General Motors is apparently planning a whole series of electric pickup trucks and SUVs to be produced at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant. This could result in significantly more electric models coming onto the market than expected.
The news agency Reuters revealed that GM’s so-called BT1 program includes an electric pickup for the GMC brand and an electric SUV for Cadillac, both of which will be launched in 2023. Before that, the production of small quantities of an electric pickup for another brand is to start at the end of 2021. GM may well revive the Hummer brand for this purpose, but apparently no decisions have been made on this as yet.
According to Reuters, the pickups and SUVs of the BT1 family will use a dedicated electric vehicle architecture. When the Hamtramck plant reaches full production in 2024, it is expected that around 80,000 electric vehicles will be built per year. An industry expert quoted by Reuters predicts that GM will sell the Cadillac-SUC for at least $90,000, while the other vehicles could be just over $100,000. GM wants to follow Tesla’s path of initially placing electric cars in the high-price segment where they can generate profits faster than in the more price-sensitive volume business.
In a similar report about four weeks ago, there was only talk of a fully electric pickup model – a proposal that has been circulating since at least January this year. At the time, GM had promised the UAW union new investments in the USA totalling 7 billion dollars over the next four years as part of contract negotiations – including the production of an electrically powered pickup in Detroit and the production of battery cells in Lordstown in the US state of Ohio.
In the most recent report, Reuters now writes that GM’s planned battery plant is to be a joint venture, though no mention was made concerning the other partner in this undertaking. Apparently, this battery joint venture is part of a plan to invest a further 1.3 billion dollars in “non-GM plants” in the USA over the next four years.
The company did not want to comment in detail on the information contained in the report. GM told Reuters that it was “committed to an electrical future”. “GM believes in an all-electric future and we are making great progress in that area. “We have announced that a pickup truck will be part of our future portfolio, but have no additional information to provide.”
In Michigan, the startup Rivian is also working on electric pickups and SUVs with funds from Ford and Amazon. GM’s archrival Ford will also develop its own models on Rivian’s skateboard platform and possibly have them manufactured at the startup, as Ford CEO Jim Hackett hinted in August.