General Motors plans to build a work truck version of its new electric Chevrolet Silverado for commercial customers and a fully loaded luxury model that will retail for more than $100,000 when it launches the new pickup next year.
The Detroit automaker on Wednesday said a WT, or Work Truck, will be the first truck offered to fleet buyers in spring 2023, followed by a fully loaded $105,000 RST limited first edition model for consumers next fall. GM said the work truck will start at $39,900.
Both segments are crucial customers in GM’s plans to ramp up sales and remain profitable while it fully transitions to EVs by 2035.
“As we wind the calendar forward, trucks will continue to be a franchise player and that means all of the volume and share and profitability,” GM North America President Steve Carlisle told CNBC. “The goal is to grow the company as we go through this transition; not to keep it flat or shrink it, so trucks need to play an outsized role in all of that.”
Highlights of the Silverado EV RST include up to 664 horsepower and more than 780-pound feet of torque as well as an estimated 0-60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds, according to GM. It also will feature hands-free highway driving, four-wheel steering and 24-inch wheels.
Both initial versions of the Silverado EV also will have a full range of more than 400 miles and be able to charge 100 miles in roughly 10 minutes with a DC fast charger, the company said.
Chevy vs. Ford
The top-end pricing of the Silverado EV is about $14,000 more than the F-150 Lightning. The pricing difference is likely due to additional features as well as Ford’s manufacturing platform. The electric F-150 shares many of the same components with the traditional version of the pickup that Ford sells hundreds of thousands of each year.
That compares with the electric Silverado that’s on a new platform shared with the recently launched GMC Hummer EV pickup.
“Obviously, Hummer is a big step, but Silverado is a step into the mainstream trucks,” Carlisle said.
The $105,000 Silverado EV RST launch edition also is slightly more expensive than Rivian Automotive’s fully loaded R1T, a smaller electric pickup that went on sale late last year that starts at $67,500 but can top $100,000.
Other versions coming
GM will offer other versions of the Silverado EV after the initial launch in 2023, according to Steve Majoros, Chevrolet vice president of marketing. He described the production, timing and volumes for the Silverado EV as a “Rubik’s cube” that GM is still determining.
GM has promised investors that its transition to an all-electric automaker by 2035 will be profitable.
“That’s certainly the goal that guides all this,” Carlisle said.
The role of fleet sales is viewed as important for EVs, specifically pickups — because of emerging data analytics and logistical tools automakers are eyeing as opportunities for recurring revenue with fleet customers.
Luxury pickups also have increasingly become important for automakers such as GM and Ford, leading to record pricing and profits. GM has led U.S. sales of pickup trucks for the last eight years.
“It’s a franchise for us today and it’s a big deal in the industry,” Carlisle said. “So we’re not intending to cede any ground on that as all of this unfolds.”
While the 2024 Silverado EV shares its name with Chevrolet’s traditional pickup, it physically has more in common with the GMC Hummer EV.
Most notably, both pickups feature GM’s new Ultium EV platform and batteries. They also include new technologies and notable performance metrics as well as large screens on the interior of the vehicles and sleek new exterior designs with differing LED lightbars.
The Silverado EV RST also shares a unique feature called a midgate with the once-popular Chevrolet Avalanche, a pickup GM produced for more than a decade beginning in 2001. The vehicle’s rear seats can fold down and the rear glass above them can be taken out and stored in the seats. The feature significantly increases the size of the vehicle’s bed from 5 feet and 11 inches to nearly 11 feet.
“We had a lot of satisfied customers with Avalanche,” said Ryan Vaughan, Chevrolet design director for the Silverado EV. “Having said that, this is not the new Avalanche.”
Chevrolet officials promise that despite the new looks of the Silverado EV, it will deliver everything traditional buyers of the truck have come to expect.
“It’s called Silverado for a reason,” Majoros said. “It’s a great, powerful brand.”
The work truck version of the Silverado EV will offer 510 horsepower and 615-pound feet of torque, according to GM. Both are higher than current Chevrolet Silverado 1500 models but the towing and payload ratings on the EV version will initially be lower than many models.
The $105,000 Silverado EV RST will be available for customers to reserve at Chevrolet’s website starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The WT pickup will initially go to predetermined fleet customers.