GM pushes the electric pickup truck envelope with new vehicle-to-home EV charging package, starting with the new Chevy Silverado EV.

GM Picks Up The Electric Pickup Truck Torch Dropped By Cybertruck

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When you have a powerful electric pickup truck parked in your driveway, do you really need to shell out for a home energy storage system as well? That’s the question GM is answering with its new vehicle-to-home line of energy storage products. The launch began earlier this week with a focus on the new Chevy Silverado electric pickup truck and its bi-directional charging capability.

GM Wants You To Power Your Home With Your New Silverado Electric Pickup Truck

Vehicle-to-home technology is not particularly new. At heart, electric vehicles are mobile energy storage devices. If you can plug them in to charge them, you can also plug in outgoing cables to power other devices. The application to electric pickup trucks is a particularly ripe opportunity, due to the size of the battery packs and the utility of accessing zero emission power at worksites instead of relying on diesel generators.

The devil is in the details, though, particularly if the home in question needs an electrical upgrade. GM has taken steps to ensure that the process is as seamless and hassle-free as possible.  The  company’s new “V2H” bundle comes under its GM Energy branch, and it includes EV charging station installation in partnership with the up-and-coming charging station installer Qmerit.

The hassle-free, one-stop shopping model provides for Qmerit to cover the cost of the electrical work along with obtaining any necessary permits and communications with the customer’s utility.

Qmerit installed a home EV charging station for CleanTechnica’s Jennifer Sensiba in 2022, under a deal with GM for the purchase of a Chevy Bolt. Sensiba reported a satisfactory experience with the installation itself, and she was also able to find some ways to shave down costs not directly covered in the GM deal.

That required some extra legwork on her part, but since then Qmerit has upgraded its system to help ensure that customers have all the relevant information about incentives, rebates, tax breaks, and any other cost-cutting avenues at the ready (see our Qmerit EV charging station archive here).

Who Needs Home Energy Storage When You Have An Electric Pickup Truck?

As for home energy storage, take a quick search of the Intertubes and you’ll come up with anecdotes that involve EV owners powering their homes from their car batteries during a blackout, which is why people are starting to wonder if an electric pickup truck is a better investment than equipping your home with stationary batteries.

Back in 2022, Inside EVs posted a cost comparison and ended up with the conclusion that the energy storage payout is the same, but with an electric pickup truck you also get a free set of wheels.

If you have any thoughts about that, drop us a note in the comment thread. In the meantime, one advantage to consider is that, free or not, with an electric pickup truck you can drive somewhere else to recharge the battery if your neighborhood is experiencing a prolonged power outage.

Be that as it may, GM is not taking any chances. The initial launch of V2H is confined to the interaction between the Silverado electric pickup truck and the home. Next up is a compatible home energy storage system. “GM Energy will make additional residential solutions, including stationary energy storage and solar integration, available for purchase later this year,” the company explains.

Affordable EVs: What About The Bolt?

CleanTechnica was among those taking note of GM’s plunge into mass market V2H technology last summer, when the company first teased the idea and confirmed that the Silverado electric pickup truck would be first in line.

“The next cars in line also reflect the public’s preference for large, showy vehicles, including the 2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Equinox EV, and Cadillac LYRIQ,” we wrote on August 8 of 2023, also noting that the forthcoming Cadillac ESCALADE IQ would be equipped with V2H technology.

That emphasis on the high end of the market has been typical of legacy automakers transitioning into the electric vehicle field. GM disappointed those seeking a more affordable option when it discontinued the Bolt EV back in 2022, but apparently that was just a breather.

On July 23 last year, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra dropped word that a “next-generation Bolt” is on the horizon. We’re guessing the idea is to leverage the new Bolt as an onramp to electric pickup trucks and other high end vehicles, based on its track record as a significant source of “conquest sales” for Chevrolet since the first models rolled off the assembly line (see more Bolt coverage here).

“We will keep the momentum going by delivering a new Bolt…and we will execute it more quickly compared to an all-new program with significantly lower engineering expense and capital investment by updating the vehicle with Ultium and Ultifi technologies and by applying our ‘winning with simplicity’ discipline,” Barra explained.

The Bolt is expected to add to Chevrolet’s growing lineup of all-electric vehicles, three of which are launching this year — Silverado EV, Blazer EV and Equinox EV, Chevrolet added.

“Eighty percent of Bolt owners are staying loyal to Chevy and nearly 70 percent of buyers who are trading in a vehicle for Bolt are trading in a non-GM product,” they added for good measure.

Who Is The Fairest Electric Pickup Truck Of Them All?

Of course, Chevy and GM have fierce competition in the electric pickup truck field, including the startup Rivian as well as Ford and other legacy US automakers. Tesla not so much, at least for now. The company finally began delivering its much-anticipated Cybertruck electric pickup in November, but the road has been rather bumpy since then.

In the latest development, the company has recalled all Cybertrucks for a repair on the accelerator pedal (see our Cybertruck archive here).

Meanwhile, the global electric pickup truck market is also heating up, with Japan’s Isuzu joining the effort to compete with industry leader BYD of China, which is rumored to be introducing one of its own later this year.

With all the media attention on pickups, it’s also easy to overlook the fact that electric work vans are also vying for the attention of potential electric pickup truck buyers. GM is covering that angle with its BrightDrop electric van venture, so keep an eye on that, too.

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Photo: Chevy Silverado electric pickup truck courtesy of GM.

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Tina Casey

Tina specializes in advanced energy technology, military sustainability, emerging materials, biofuels, ESG and related policy and political matters. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on LinkedIn, Threads, or Bluesky.

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