In an address to the Barclays 2019 Global Automotive Conference Thursday, GM CEO Mary Barra confirmed that the company’s battery-electric truck will arrive in fall 2021.
The announcement confirms a timeline that first emerged in a Reuters report last month, citing multiple sources familiar with the plans.
“General Motors understands truck buyers, and we also understand people who are new coming into the truck market, that view it as a lifestyle vehicle,” said Barra. “We understand both customers very very well.
Barra also noted that it will be a very capable truck, and that the company will share a lot more about the truck “in the not too distant future.”
Some of the same “EV building blocks” will be used, explained Barra, from its electric vehicles in China up to its full-size U.S.-market electric trucks an advantage to its strategy in focusing on a modularized “skateboard” global architecture for EVs and their batteries.
Barra said that GM is working with several startup charging companies, and it’s already signed some deals relating to reserving charging stations ahead of time and paying seamlessly. It’s also working with Bechtel to plan out charging locations.
The company only officially confirmed the electric pickup project this past April, and it still hasn’t said whether the truck will be made part of the Chevrolet, GMC, or Cadillac brands.
The pickup is reportedly the first step in plans for a whole family of premium electric pickups and SUVs, potentially to be made at the former GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant that assembled the Chevy Volt. Future products in that family are likely to include Cadillac and GM SUVs, as well as the potential revival of Hummer.
GM isn’t the only major automaker to post what could be a stepped-up timeline for its electric truck. A UAW document from earlier this month suggested not only that Ford will build both its F-150 Hybrid and the fully electric F-150 in Michigan alongside its other F-150 models. The Hybrid is due next year and the fully electric F-150 could arrive as soon as 2021.
GM’s former plant in Lordstown, Ohio, is due to beat GM, Ford, Tesla, and RIvian. It says it could start building an electric pickup as soon as later next year. But that’s not GM’s doing; a new company called Lordstown Motor Company plans to build range-extended trucks already developed by Workhorse and aimed at fleet use.