General Motors president Mark Reuss confirmed Thursday that the company has an all-electric pickup in development and says it will be based on the company's BEV3 platform, expected to debut in a new Cadillac SUV sometime after 2023.
That chassis will be similar to the "skateboard" chassis that GM developed for its Autonomy concept car back in 2002, which included batteries and electric motors on a platform chassis that could accept a variety of car body styles.
Reuss made the comments at the UBS Global Industrials and Transportation Conference on Thursday, according to a report in WardsAuto. "We will have a complete electric lineup, including a pickup truck that’s in development,” he said.
"We can build everything on this (platform) from just three drive units: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or e-all-wheel drive. This architecture is the canvas on which we will paint a profitable EV program,” he said.
Also Reuss stopped short of saying whether the pickup itself would be built using the same skateboard platform in a traditional sense (of body, and frame, and suspension), the statements confirm that the company is seeking to use the same battery technology and power units across its range.
GM is scrambling to keep up with the likes of startup automaker Rivian—which has revealed an all-electric pickup it is developing to go on sale in 2021 with 400 miles of range and potentially more with optional range-extending auxiliary batteries—and with cross-town rival Ford, which announced a few months earlier that it also developing an all-electric F-150, and which bought a $500 million stake in Rivian after a potential deal for GM to invest in the startup fell through. Ford has said its electric F-150 will be separate from the Rivian program.
Reuss expressed optimism about electric cars, saying the cost of building them will reach parity with internal combustion cars sooner than most people expect. "We’re going to reach parity a lot sooner than people think. (Internal combustion engine) compliance will become expensive. All these things and more will lead to greater consumer acceptance of EVs," he said. "Plus, they are going to be great cars.”
At the Detroit auto show in January, Reuss announced that GM will shift the focus of its electric car efforts from Chevrolet to its luxury Cadillac brand with the BEV3 platform. The company's hope is to be able to charge more for electric cars to make them profitable. With Cadillac the focus of GM's electric car sales starting around 2023, it's not clear how long after that an electric pickup might follow, since it would likely be badged a GMC or a Chevrolet. At the earliest, it seems GM's electric pickup might appear in 2024.
In the meantime, GM is developing a new SUV based on the current Chevy Bolt EV, on GM's BEV2 platform, which will see it through at least 2022.