After announcing in mid-February that it had racked up some 110,000 orders for the Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup, General Motors has now reportedly added almost as many reservations from fleet buyers, and companies are now past the stage where they were doing research and testing the waters - they have decided that they can go fully-electric with their next order of work trucks.
So the shift towards electric vehicles at General Motors is in full swing not only for its passenger vehicles, but now increasingly commercial vehicles too. GM will sell the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the mechanically similar (or quite possibly identical) electric GMC Sierra, whose bold front end was revealed in a teaser published late last year.
Over the next five years, aside from the two electric half-ton pickups, GM will also introduce an electric Equinox, as well as a Chevrolet-badged electric cargo van. The company also has BrightDrop, a sub-brand created in 2021 to offer last-mile fully-electric transport solutions for fleets, whose first BEV vans have already been revealed.
According to Ed Peper, vice president of GM Fleet, who spoke to Automotive News,
What was once … 'Tell me about it' is now 'Help me develop a plan to get there.’ Their interest level regarding EVs at this point in time is extremely high.
Fleet companies need replacement vehicles. They are tools of their trade and tools of their business, just like laptop computers are. Our demand has never been greater than it is right now. We are going to be up significantly more than the rest of the industry.
However, it’s worth noting that GM’s main rival, Ford, already has its sub $40,000 electric pickup (that can be used as a work truck) on sale, as well as an electric version of the Transit; the Blue Oval does have a head start and ambitions to be a fleet EV leader. GM wants to invest $35-billion by 2025 into electric and self-driving vehicles.
Company executives at GM also believe that once electric commercial vehicles become a more common presence on American streets, buyers will be more at ease to go electric themselves, increasing EV adoption rates.