is one thing, but how much energy the truck consumes when pushed to its limits is another matter. Comparatively, the range droppage with gas and diesel models is small when towing.
Other EV News
Chevrolet’s other electric vehicle is the Chevy Bolt, a compact hatchback and crossover model. Unlike the Hummer and other Ultium-derived models, the Bolt rides on a different platform, this one utilizing LG Chem batteries. That battery system, though, was later proven defective, thereby causing GM to recall all 142,000 models built. The fix is in, new production has ramped up, and the recall process continues. If the Bolt continues for the long haul, the next-generation model is likely to also go with the Ultium system.
Manufacturers are banking on consumer demand to help make the transition to an emissions-free future. The process, though, requires much private-sector and government investment, with funding promised or already in place. Building a charging network that brings EV possibilities to the hinterlands is a significant challenge. Consequently, maintaining the network will require a long-term investment following rigorous protocols to ensure viability.
The CES event will reveal the Chevrolet Silverado EV and other automakers will do likewise. With the Detroit show now moved to the summer, the CES is the venue for showcasing autonomous and electric vehicles. For instance, BMW, Daimler, Hyundai, and Volvo are among the automakers joining GM in tapping the event to showcase select models. This comes because the convergence of technology and automotive building has greatly changed the way some models are marketed.
See Also — Down Electric Avenue with the Volkswagen ID.4
Photos courtesy of CES and GM Corp.