Fans are eagerly awaiting the unveiling of Tesla’s Cybertruck, but General Motors has attempted to steal their thunder.
At the Barclay’s Global Automotive Conference, CEO Mary Barra confirmed the an electric pickup would go on sale in the fall of 2021. That’s much sooner than many people thought as GM’s vice president of global strategy downplayed plans for an electric truck back in January.
The company has changed their tune since then and confirmed an electric pickup is in the works. In fact, the truck was one of the reasons the automaker saved the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant which was originally slated to close.
Barra didn’t say much about the pickup, but called it a BET – Battery Electric Truck – and described it as a “very capable truck” that she’s “excited about it.” It will be one of 20 EVs launched globally by 2023 and Barra said customers will benefit from the company’s long history of electrification with vehicles such as the Bolt and Volt.
Little is known about the truck at this point, but rumors have suggested the company could revive the Hummer name for use on a range of electric pickups and SUVs. That remains unconfirmed and so do reports about a performance version of the pickup arriving in 2022.
These models are just the tip of the iceberg as an electric Hummer SUV could follow in 2023. Cadillac is also working on an electric crossover and rumors have suggested there will be an electric GMC pickup in 2023.
Speaking more generally, Barra said customers want a beautiful electric vehicle with the “right range.” She went on to describe 300 miles (483 km) as the “sweet spot” and noted the 2020 Bolt is close to hitting that mark as it can now travel 259 miles (417 km) on a single charge.
The executive also said customers need access to a large charging network, so they’re partnering with firms to make it happen. She added rapid charging will be critical to EV adoption and doesn’t believe many consumers will be willing to wait around for 30-40 minutes just to get an 80% charge. Instead, she wants to lower that time to 10-15 minutes.
Despite focusing on an all-electric future, Barra confirmed GM will continue to offer a few hybrids. However, she conceded customers aren’t really interested in them.