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Electric pickup trucks are not in GM’s plans for the next couple decades, says exec

Electric propulsion is rapidly taking over many segments of ground transportation and pickup trucks, which are the biggest profit centers for American automakers, are expected to be next.

Yet, the GM executive in charge of global strategy says that electric pickup trucks are not in the company’s plans.

Mike Abelson, GM’s vice president of global strategy, made the comment Thursday at the FT Future of the Car Summit USA in Detroit.

He talked about GM’s plan to launch several new electric vehicles in the next few years and the goal to have a fleet of self-driving cars in operation next year.

But when asked about electric and autonomous vehicles becoming an important part of GM’s business financially, Abelson said that they don’t expect things to change soon (via Detroit Free Press):

“The core business is going to be the core business for a couple of decades to come,”

And he even added:

“There will not be any AV/EV pickups.”

Abelson’s comments appear to be consistent with GM’s view on electric pickup trucks.

A month before, CEO Marry Barra said that she has only given a “tiny bit” of thought about producing an electric pickup truck.

Despite having no plan to introduce an electric powertrain to their most important product lines, Abelson claimed that they will lead electrification by the end of the next decade:

“We do believe we’ll lead the industry in EVs sometime in the next decade or so,”.

Last year, GM announced an expansion of its electric car plans to add 2 new electric vehicles based on the Bolt EV platform within the next 18 months and then 18 more electric vehicles on new platforms within the next 5 years.

A year later, we have yet to see any of those vehicles, but we expect the first unveilings to happen relatively soon.

Electrek’s Take

This is a real problem. Like their existence is at risk kind of problem. But mark my words, they will change their minds on electric pickup trucks within the next 6 months.

Rivian Automotive is unveiling its electric pickup truck at the end of the month. I don’t know enough about them to be 100% sure that they will have a big impact, but I am optimistic.

If that’s not enough to convince GM, Ford, and Chrysler to heavily invest in electric pickup truck programs, then I believe it will happen when Tesla unveils its electric pickup truck, which I think should be in the first half of next year.

Even though the vehicle is not expected to hit the market until at least a year or two after that, I believe that Tesla could put some major pressure on pickup truck manufacturers just by opening the order book for the electric truck.

It’s sad that’ll be what it takes for those companies to move forward, but I think it will happen soon.

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