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The electric Chevy Silverado pickup. Photo courtesy of GM.

New vehicle rollouts, pledges and data this week offer a snapshot of where the electric vehicle market is today and where it's heading.

Driving the news: The big CES tech show brought several announcements.

  • General Motors took the wraps off the electric Chevy Silverado pickup, as well as plans for two new electric SUVs: a Chevy Equinox EV, starting around $30,000, and a Chevy Blazer, both coming in 2023.
  • Chrysler, part of the huge Stellantis group, said its whole lineup will be electric by 2028 and previewed its direction by unveiling the Airflow, a concept SUV.
  • Sony, two years after vaguely signaling electric vehicle plans, offered firmer info: It's creating a business unit called Sony Mobility Inc. to "explore entry into the EV market." Sony also unveiled an SUV concept.
  • Back to GM: It touted growth of its new BrightDrop commercial delivery van unit, with FedEx ordering another 2,000 vehicles and Walmart becoming the newest customer.

Our thought bubbles: As Axios' Joann Muller noted in our story Wednesday, the prominence of pickups and SUVs shows how companies are taking aim at the heart of the U.S. vehicle market.

  • Remember Ford said this week it's doubling production capacity for its electric F-150 pickup.

Electric pickups and SUVs are a potentially huge market — if consumers can be persuaded to go electric in large numbers. SUVs are approaching half (!) of global auto sales.

  • Nathan Bomey, in the Axios Closer newsletter, notes that GM and Ford sold 1.26 million Silverado and F-series pickups in the U.S. in 2021 — 34% more than Tesla’s total vehicle sales worldwide.
  • GM and Ford are positioned to jolt initial sales by tapping established relationships with fleet buyers, such as businesses and governments, that need a steady flow of new pickups and are eager to cut emissions.

The intrigue: The nexus between Big Tech and electric vehicles is clearly becoming a thing, but remains uncertain. Apple's auto plans are a moving target, and overall it's not clear whether tech giants might become carmakers themselves.

  • And here's The Verge on Sony: "[W]hether it intends to join the party as a full-fledged competitor or some form of supplier or partner is what we, and possibly Sony, don’t know yet."

By the numbers: A Morgan Stanley note this week says global sales of battery electric vehicles were up nearly 80% year over year in November.

  • EVs are still a small slice of global sales, but a growing one. "BEV penetration is running at ~16% in [the] EU, 16% in China and ~4% in the U.S.," it notes. Tesla is the global sales leader by a wide margin.

Go deeper: Ford announces plans to ramp up production on all-electric truck

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 14, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Indian electric vehicle company EVage raises $28 million

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Indian electric vehicle company EVage just raised a $28 million seed round aimed to help the firm build delivery trucks for companies including Amazon's partner in the country.

Driving the news: The U.S.-based, mobility-focused VC firm RedBlue Capital led the funding round, and its aimed at enabling EVage to complete a factory outside of Delhi, the announcement states.

Retail sales slipped a surprising 1.9% in December

Shoppers in San Francisco on Dec. 22. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retail sales fell 1.9% in December compared to the previous month, suggesting that shoppers bought holiday gifts earlier last year as they faced rising inflation and supply chain issues.

Driving the news: The data is much lower than the 0% change predicted by economists, according to FactSet.

Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.