General Motors, on “a path to an all-electric future,” already has shown off nearly a dozen of the battery-electric vehicles it plans to introduce by 2023 – but it turns out the automaker was holding back, a new report by the automaker revealing its plans also includes an all-electric full-size pickup from Chevrolet.
As TheDetroitBureau.com reported yesterday, it appears GM is set to launch more than the 20 BEVs it had originally signaled were in the works, though the precise number hasn’t been revealed. But in a briefing earlier this week, Chief Sustainability Officer Dane Parker broadly promised that, “We intend to provide an EV for every customer as we go forward.”
Some clues as to the specifics can be found in GM’s 10th annual sustainability report. The dense, 179-page document released this week discloses some previously undisclosed product plans, while also discussing the automaker’s target of switching to 100% renewable energy for all of its factories. And it also touches on GM’s diversity and inclusion efforts which have been accelerated under Mary Barra, the first women CEO at a major automaker.
There really never was any doubt that Chevrolet would get a long-range, all-electric alternative to the full-size Silverado. It was just a question of time. The parent company will come to market first with the GMC Hummer that was unveiled during a media backgrounder in early March.
The so far unnamed Chevy will share the same, underlying skateboard-style platform as the Hummer. It will offer significant flexibility using the new pouch-style Ultium batteries GM will produce at a new plant near Lordstown, Ohio. That almost certainly will mean that the Chevy truck will be offered, like Hummer, with multiple motor and battery-pack options. Range is expected to reach a maximum 400 miles and, if it holds in line with Hummer, the Chevrolet pickup could put out up to 1,000 horsepower with an all-electric all-wheel-drive system.
As part of its push into the all-electric world, GM is developing a handful of highly flexible platforms which, like Tesla, will see batteries, motors and some other components go below the load floor. These architectures will be highly flexible in terms of dimensions, as well as range and power. The Hummer, for example, will rely on the most truck-like of these chasses and the badge will adorn not only a GMC pickup but a full-size SUV, as well. Look for a large Chevy, as well.
Then there’s Cadillac. The automaker showed off its first all-electric model, the three-row Lyriq, back in March, as well as an exotic supercar concept, the Celestiq. At the time, the automaker wasn’t ready to confirm additional plans but, as was widely expected, the new sustainability report makes it clear there will be a long-range electric Escalade, though it is far from certain it will pick up that name. Add a smaller crossover along the lines of the current Caddy XT4.
What we already know about GM’s battery-car plans is that we will next year see the Lyriq, the Hummer pickup – and possibly the SUV – go into production, along with an extended-length version of the Chevy Bolt. All future models, but for the Bolt, will rely on the next generation of EV platforms GM is now developing and also will use the new Ultium batteries. Bolt could, however, migrate over at some point.
Along with the two Bolt variants, as well as the Silverado-sized EV pickup, Chevrolet will be getting a midsize battery crossover.
Early versions of two Buick EVs were shown in March and the new GM report confirms plans for the two models, one featuring a relatively stock SUV design, the other opting for “more expressive proportions.”
All told, GM has lifted the covers enough to tease about a dozen or so upcoming BEVs. That leaves a lot of room for speculation about what else is in the offing considering CSO Parker’s comment early this week that the automaker will have “at least 20 by 2023.”
The reality is that virtually everything coming, save for the Cadillac Celestique and the two Bolt hatchbacks, will fall into the utility vehicle category. That would suggest that we could be getting EV versions of other current Chevy models, such as the Tahoe or even the suburban. And GMC is all but certain to get more electric SUVs than just the full-sized Hummer model.
Could GM keep any sedans or other passenger cars in the electric line-up? All but certainly, at least one will remain: the Corvette. The automaker has been quite cagey about where it will go with “America’s sports car,” though TheDetroitBureau.com was clearly told that the current, C8 platform was designed with some form of electrification in mind. Whether that will be hybrid or all-electric is unclear, though spy shots have shown some form of plug-based ‘Vette in testing.
All told, GM confirmed that it will invest more than $20 billion between 2020 and 2025 to bring all these models to market. Just as significantly, Parker said the Detroit giant will be phasing out its conventional gas and diesel models, but he made a point of saying that it has not set a particular timetable. If anything, that will vary by market. Europe appears to be likely to promote the switch to all-electric most rapidly, with China close behind. The U.S., among major markets, lags behind but that could change depending upon the results of November’s presidential election.