GM Hustling to Bring PHEV Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra to Market

the first 2022 gmc hummer ev pickup edition 1 exits factory zero in detroit and hamtramck, michigan vin 001 was auctioned in march 2021 at the barrett jackson scottsdale auction for $25 million to benefit the tunnel to towers foundation photo by jeffrey sauger for general motors
GM Rushing to Launch PHEV Chevy, GMC Big Pickups Jeffrey Sauger
  • Sources tell us plug-in hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are headed to market, in a hurry.

  • General Motors had been fully committed to all-electric pickups, but problems towing and hauling heavy loads have made EV pickups less attractive to traditional truck buyers.

  • GM’s change in plans creates uncertainty for Detroit’s Factory Zero, which has been retooled solely for production of battery-electric vehicles such as the GMC Hummer (pictured above).

While zero-emissions enthusiasts wait for mass production of General Motors’ Ultium electric full-size pickup trucks, the company has begun a crash program to get plug-in hybrid versions of its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra to market, sources say.


The program comes as Ford CEO Jim Farley touts F-150 and Maverick hybrids already in production.

GM also has canceled plans to replace the 53-year-old Chevy Express and GMC Savana with 2026 EV vans based off the BrightDrop electric delivery van, sources say.

It’s unclear whether GM will extend the life of the Express/Savana yet again. Their basic design goes back to the 1971 model year, with a redesign for 1997 and the last significant update for the 2003 model year.

GM also has canceled plans for a Ford Maverick-size EV pickup, and a Nissan EV pickup sized below the Frontier has been put on ice, according to one of our sources.

Ford sold 7672 E-Transit electric delivery vans in 2023, up 1672, or 18%, over 2022 sales.

But problems towing and hauling the sort of weight levels traditional truck buyers expect have made EV pickup trucks of limited value to such consumers.

2024 gmc sierra ev denali edition 1
How many GMC Sierra EVs can be reasonably expected this year?Tom Murphy

In the future, Ford will concentrate on smaller EV models, Farley said in Ford’s fourth-quarter/fiscal year 2023 earnings call with Wall Street analysts.

Ford’s key EV models for North America are very expensive to build, as the Lightning’s design starts with the ICE F-150 platform, and the Mach-e rides on a dedicated, single-model platform. Ford lost $4.7 billion on its all-electric Model e business unit in 2023, cutting in to its overall positive earnings before income tax of $10.4 billion.

According to one of our sources, Ford has placed EV versions of the Maverick and Bronco on-hold, until at least the early ‘30s.

The outlier among these stymied EV truck programs is, of course, the Tesla Cybertruck, which certainly has more appeal to Tesla evangelists than regular pickup truck buyers.

Although F-150 Lightning sales rose 54.7% last year to 24,165 units delivered, we will need to see this year’s sales before the EV truck proves to be more than a novelty for first-time Ford buyers.

EV pickup trucks that are not Teslas or Rivians could very well prove to be much like two-door coupes and sports cars that sell far better in their first model year than in their second, when everyone who wants one has one.

How do you think plug-in hybrids will do with traditional pickup shoppers? Please comment below.