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May 1

General Motors Confirms Plans for Electric Pickup Truck to Rival Ford, Rivian, Tesla



Automakers have expressed their anxiousness to hop aboard the electrified pickup truck bandwagon over the past 12 months, with the most significant example being Ford's hefty $500 million investment into promising startup Rivian. Tesla and head honcho Elon Musk have also made their intentions known, promising seemingly outrageous capabilities thanks to upcoming in-house-developed workhorse tech. Essentially, the three versatile players have been alone in the space that has potential to bring about massive profits courtesy of stellar margins. However, that's about to change, as General Motors has now entered the fray.

To this point, GM had been left behind with no indicated intentions of joining the movement; that was, until CEO Mary Barra confirmed plans for an all-electric full-size truck to rival Ford, Rivian, and Tesla during Tuesday's quarterly financial results call.



A booming Q1 2019 has brought about an influx of cash to The General who saw income spike to $2.1 billion, an impressive 93.2-percent increase over the same period last year. Likewise, revenues clocked in at $34.9 billion. This can be attributed to the success of full-size vehicles such as its Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban SUVs as well as the Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. In all, these models made up 80 percent of the company's total sales through April.

Influenced by these results, GM remains bullish on the future of crossovers, SUVs, and trucks and is apparently choosing to invest more to allow for expansion of these models. An all-electric pickup fits nicely in that category, and although Barra didn't divulge many details, she did mention that the plans in question focus on a full-size offering to rival the upcoming battery-electric Ford F-150 and Rivian RT1.



This comes after a reported iffy period that saw GM supposedly miss out on investing in Rivian, the Michigan-based company instead choosing to partner with Ford despite alleged talks with GM executives. Meanwhile, the Detroit auto group also killed off production of its Chevy Volt hybrid, leading many to speculate its stance on future electric models. However, the decision to produce a new car, likely destined for the Cadillac brand, based on the Chevy Bolt EV's platform—along with the electric pickup news—puts GM in the affirmative for electrification.



May 4

There will be many choices in a few years. It will be interesting to watch.

It is going to be more interesting to have one. In particular I'm hoping my interest in Rivian is not a waste of time.

New Posts
  • Ford has invested $500 million into Rivian, an electric vehicle startup that purchased the former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois. Rivian showed off two large electric vehicles at the Los Angeles auto show last year — the R1T pickup truck and the R1S sport utility vehicle. Both deliver nearly 200 horsepower to each wheel and have a combined torque rating of nearly 14,000 Newton-meters. Those are awesome numbers. Credit: InsideEV “The beauty and elegance of our quad-motor setup isn’t just about brute power. This architecture provides instantaneous torque with extremely precise control at each wheel, which is completely game-changing from a dynamics perspective both on- and off-road,” says Mark Vinnels, executive director of engineering and programs for Rivian. In an interview with Motor Trend , Ford CEO Jim Hackett said, “Rivian is a really special thing that’s teaching us about merging not only the powertrain but the architecture that the electronic control unit and other things connect to. So think of it as architecture for the operating system of the vehicle.” The big, brawny Rivian R1T would seem to be the perfect platform for the electric F-150 that Ford is working on, but Hackett cautions not to be too quick to assume that is the case. “You shouldn’t go down the path of assuming it’s a pickup,” he told Motor Trend . The speculation is if it’s not a pickup, it must be an SUV. Whatever the two companies are working on, Hackett suggests the work is progressing nicely. “At the senior levels it’s pretty close. I think a lot of that has been settled, but not ready to talk about.” Ford has declared it will bring 40 electrified vehicles to market by 2022. Of those, 16 will be fully electric and some of those will be built on the Rivian skateboard. In fact, Hackett says the former Mitsubishi factory is perfectly satisfactory for manufacturing whatever the two companies are working on. The rest of those 40 electrified models will be either conventional hybrids or plug-in hybrids. In addition to engineering its own electric vehicle architecture, Ford will use Volkswagen’s electric vehicle platform to expand its European lineup, the first major manufacturer to accept VW’s offer to share its new MEB electric car chassis. If you are keeping track, Ford is actively pursuing at least three different paths to electrification — a partnership with Rivian, another partnership with Volkswagen, and its own internal electric vehicle platform. Will such a collection of strategies be successful in the long run? Jim Hackett certainly thinks so. source:
  • The revived EV brand Fisker hasn't even launched the sedan and SUV it's been teasing for a couple of years, but that hasn't stopped founder and CEO Henrik Fisker from talking about, and teasing, the next two models. Fisker took to Twitter on Wednesday and tweeted a teaser image that is clearly a CGI render of one of the supposed two vehicles set to come after his electric SUV. The tweet said the automaker's next two electric vehicles (set to come after the SUV that hasn't been shown yet) have been decided, and both will ride on the same platform. The CGI render appears to be a pickup truck shown from the rear. The tailgate has Fisker stamped into it in big capital letters and a horizontal character line runs the width of the tailgate. While the tailgate (and presumably the body) appear to be silver, the top of the cab is black. This design isn't out of character for Fisker as one of the first teasers for the upcoming SUV showed a red body with a black roof, which gave the vehicle a two-tone appearance. Should Fisker's third vehicle (the first being the EMotion sedan that still hasn't launched and is behind the promised schedule, and the second being the SUV) be a pickup that shares its platform with the fourth vehicle, that would make the fourth vehicle a large SUV akin to the Rivian R1S. If Fisker does dive into the electric truck scene, it'll face stiff competition. Tesla has an electric truck in the works that will, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, be unveiled this fall. Ford has not only a hybrid variant of its F-150 in the works but also an electric model, which it recently teased with a prototype pulling a train. General Motors also has an electric pickup truck in development. There's also EV startup Rivian with the R1T and the aforementioned R1S. Fisker's EMotion electric sedan was originally due in 2019 but the launch has been delayed as the automaker works to develop solid-state batteries. Fisker now plans to launch three "affordable" models starting with the SUV, and then the EMotion as a flagship. The Fisker SUV has been teased numerous times and is set to be unveiled in December ahead of a planned launch in 2021. source:
  • The Ford F-150, America's best-selling pickup, is going electric. On Tuesday, Ford released a video demonstration that featured the body of the automaker's 2019 F-150 with guts from its future all-electric vehicle. During the presentation, the mashup EV managed to pull 10 railcars a total distance of 1,000 feet. The double-decker trains housed 42 full-scale F-150s for a total combined weight of well over a million pounds, Ford says. “What we’re trying to show is the benefits of that instant torque from that electric motor,” said Linda Zhang, chief engineer of the F-150. “The electrified F-150 will be able to add new possibilities that are only possible with an electric motor.” The current F-150 can tow 13,200 lbs. At this point, the automaker hasn't released any specs for its future EV, which was first announced earlier this year by the company's president Jim Farley. Pricing and when the EV pickup will start being sold to the public remains unclear.  A hybrid version of the truck is arriving in 2020. Farley said a move toward all-electric and hybrid would “futureproof” the billion-dollar F-Series franchise during a presentation in January.  Ford's electric truck could be the first of its kind to hit the U.S. market if the American automaker can turn the vehicle around fast enough. Tesla and Rivian are both on its heels with their own electric pickups in the works. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company "might" unveil its prototype by the end of 2019, while Rivian teased pre-production manufacturing of its EV on Twitter as recently as July, saying that the company was "busy making metal".  Ford’s latest video stunt follows in the footsteps of other automakers who have pulled off astonishing towing feats. In 2012, an unmodified 2012 Toyota Tundra pulled the enormous, 292,000-pound Endeavor space shuttle over a bridge across I-405 in Los Angeles. The Tundra with its 5.7-liter V8 was only rated to tow 10,000-pounds.  source: