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The Year Ahead

Automakers Say They Won’t Let Tesla Steal the Truck Race

They’re fielding electric Silverados and F-150s to defend the most profitable part of their market.

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Photo Illustration: 731; Source: Rivian; Photographer: Elaine Cromie for Bloomberg Businessweek

In the summer of 2019, General Motors Co. President Mark Reuss teased out the idea that the company’s first electric pickup wouldn’t necessarily be designed for the job site but would be something with “more style and capability for off-road.” The implication then was that electric trucks, with their high cost and heavy batteries, weren’t quite ready for work duty. True to Reuss’s word, GM’s first plug-in pickup was the $110,000 Hummer EV, a high-end ride that went into production in November.

On Jan. 5, GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra told the world a different story. The new Silverado she showed off virtually at the CES 2022 electronics show will start selling in the spring of next year, beginning with a $39,000 work truck version that’s ready for towing and hauling. A more expensive version aimed at weekend trail riders and suburban cowboys will hit showrooms in the fall of 2023.