General Motors will introduce fully-electric versions of its HD trucks by 2035, company chair and CEO Mary Barra confirmed during her CES 2022 keynote address this week.
During the opening speech, Barra said every single one of the automaker’s light-duty vehicles will be battery-electric by 2035, at which point it plans to carry the tech over to its heavy-duty trucks, which are mainly marketed toward fleet operators as well as working professionals like farmers and tradesmen.
“As previously announced, our plan is to have all new light-duty vehicles be electric by 2035,” Barra said. “And today, I’m pleased to announce that we’ll introduce all-electric heavy-duty vehicles on that same timetable. These all-electric HD trucks will be engineered to deliver effortless heavy-duty hauling and towing, while offering customers amazing new features and a range needed to get the toughest jobs done.”
While GM will introduce BEV tech to its HD trucks by 2035, that doesn’t mean it won’t still offer internal combustion engine work trucks alongside these EV models. Last spring, GM North America president Steve Carlisle said the automaker intends “to win wherever we’re competing and irrespective of propulsion system,” and if that means offering ICE tech to beat the competition in 2035, it will do so.
Carlisle also said GM believes “there’s a bit of leading the horse to water,” with regard to battery-electric vehicles. So while fleet operators and consumers may not be convinced of a battery-electric HD truck, the automaker intends to offer such products to show these buyers they are a viable alternative to an equivalent gasoline or diesel-powered offering.
That said, ICE trucks do have limited time in GM’s lineup. Last November, the automaker entered a pact with several other major automakers committing to phasing out fossil fuel-powered vehicles completely by 2040. Based on that commitment, ICE GM HD trucks could only be sold alongside EV versions for five years between 2035-2040.
GM this week introduced the highly anticipated 2024 Chevy Silverado EV – a light-duty, full-size pickup truck with a battery-electric powertrain offering up to 400 miles of range. The WT (or Work Truck) trim level will feature a dual-motor powertrain with 510 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque, enabling up to 8,000 pounds of towing capacity and 1,200 pounds of payload. An HD GM electric truck, by comparison, would likely have a more torque-rich electric motor setup to increase these towing and payload figures.