General Motors has bold plans to electrify its lineup over the next several years, and it’s determined to prove that point, preparing to introduce a range of new models, including a second battery-powered pickup for the GMC brand.
The brand started deliveries of its Hummer EV pickup this month and has already announced what will become the second battery model, the GMC Hummer EV SUV. Today he’s teasing his third BEV model – and his second pickup, the GMC Electric Sierra Denali.
“Sierra Denali holds significant capital for GMC and our customers,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC. “We now have the ability to evolve Sierra’s capabilities and technologies, as the move to all-electric propulsion allows while improving the luxurious design and comfort associated with the Denali. “
What’s in store
In total, General Motors will market at least 30 battery-electric vehicles by 2030. The GMC Hummer pickup will be the first addition to the lineup since the Chevrolet Bolt EUV launched two years ago. And it will be the first to use the new Ultium technology that the automaker is developing. This includes a new type of lithium-ion battery pack, as well as several skateboard-like platforms that will underpin the new models.
Truck-like “architecture” will be used in both Hummer models, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup that will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in the first week of January. It will also underpin the GMC Electric Sierra Denali. These four truck-like models are expected to be assembled at Factory Zero in Detroit.
It’s unclear when the Electrified Sierra will make its official debut, although today’s tease timing suggests it should happen at the start of the New Year. Production, however, appears to have to wait until after the Hummer SUV launches, that is, late 2022 or even 2023.
The automaker isn’t saying much yet, but the teaser image released on Wednesday shows that the battery-powered version of the pickup will have a markedly different front-end design than the conventional gasoline-powered model.
A new look for a new truck
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Automakers not only want their BEVs to stand out, but also need to improve aerodynamics to improve range and performance.
The traditional Sierra grille looks smaller and will likely be sealed, as there is no need to push air under the hood with the batteries and motors mounted under the cargo floor. The image shows a sleeker front end, with oversized L-shaped lamps and, in keeping with the current EV trend, an illuminated GMC badge. A video shows sequential turn signals just above the bumper.
The hood of the Electric Sierra Denali is heavily sculpted and doesn’t look much smaller than that of a conventional version of the pickup. This would strongly suggest a large “frunk” underneath. That would be a competitive necessity given that the massive front trunk offered on the upcoming Ford F-150 Lightning is one of its main selling points.
And, without a conventional internal combustion transmission, there won’t be a driveshaft, freeing up space in the cabin and, perhaps, elsewhere. The new Rivian R1T places transverse storage space under its bed and in front of the rear wheels.
As for the platform on which the Electric Sierra, Hummer EV pickup and other models are based, it was designed for truck applications. This means, on the one hand, the ability to offer greater ground clearance. But it also allows for a two-tier layout of GM’s new Ultium batteries.
That could grow well north of the 100 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion cells. This would be essential for maintaining good reach, especially when towing or when the bed is fully loaded. As per the Lightning and R1T, expect range of up to 300 miles, although a smaller battery might be an option. And towing capacity, sources say, will likely be north of 6,000 pounds.