If you have had your eye on the upcoming electric Silverado pickup truck, GM will reveal it fully in January during the CES where the CEO is the keynote speaker. However, ahead of the event, GM CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss have given sneak previews of what is coming in January during a live Q&A session.
First and foremost, GM made it clear it wants to be a leader in the EV space. There is no doubt the automaker is one of the companies with the funds and technical ability to do so. It currently occupies the second position, behind Tesla by a wide margin, based on EV sales in the country.
Concerning the Silverado, the biggest news is the glass roof, as GM tries not to be outdone by the likes of Tesla and Rivian that have made glass roofs basic features of their models. GM describes the roof as segment-leading. However, glass roofs make nice enhancements to automobiles as they increase headroom, make the cabin brighter and appear more spacious, and offer more visibility, especially on adventure trips where passengers might enjoy watching the sky.
We get info on more than just the look of the truck, though, as GM will import the Crab Walk mode from the GMC Hummer to the Silverado. The mode allows the truck to move sideways by turning all the wheels in the same direction. It is only available at low speeds and allows easier extraction from difficult spots like tight parking lots or on nature trails.
The duo also revealed GM would stick 24-inch wheels on the Silverado, making it more attractive. The company had earlier announced they would use 24 and 26-inch wheels on some of their new models.
An image of the Silverado even made an appearance, although it didn’t reveal much, save for the glass roof GM is pumped about.
As expected, the Silverado will use parts from the Ultium platform GM has developed for its electric vehicles.
GM is also making the Silverado available as retail and fleet versions with specific features to suit each application. But what they will have in common is the range, which GM estimates at over 400 miles on a single charge. We will have to wait to see if the EPA agrees, but there is no doubt there will be plenty enough range on the truck to make it practical for everyday use.
Like any company about to launch a product, GM hopes the electric Silverado sells a lot and gives it more chances to sell other products and services to the buyers.
Away from Silverado news, GM revealed it was going into the insurance trade, following the lead of fellow car companies Tesla and Rivian. GM wants to shake up the industry, but we are interested in seeing what it will do differently.
GM will get into locomotives but with an electric or fuel cell twist.
There was news about GM’s hands-off driving tech, Ultra Cruise, which it had been working on for some time, too. GM revealed the feature can now cover 95 percent of all driving scenarios in the US and Canada. It will work by creating accurate, 360-degree, three-dimensional representations of the environment surrounding the vehicle.
GM has positioned Ultra Cruise as a premium feature for its top trims, and not as an update to the existing Super Cruise. As seen in a press release:
“Today, GM unveiled Ultra Cruise, an all-new, advanced driver assistance technology and significant next step in the company’s journey to enable its goal of zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. Designed to ultimately enable hands-free driving in 95 percent of all driving scenarios, Ultra Cruise eventually can be used on every paved road in the U.S. and Canada.”
At launch, Ultra Cruise will be available on more than 2 million miles of roads between the US and neighbouring Canada.
The feature will get better with over-the-air and unlock more capabilities from the array of cameras, radars, LIDAR, and other hardware.
Drivers, however, still have to pay attention at all times. GM will ensure this through a monitoring system. Cadillac owners will be the first to experience the feature.
Perhaps more exciting to the average EV buyer than hands-free driving is the promise of a $30,000 EV, which will come under the Chevrolet brand. When that eventually comes, it might be close to the Bolt series in features and value. It will base on the Ultium platform.
GM hopes to appeal to more buyers with this affordable model. However, it will have to sort out the mess created by the Bolt EV/EUV that it is recalling and buying back due to a risk of fire with the battery.