The Detroit theatre of the electric mobility war just got more interesting. General Motors has announced that it will build the all-new full-size Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup at the company’s Detroit-Hamtramck EV manufacturing facility, now renamed Factory Zero. Production timing is unclear, but it could start in late 2022.
Built as an electric vehicle (EV) from the ground up, the Silverado EV version of GM’s best-selling truck will reportedly use the automaker’s Ultium Drive platform. This component set will underpin the upcoming 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup and other planned EVs from GM.
According to the automaker, the electric Silverado could offer a maximum driving range of 400 miles. The vehicle’s promise of extended range, high torque output, and fuel cost savings may prove compelling enough to convince some pickup owners to give up their gas-powered work trucks and make the switch to electric mobility.
When the Silverado electric pickup arrives, it will compete head-to-head with the battery-powered Ford F-150 Electric, transitioning the ageless rivalry between Chevy and Ford into the electric mobility space. But now, range and recharging capabilities will be as important as towing, hauling, and bed length in terms of buying considerations. Naturally, classic Chevy vs. Ford loyalties will also become a part of the decision-making narrative.
With the EV market taking a greater interest in trucks than ever before, GM will also build the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup and the recently unveiled 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV at the Factory Zero plant in Detroit. Production of the Hummer EV Pickup is slated to begin late this year. Both the Chevy and Hummer will also challenge new electric truck models, including the Rivian R1T and the Tesla Cybertruck.
“The vehicles coming from Factory Zero will change the world, and how the world views electric vehicles,” said General Motors President Mark Reuss in a statement. “The GMC Hummer EV SUV joins its stablemate in the realm of true supertrucks, and Chevrolet will take everything Chevy’s loyal truck buyers love about Silverado — and more — and put it into an electric pickup that will delight retail and commercial customers alike.”
Last year, GM announced a $2.2 billion investment to revamp and retool the four-decade-old Detroit-Hamtramck plant and turn it into a “factory of the future” to produce various all-electric products with a focus on sustainable manufacturing. GM also plans to build the autonomous Cruise Origin electric shuttle at Factory Zero. Industry forecasters predict the facility will assemble other future EV offerings, including a pair of Cadillac SUVs in 2024.
The facility’s name change to Factory Zero signals GM’s commitment going forward to “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion” by way of EV and autonomous technologies. This pronouncement follows similar ones made by other automakers, most notably Volvo.
When Factory Zero becomes fully operational, it will support over 2,200 manufacturing jobs and have the capacity to build up to 270,000 electric vehicles per year. The automaker plans to offer 30 EVs globally by 2025 on its way to attaining an overall goal of selling nothing but zero-emissions light-duty vehicles by 2035.