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Future Cars: The Chevy Silverado EV Will Bring the Thunder to Ford's Lightning
Chevrolet takes another step toward the end of gasoline engines.Aaron GoldAuthorManufacturerPhotographer
Jul 22, 2021
WHAT IT IS: Chevrolet's first battery-powered full-size electric pickup truck.
WHY IT MATTERS: If General Motors is to make good on its promise to (probably) eliminate internal combustion engines by 2035, its popular and profitable full-size pickups will have to go electric. And the company needs to do it soon: Tesla has proven what an electric startup can do to traditional automakers, and Rivian is planning on a September 2021 launch for its R1T pickup. Meanwhile, Ford plans to put the 2023 F-150 Lightning into production in the spring of 2022. Electric pickups might be a hard sell for hardcore truck owners, who tend to be conservative in their mechanical druthers, which is probably why GM will lead the electric truck charge with the 2022 GMC Hummer EV.
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PLATFORM AND POWERTRAINS: The Silverado EV will share its powertrain with the GMC Hummer EV pickup, but while the Hummer's distinctive styling screams "early adopter," the electric Silverado will wear more traditional pickup garb. Chevrolet has not announced powertrain information, but it will offer the electric Silverado in both fleet and consumer models, built alongside the Hummer EVs at GM's new Factory Zero. We expect the Silverado EV will offer dual- and triple-motor setups like the Hummer, and perhaps even a low-cost single-motor powertrain. GM announced the electric Silverado will offer up to 400 miles of range, and the automaker, and partner LG, are already at work on the next-generation Ultium battery. It promises better energy density and therefore greater range.
ESTIMATED PRICE: EVs typically sell for a premium over their internal combustion counterparts. But as the electric Silverado strategy includes work and fleet trucks, the pricing needs to be lower than the GMC Hummer EV pickup's starting sum of $79,995. We imagine Ford's starting price of $41,669 for the F-150 Lightning will be a good target.
EXPECTED ON-SALE DATE: The Hummer EV Edition 1 comes this fall, with less expensive versions to follow in 2022. We imagine the Silverado EV's arrival won't be far behind.