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Chevrolet unveils Silverado EV details as battery plants could slow U.S. production

Yahoo Finance automotive reporter Pras Subramanian discusses Chevrolet's new details on the Silverado EV, price points, and the impact of battery plants on GM's EV production.

Video transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Let's turn to autos now. GM is revving up its EV operations with the upcoming launch of its Chevy Silverado EV. And the company is out with some fresh details on the truck's capabilities. Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian joins us now with the details. So what do we know?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Some upgraded figures for the new Silverado EV work truck. This is the fleet model that they're going to sell to commercial customers. They're upgrading the-- on the top end, the range to 450 miles, which is about 100 miles more than the nearest competitor, which would be the Rivian or the F-150 Lightning with the extended battery packs. That's a big deal there for these fleet commercial operators. GM says that there's going to be another 350 mile range car coming out-- truck coming out as well, and then also a entry level work truck that they haven't said the range yet. But pricing-wise, you know, that entry level one starts around 42,000, and then 75,000 for the mid-level, and 79,500 for the higher end 450 mile range.

That's a big deal for GM for that in terms of a work truck. And these commercial operators want more range as opposed to niceties, like a touch screen, air suspension, things like that. So this is kind of a big deal. And I think GM for their part is saying this is the better value proposition for our fleet customers.

BRAD SMITH: Touch screens are still nice to have, but maybe in the future.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah. I mean, these have a little touch screen, not a 17-inch.

BRAD SMITH: Exactly. Not a full dash touch screen.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

BRAD SMITH: And a new report is saying GM's EV production goal may take a hit from battery plants setbacks. So what can you tell us there?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: So, you know, we had the good news with the Silverado, but then also a little bit of skepticism here from Reuters. They're working with a company called Auto Forecast Solutions, which is a big data firm that watches what happens at the factory level. And they claim that-- you know, so GM says they want to make about a million EV run rate by 2025. AFS and Reuters says it might be around 600,000 because of the ramp up of their three battery factories, they're in a staggered sort of order. And they don't think it's possible to have enough materials or enough supply to make a million.

So they are-- with that report, GM says we're standing by our targets. We're going to hit that million EV run rate by 2025. So something to watch here as we see these battery plants come online and see how much sort of yield or rate they're going to get out of them.

JULIE HYMAN: Just quickly, is lithium the choke point for all this stuff? I mean, we know that's been a challenge for all of the EV makers. Or is there other stuff in building the batteries that is also going to be challenging for them to ramp?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: I think materials are always a problem. In this specific report, they talked about how they just don't have the actual batteries-- oh, sorry, the plants up yet in order to make everything. They question whether they can actually make a million batteries by that 2025 deadline. So-- but it always is-- there's always materials issue. Did you secure enough forward contracts to get your lithium, and to get your nickel, and to get your cobalt, and all those sorts of things? So that's always a thing to watch.


BRAD SMITH: Great reporting. Great context. Yahoo Finance's own, Pras Subramanian. Thanks so much.