GM wants to make an electric pickup, but can it beat its rivals to the punch?

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

The alliance talks between General Motors and Michigan-based startup Rivian fell apart. Days later, Ford made a not-insignificant $500 million investment in Rivian, and announced plans to build a car using its new partner’s electric technology. GM missed out on the chance to work with the EV maker, but its chief executive announced it’s still planning on entering the burgeoning electric pickup truck segment sooner or later.

“We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs, including full-size pickups,” affirmed CEO Mary Barra during an investor call.

Barra stopped short of revealing when the model will arrive. Another point that’s up in the air is whether Chevrolet or GMC will inaugurate the technology. GMC has talked about going electric before, and it could have an easier time offsetting the costs added by a battery-powered drivetrain because its vehicles are more expensive than Chevrolet’s. Odds are both brands will ultimately offer an electric pickup; however, they have shared mechanical components for decades.

With Rivian out of the picture, GM will need to either find another partner to split development costs with, or design electric hardware suitable for a pickup truck on its own. We might not have to wait long to see the truck, because the current versions of the Chevrolet Silverado (pictured) and the GMC Sierra were designed with every type of powertrain in mind, according to Green Car Reports. That includes four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines, but also hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric technology. The trucks could even take a hydrogen powertrain if needed.

When it arrives on the market, whether it’s in two years or 10, the Chevrolet- or GMC-badged electric truck will face serious competition. Rivian’s R1T concept gathered a tremendous amount of attention when it made its global debut during the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and the production model expected in late 2020 will likely be wildly popular in spite of its relatively high price pegged in the vicinity of $70,000. Ford confirmed it’s working on an electric F-150, and it will build something — we don’t know what yet — on Rivian’s skateboard-style platform. Finally, Tesla has talked about making an electric pickup for years, though no one has seen it yet.

Product Review

The last American midsize plug-in hybrid is being squeezed out of existence

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can’t catch a break. Ford is planning to discontinue production next year, but looming tariffs could spell doom for an otherwise comfortable and very economically sensible sedan.

Volvo has created an autonomous truck that looks like a sports car

Volvo’s autonomous truck, called Vera, is about to start work at a Swedish port. The vehicle has a modest top speed of 25 mph and features a striking design that makes it look as if the usual cab has been swapped for a sports car.

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel boasts more torque than Ford or Chevy diesels

The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel marks the return of diesel power to Ram's full-size pickup truck after a brief hiatus. Ram is coming out swinging with 480 pound-feet of torque -- more than its Ford and Chevy rivals.

Fiat Chrysler recalls nearly 300,000 Ram 1500 pickup trucks in the U.S.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued a recall notice for almost 343,000 Ram 1500 trucks globally over a software issue that may result in airbags and seat belt pretensioners failing to activate in a collision.

Ford recalls 1.3 million Explorer and F-150 vehicles over safety issues

Ford announced multiple safety recalls on Wednesday, June 12, the largest of which affects 1.2 million Explorer SUVs over an issue with the suspension that has the potential to affect steering control.

Here’s why BMW mechanics now carry smartglasses in their tool chest

BMW technicians in the United States have started wearing smartglasses, and it's not because they're shooting alien ships between oil changes. They use augmented reality technology to access workshop manuals.

Watch as Volkswagen’s ID R racer wins the ultimate EV bragging rights

The Volkswagen ID R has set a lap record for electric cars at Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife. The electric race car's lap time of 6 minutes, 5.33 seconds beat the previous record by 40 seconds.

Will Detroit be the ultimate test for Argo A.I.’s self-driving Ford?

Ford-backed Argo A.I. revealed its third-generation autonomous prototype in Detroit. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the car is fitted with technology that sees better and further, thinks faster, and is more comfortable to ride in.

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.

Florida allows autonomous cars to drive on its roads without human supervision

Florida governor Ron DeSantis passed a law that establishes a legal framework for self-driving cars to operate within the state. It allows car and tech companies to test self-driving cars without a human operator behind the wheel.

New Toyota tech will automatically shut off engines, apply parking brakes

Toyota is launching two new safety features for the 2020 model year. One will automatically shut off a car's engine when stationary, and the other will automatically shift into park and apply the parking brake to prevent rollaways.

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.

It’s not easy being green. Why EVs have a long road to replace gas vehicles

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, but are they really better than your average gas-powered car? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and whether or not they're ready for mass adoption.