GMC doesn’t make wimpy little city cars like the new Duo from Renault. No, GMC makes big, brawny vehicles like Sierra pickup trucks and Yukon SUVs. When it comes to joining the EV revolution, it leads the league in the brawn category with the all new Hummer EV.
Americans are in love with pickup trucks, which account for nearly a quarter of all new vehicles sold in the US. Ford was first out of the gate with an electric pickup truck — the F-150 Lightning. That vehicle got such an enthusiastic reception, it forced Chevrolet and Ram to get busy with electric pickup trucks of their own.
Now GMC has unveiled its Sierra EV Denali. The first thing sharp-eyed readers will notice is that does not have the “sails” between the cab and the load bed that are a feature of its corporate cousin, the Chevy Silverado EV. In its press release, GMC says its first electric pickup truck will have 754 horsepower and 785 lb-ft of torque in Max Power mode, together with a range of 400 miles on a full battery charge. The Ultium battery pack is a structural part of the chassis.
“This is the Denali of EVs — and a truck that is every bit a GMC,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC. “That means it leaves nothing on the table when it comes to hauling, towing and overall power while unlocking even more possibilities around what a GMC pickup can offer.”
“The 2024 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 is just the beginning,” Aldred added. “It will offer customers our very latest in technology, capability and luxury delivered in a way only GMC can do — with much more to come. From the Hummer EV supertruck to the first-ever Sierra EV, GMC continues to write the next chapter in its future as a premium truck and SUV brand.”
The 2024 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 will be available at launch in early 2024. GMC will introduce the Sierra EV AT4 and Elevation trims in the 2025 model year.
Vehicle to load and vehicle to home capability is one of the features that gets people excited about driving an electric pickup truck. The Sierra EV Denali doesn’t disappoint in that regard. GMC says its Onboard Power Station Pro turns the truck into a mobile power source with up to 10.2 kW of power. When coupled with a bi-directional charger and additional products and services offered by GM Energy’s Ultium Home, the Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 can power a home’s essential necessities for up to 21 days collectively, the company says.
What exactly constitute “essential necessities” is a matter of interpretation. Some people may think keeping the AC cranking to 68º in the middle of a typhoon is an essential service. Others may be smart enough to figure out that haunch of venison in the freezer may need to be sacrificed if grid power is not likely to be restored for a week or more, as is happening in many parts of Florida today.
When it comes to charging, the Sierra EV Denali will be tops in its class, able to connect to 800 volt DC fast chargers and accept up to 350 kW of power. It can add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes, which offers a hint at how large the battery in this beast must be. GMC hasn’t said exactly what the capacity of the battery is.
There is a 19.2 kW onboard AC charger on board for those who want to charge at home. Owners will also have access to Ultium Charge 360, GM’s holistic approach to EV charging, designed to simplify the overall charging experience. It includes access to more than 110,000 publicly available charging points in the US and Canada.
And yes, there is a frunk — and a midgate. The expandable bed lets drivers haul longer items, while still enabling room for a rear seat passenger. The eTrunk up front offers more lockable, weatherproof storage. Towing capacity is also fairly robust at 9,500 pounds and the rated payload is 1,300 pounds.
Here are some of the other goodies included in the GMC Sierra EV Denali:
- 16.8-inch-diagonal free form infotainment touchscreen — the largest ever in a Sierra
- Trailering-capable Super Cruise hands free driver assistance technology on more than 400,000 miles of compatible roads in the US and Canada
- Customizable drive modes, including Max Power mode, which enables 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 4.5 seconds (GM estimate)
- Air Ride Adaptive Suspension that both enables a more comfortable ride as well as the ability to raise or lower the truck by approximately 2 inches
- EV-enabled propulsion technologies including Regen on Demand Braking, One Pedal Driving, and 4 Wheel Steer with CrabWalk
“This truck is everything customers know about the Sierra, but is so much more,” said Nichole Kraatz, chief engineer at GM Battery Electric Trucks. “Leveraging GM’s dedicated Ultium pickup platform, it takes the Sierra franchise to new benchmarks of capability, versatility and luxury — all in a zero tailpipe emissions package.
“Without the need to work around a conventional propulsion system, there was an exciting opportunity to reimagine the Sierra EV with a refined yet bold, next-generation modern style and functionality,” said Sharon Gauci, executive director, Buick and GMC Design. “The Ultium Platform allowed us to design what a truck can offer differently when it comes to appearance, spaciousness and capability.
“It was an important goal for Sierra EV to be visually distinctive yet maintain the essence of GMC and this can be seen in many elements inside and out. For example, the powerful front shield and strong, continuous body side with machined detailing.”
The Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 will be offered exclusively in a Crew Cab model with an integrated 5-foot, 11-inch cargo bed. Its storage capacity is maximized with the innovative MultiPro Midgate, which provides 9 feet of storage between the cab and the tailgate when the Midgate is open.
A 60/40-split second-row seat offers four configurations that allow users to haul gear or equipment while still accommodating a passenger, and an available tonneau cover allows longer items such as a kayak or windsurfing board to be stowed under a lockable, weatherproof cover.
GMC’s popular MultiPro Tailgate is also standard on the 2024 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1. When this innovative tailgate is down, the maximum load floor length extends to nearly 11 feet with the MidGate down and the MultiPro Tailgate’s load-stop open.
At the front of the vehicle, the spacious eTrunk offers lockable weatherproof cargo space with two drains where the engine would be in a traditional truck, along with a 120 volt power outlet. The flat floor enables more storage space in the cab, including a modular center console, GMC says.
Deliveries of the 2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 are expected to begin in early 2024, starting at $107,000, plus delivery charges. Reservations are available now online. An entry level version of the truck will be announced closer to the start of production and is expected to be priced around $50,000.
The GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 will be assembled with domestically and globally sourced parts at GM’s Factory ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan — a facility repurposed and retooled with a $2.2 billion investment devoted to EV production — alongside the GMC Hummer EV pickup truck and SUV. Future Sierra EVs also will be assembled with domestically and globally sourced parts at GM’s Lake Orion Assembly in Michigan.
So far, none of the legacy truck makers have reacted to the paradigm-shifting Tesla Cybertruck. Let the truck wars begin.
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