Electric Cars

GMC 'considering' electric trucks and SUVs, report says

The timing is right, considering Ford is working on an electric F-150.

GMC

While we may not see the fruits of these labors for a few more years, a growing number of automakers are looking to electrify their bulkiest vehicles. GMC is reportedly the latest automaker to throw its hat in this ring.

GMC is looking into electrifying its SUVs and trucks, CNBC reports, citing an interview with Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC. "Certainly, it's something we're considering," Aldred told CNBC. He wouldn't confirm to the outlet if development was already underway, but he did mention that General Motors CEO Mary Barra has already make comments about "an all-electric future." Automakers routinely decline to discuss future products until the timing is right.

There are some things that could help speed GM's development along. As CNBC notes, the GMC Sierra pickup shares many underpinnings with the Chevy Silverado, so applying EV tech to both trucks at once could take advantage of economies of scale. The same goes for SUVs -- GM shares a great deal of components across its many brands, allowing the group to spread the cost of EV development across multiple vehicles simultaneously.

As long as there's infrastructure to support it, and as long as capability isn't too greatly affected, electric pickup trucks should receive a relatively warm embrace from the public. It's not like trucks aren't stupid expensive already.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

There are drawbacks, however. CNBC points to the price of EV batteries, which is still higher than GM would like, and which makes cost-effectiveness harder to transfer to the consumer. Lower battery prices will hopefully come in time, especially as more automakers jump on the electrification bandwagon.

Electrification is already happening in the truck segment. GM has dabbled in mild-hybrid tech with its past eAssist pickups, and Ram currently sells a mild-hybrid variant of the Ram 1500 light-duty pickup. Companies like Workhorse have been working on plug-in hybrid trucks, too. And then there's Rivian, the startup that landed at the LA Auto Show with battery-electric pickup and SUV concepts.

Ford has been a little less tight-lipped about its near-future electrification goals. The automaker has already teased its Mustang-inspired EV crossover, which is due in 2020. Last week, it also confirmed that an electric F-150 is in the works, but Car and Driver estimates that we won't see it until 2021, after Ford debuts the hybrid F-150 that it's already confirmed for production.

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