(New York) General Motors announced the electric version of its best -selling vehicle, the Chevrolet Silverado EV, on Wednesday, trying like Ford to protect its positions in the very popular and profitable pickup truck side against Tesla and other start-up. rising.
Updated January 5th
Presented at the big tech show in Las Vegas (CES), the Chevrolet Silverado EV will first be available in two configurations: a model intended for professionals at $ 40,000, which will go into production in the spring of 2023, and a more luxurious model called RST First Edition at $ 105,000, in production by the end of 2023.
The vehicle will arrive in a busy market, starting with the electric version of Ford’s pickup truck, the F-150, which is also set to debut this spring at a base price of approximately $ 40,000.
The start-up Rivian began producing its first vans sold in September, called the R1T, followed, at the end of 2021, by the electric GMC Hummer, from General Motors.
Another start-up, Bollinger, plans to start production of its van in late 2022, while Canoo is set to launch its own in early 2023.
The Ram brand of the Stellantis group will offer an electric vehicle in 2024.
Tesla, for its part, has unveiled a “Cybertruck” that was initially available at the end of 2021, but has since been postponed, with no specific date.
“Until now, until the launch of Rivian’s R1T, all electric vehicles in the United States were sedans or SUVs”, often popular with wealthy customers, recalls Garrett Nelson, expert in the automotive sector at CRFA. .
However, the three best-selling vehicles in the United States are pickup trucks: the F-150, the Ram 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado.
Ford and GM, which in recent months have embarked on a real shift toward zero-emission cars after a long time to let Tesla dominate this market in the United States, “are in a hurry to offer an electrical version of their most popular models “, advancement. Mr. Nelson.
The game is wide open
Detroit’s traditional builders may have caught on, but after making big commitments over the past two years, their investments are “just starting to come true,” said Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds.
Since EVs still represent approximately 3% of total vehicle sales in the United States, the game is still open and many players are trying their luck.
Stellantis announced Wednesday that its subsidiary Chrysler will only launch electric vehicles from 2028 and announced an extensive partnership with Amazon, including an order of “thousands” of electric vehicles ” per year ”from 2023 in Ram.
Japanese electronics giant Sony also took advantage of the show in Las Vegas to showcase a new prototype of its Vision S electric car on Tuesday and announced the creation of a new subsidiary to explore the rapidly expanding market.
Mercedes on Monday announced a new concept of the particular aerodynamic electric sedan and offers a range of nearly 1000 kilometers, called the EQXX.
Major manufacturers now focus primarily on vehicles with more autonomy, on SUVs and pickup trucks, “segments where volumes and margins are greater,” says Jessica Caldwell.
So far, “start-ups are sure to inspire more enthusiasm,” the specialist says. Entering Wall Street in November, Rivian and Lucid quickly overtook GM and Ford even though the two start-ups had only just begun production.
But these small companies don’t have established dealer networks, brand awareness, or manufacturers ’marketing budgets.
Demand for some vehicles appears to be as follows: Ford announced on Tuesday that due to intense demand, it will nearly double production capacity for the F-150 Lightning to 150,000 vehicles per year.
But “there is still reluctance on the part of consumers to buy electric vehicles, not only for the purchase price, but also for charger installation in the home”, Garrett Nelson observes.
Joe Biden’s grand ‘Build Back Better’ investment plan provides huge financial incentives for the sector. “The fact that its adoption is still pending is clearly a setback,” he added.