Barra dropped the news during GM’s Q1 2019 earnings call, in which the automaker reported after tax net income of $2.1 billion on earnings of $34.9 billion. The executive only briefly touched on the forthcoming electric pickup, however, saying the automaker would provide more details at a later date.
“We intend to build on our truck leadership,” she told analysts during the conference call. “And with that in mind I want to address media coverage of the various industry partnerships around battery electric vehicles and trucks. As you know GM has an industry-leading truck franchise and industry-leading electrification capability. I assure you we will not feed our leadership on either front. We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs including full-size pickups. And we will share additional information when competitively appropriate.”
The way this statement was framed, it seems as though Barra was addressing media coverage related to its failed discussions with electric vehicle start-up Rivian. The Michigan-based EV maker wants to shop its electric skateboard chassis and other vehicle electrification tech around to major OEMs, but it wouldn’t have been allowed to do so if it were to enter the proposed partnership with GM. The Detroit-based auto giant wanted Rivian all to itself, so the company backed out. This allowed Ford to swoop in a make a $500 million investment in Rivian.
Ford and Rivian are now working on a new EV together, with Ford saying it ” intends to develop a new vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform.” It’s not clear what type of vehicle they are working on, though it seems very likely that it is a pickup truck or utility of some sort.
Rivian launched late last year with two battery electric concepts, the R1T pickup and R1S three-row SUV. The production versions of these vehicles, slated to arrive in late 2020, are expected to deliver up to 400 miles of range starting in late 2020.