General Motors has confirmed plans for their own electric pickup truck after failing to secure a partnership with electric startup Rivian.
We’d always suspected thanks to rumors and expert speculation, but now we know for sure. In an investor call with GM’s stakeholders on Tuesday, General Motors CEO and Chairman Mary Barry confirmed that they are working on an electric pickup.
According to Motor Authority, the investor call assured the assembled financial bigwigs that General Motors won’t be left behind in the emerging electric pickup market despite not securing a partnership with electric truck and SUV maker Rivian.
Earlier in the year, both Amazon and General Motors were rumored to be looking into investing in Rivian. Amazon likely just wanted to secure a sound investment, but General Motors likely wanted access to Rivian’s electric skateboard truck platform in order to boost development of their own electric pickup.
However, talks broke down between GM and Rivian earlier in April. Rumors state that GM wanted exclusive rights to Rivian’s technology which was a poison pill for Rivian.
Instead, Ford announced last week that they would invest $500 million in Rivian in a partnership that would give Ford access to their electric skateboard platform and Rivian access for Ford’s production facilities. The deal also didn’t tie Rivian to a single carmaker and allows them to continue selling their technology to other investors.
What does this mean for GM? Well, we know that they already have an electric platform thanks to the Chevy Bolt, and another electric platform is already under development for an unnamed upcoming electric SUV with Cadillac.
Motor Authority also points out that the current generation of Sierra and Silverado pickups are built with alternative powertrains in mind. It wouldn’t take much to modify the Sierra or Silverado to run on a battery-electric powertrain, or adopt a 48v mild-hybrid system for additional mileage in the same way as Ram.
Electric pickup trucks are set to become the next big thing in vehicles. Both Rivian and Tesla plan to unveil their electric pickup in 2020, with Rivian getting a big head start. Ford too is likely to have an electric F-150 for us sometime in 2020. GM so far has only rumors and seems far behind the pack on their own electric pickup.