General Motors CEO Mary Barra has confirmed plans to build an electric full-size pickup.
Speaking during an earnings call this morning, Barra said “We intend to build on our truck leadership, and with that in mind, I want to address media coverage of the various industry partnerships around battery electric vehicles and trucks.”
This seems to be a reference to the failed partnership talks between GM and Rivian. Those discussions were reportedly designed to speed up the development of an electric pickup for GM. However, those talks reached an impasse and Rivian eventually reached a $500 (£383 / €445) million deal with a Ford.
That was likely embarrassing for GM, but the company is undeterred. As Barra said, “GM has an industry-leading truck franchise and industry-leading electrification capability. I assure you, we will not cede our leadership on either front.”
The executive then confirmed “We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs including full-size pickups.” Barra declined to say when the electric trucks would be introduced, but noted additional information will be released when “competitively appropriate.”
While Barra was tight-lipped on specifics, reports have suggested GM was blindsided by the sudden interest in electric pickups. In particular, Bloomberg claimed GM’s next-generation electric vehicle technology wasn’t designed to be used on pickups and is instead focused on cars and crossovers.
That remains unconfirmed, but it seems possible as GM’s vice president of global strategy, Mike Abelson, said the company wouldn’t build an electric pickup in November. However, once Ford confirmed plans for an electric F-150 in January, GM changed its tune.
It remains unclear how popular electric pickups will be, but GM is heavily dependent on trucks in general. In the first quarter alone, over 80 percent of GM sales in the United States came from trucks, crossovers and SUVs.