The Verge is reporting that the Chevy Silverado EV — a battery electric pickup truck designed to take on Ford’s wildly popular F-150 Lightning — will go into production in early 2023, with deliveries to customers expected to begin by the fall of that year. Citing a story by Automotive News, it says the Silverado EV will make its public debut at the 2022 CES show in Las Vegas.
The Silverado EV will use the Ultium battery pack and electric drivetrain that power the all-new Hummer EV, the Cadillac Lyriq, and other upcoming EVs. GM claims the Silverado will get more than 400 miles of range on a full charge (that will require a mighty big battery pack!) and will be sold in both consumer and fleet versions. GM has also revealed that the truck will come with all-wheel steering as well as a “fixed-glass roof.” America is holding its collective breath, waiting to find out if it will be able to crab walk its way into tight parking spaces at the mall.
The Silverado EV will be built at Factory Zero, GM’s EV assembly plant in Detroit, alongside the Hummer EV and the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle. CEO Mary Barra is expected to reveal more details about the battery electric pickup truck during her keynote speech at CES — assuming there is a show next year, as the omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeps across America.
New Investments In Michigan
Michigan is smarting after Ford thumbed its nose at its home state and decided to build a new manufacturing facility and three battery factories in Kentucky and Tennessee. GM is being more loyal to its ancestral home, however. According to documents released last week, it is poised to invest more than $4 billion to build or expand production facilities for EVs in the Wolverine State. (It is also building battery factories in Ohio and Tennessee.)
Reuters says the money would be used to build a battery factory with LG Energy Solutions near Lansing and to reconfigure the Orion Township factory to build more EVs based on the Ultium platform. Orion is where the Chevy Bolt — which does not use the Ultium platform — is built. Production of that car is currently suspended as a result of the battery recall campaign that is underway. The Reuters report does not make it clear whether the Bolt will continue to be built there in the future or will move to another facility.
GM says its plans are “weeks away” from being confirmed. In a statement last Friday, The General said it was “developing business cases for potential future investments in Michigan,” but that “these projects are not approved and securing all available incentives will be critical for any business case to continue moving forward.” It says the Lansing battery factory “will generate significant economic activity throughout Michigan.” That is music to the ears of Michigan legislators, who are rushing to make sure enough public money is made available to meet GM’s expectations.
Ford got significant incentives from Kentucky and Tennessee to invest in those states. Earlier this year, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess went to Spain to warn its officials to come up with big incentives if it wants VW to invest in making electric vehicles there. Elon Musk recently went on a tirade about public subsidies but neglected to mention the tax incentive packages put together by the state of Nevada and local officials in Texas to lure his factories to their states, and how he played different states and municipalities off of each other to get more subsidies. And so the game of “Who will pay us to build our factories?” continues in Michigan and around the world.
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