General Motors has officially announced a pure battery-electric Chevrolet Silverado. The electric Chevrolet pickup truck is to be produced at the electric vehicle plant ‘Factory Zero’ in Detroit-Hamtramck. However, GM has not yet given a concrete schedule for production.
At the Hamtramck plant, the E-Silverado will be built together with the GMC Hummer EV as a pickup truck and as an SUV as well as the automated Cruise Origin electric shuttle. As mentioned above, the timing has yet to be determined.
What is confirmed, however, is that the electric Chevy Silverado will use the company’s Ultium platform – which was logical anyway given the “Factory Zero” converted to the production of Ultium vehicles. With the platform and the virtual development tools, the development time could be halved to 26 months.
There are not many details yet. GM gives only the top model range with “more than 400 miles” (around 644 kilometres). It remains to be seen which powertrains the Silverado will get. The Ultium platform allows several variants, from a pure rear-wheel-drive to an all-wheel-drive with two engines to the top model with three engines. With the Hummer EV pickup, this version produces up to 735 kW.
The electric Silverado may also use the rear-wheel-drive configuration. “Retail and fleet versions offer customers a variety of options and are expected to be in high demand,” GM writes in the release. And there, factors such as cost, payload or towing capacity are more likely to count, rather than peak power of 600 kW and more.
“The vehicles coming from Factory ZERO will change the world and how the world views electric vehicles,” GM President Mark Reuss says in light of the announcement. “The GMC HUMMER EV SUV joins its stablemate in the realm of true super trucks, and Chevrolet will take everything Chevy’s loyal truck buyers love about Silverado — and more — and put it into an electric pickup that will delight retail and commercial customers alike.”
Incidentally, US broadcaster CBS was recently able to get some glimpses of ‘Factory Zero’. When the body shop at the plant is finished, it is expected to become the GM group’s largest body shop. This shows the number of units the US car giant is planning for its Ultium platform.
Silverado exclusively as an electric pickup?
The Hummer EV’s pickup version is scheduled to go into production in autumn 2021, but only the top model will be built initially. Further drive versions are to be added in three steps until 2024 to increase production complexity slowly. From the beginning of 2023, the SUV version will then be added, which differs from the pickup in terms of the load area and overall length and wheelbase.
However, when announcing the electric Silverado, Reuss left open whether the model will be offered only with electric drives in the future. This seems obvious given the change to the Ultium platform, which does not include internal combustion engines. The parallel development of a Silverado on an internal combustion engine platform would be possible, but Chevrolet would be selling two different cars with the same name.
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