General Motors (GM) is throwing down the gauntlet in the burgeoning EV pickup wars, with a range-topping figure for its upcoming Silverado EV Work Truck (WT).
The company's Silverado EV WT for fleet customers now has an EPA-estimated range of 450 miles on a full charge, uprated from a prior estimate of 400 miles.
This would give the truck more than 100 miles of additional range over Rivian's (RIVN) R1T pickup — which has a large battery pack — and Ford's F-150 Lightning with extended battery pack.
"We think that is a real winning proposition," Rory Harvey, GM's incoming president of North America, said during a roundtable with reporters. "We previously announced that it was going to be a 400-mile target, so the team did just an exceptional job in terms of being able to extend that up to 450 miles."
The work truck series is meant for GM's commercial fleet customers and will not be sold to regular consumers initially. The Silverado EV WT will arrive this spring with the 450-mile version costing $79,800, including shipping.
Another Silverado WT model with an estimated 350-mile range will follow at a price of $74,800, with a base version WT starting as low as $41,595 with delivery. The first consumer version of the Silverado EV, the high-trim RST First Edition, arrives in the fall with a starting price of $106,695 including delivery.
GM's update of the Silverado EV comes after Tesla just this week held its annual shareholder meeting, where CEO Elon Musk said the company would start rolling out “production Cybertrucks” later this year. Tesla, which announced the Cybertruck back in 2019 and said at the time that a $39,900 base version would be coming, along with a top of the line tri-motor version for $69,900, has walked back those initial pricing specs. Musk said inflation and "other issues" will affect the truck's MSRP.
As for the Silverado WT models, pricing is generally lower compared due to a lack of niceties featured in consumer models like larger touchscreens, air suspension, supercruise, and higher towing capability. GM believes it is still a winning recipe for range-focused commercial operators.
"When you look at that range, particularly in respect to the work truck which is predominantly a fleet vehicle, we believe that gives us a competitive advantage in terms of those fleet customers," Harvey said.
This is an important time for GM with three big EV releases slated for this year — the Silverado EV, the Chevrolet Blazer EV, and Equinox EV, which GM says will start around $30,000. GM is planning to target cumulative EV production of 400,000 vehicles by mid-2024, with a goal of growing capacity to 1 million EVs annually by 2025.
GM is standing by its forecast. That's despite a report from Reuters and research firm AutoForecast Solutions, which predict the staggered ramp-up of GM's three North American battery plants will result in the automaker reaching only 60% of that goal.
"We have not changed our targets," GM spokesman Jim Cain said to Reuters.