There’s a Chevrolet electric truck on the horizon, ready to upend the pickup segment. Details are few but it will feature rear-wheel steering.
General Motors continues to tease out details on their upcoming Chevrolet electric truck and the latest tidbit looks slick. A short video shows the Chevrolet Silverado EV zipping around a parking garage on massive 24” wheels with rear-wheel steering providing serious maneuverability. GM has a history of rear- or four-wheel-steering (4WS) going back to the Silverado, Sierra, and Avalanche with their “Quadrasteer” from the early aughts, along with a more recent application in the Cadillac CT6 sedan. So far, there’s not a whole lot of information about this all-electric Silverado aside from a couple brief clips, but based on industry happenings, we can glean some insight.
Earlier this year, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors announced that the company plans to get out of the internal-combustion game entirely by 2035, at least within the light-duty segment. A bold statement backed up by billions of investment dollars in their Ultium battery-platform partnership with LG Chem. In fact, they’ve stated there will be 30 full-electric vehicles in the GM global lineup by 2025 with 20 of those slated for the US market. Considering there are currently only 2 – the Bolt and Bolt EUV – there’s a lot of work to be done, so the Silverado EV is likely landing soon.
Competition in the space is heating up with the Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, and the Stellantis announcement of a Ram 1500 EV. Light-duty pickups are the major profit centers for American automakers, so they can’t afford to screw this up. If the electric Silverado lands as a 2024 model, it would be sold alongside its gas-powered stablemate until the 2035 hammer drops on internal combustion at GM. That should be enough time to let pickup buyers get comfortable with the future reality for trucks and once that barrier is broken, the flood gates on electric vehicles are likely to open.
While Chevrolet has not elaborated on their electric truck, GMC has dropped auto-industry jaws with their Hummer EV reveal. It’s a wild beast of an SUV-ish-truck-thing with huge power and a big-ticket price. The Silverado EV is likely to be more in line with what consumers expect from a full-size truck looks-wise, while probably sharing the Hummer’s Ultium platform. That means up to 3 electric motors, churning out as much as 1000 horsepower from batteries ranging in capacity from 50 kWh to a massive 200 kWh. For reference, the biggest battery currently available from Tesla is 100 kWh. All that juice is needed for the 400 miles of range GM has said the new electric truck will offer.
More recently, in reference to how essential this Chevrolet electric truck is, Barra said, “What’s especially important is that this truck will be a high-volume entry, and one of the most popular and competitive segments in the industry.” That aligns with their formal announcement that the new truck will satisfy fleet and retail needs, so we can expect everything from an equivalent to the existing Work Truck trim on up to a lavishly appointed High Country type model.
At the top trim levels, the Chevrolet Silverado EV is likely to borrow some tricks from its Hummer EV cousin like the 4WS, which is marketed as Crab Walk on the Hummer. However the marketing team pitches this tech, it should be a boon to full-size pickup handling. Typically found these days on exotics from Italy, in Silverado EV application, rear-wheel steering will cut the turning radius down, improve handling at high speeds, improve trailering dynamics, and make mall parking lots easier to navigate.
GM has renamed their Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant “Factory ZERO” and it will only be used for EV production, with the electric Hummer and Silverado the first models to be produced there. The car industry is at a historic crossroads as the trickle of electric-powered vehicles has suddenly become a gully washer. Chevrolet has a lot riding on the success of their new electric Silverado, so they’re sure to pull out all the stops for what is likely to be an exciting unveiling.