2. The great electric pickup production race
Automakers are competing to make the buzziest, strongest, fastest electric truck that would fare well in a dystopian future — albeit one with a reliable grid and eco-conscious drivers, Axios' Ben Geman writes.
Driving the news: This week, GM announced it is indeed reviving the gas-guzzling Hummer as a fully electric and powerful "super truck" with seriously gaudy specs.
- The company has bought Super Bowl advertising and plans to unveil the vehicle, which will be built in Detroit, on May 20.
- It has not yet released images, beyond the grille above, of the vehicle to be sold under its GMC brand in 2021.
Where it stands: The announcement comes just two months after Tesla unveiled its powerful Cybertruck that's explicitly designed to look like something out of a sci-fi movie.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on this week's Q4 earnings call, said they wanted to build a "badass, futuristic, armored personnel carrier."
Why it matters: A number of automakers hope a chunk of the huge pickup market can be electrified — and that consumers are interested in muscle and design, not just the environment, and will pay a premium.
The offerings in the pipeline include...
- GM says the electric Hummer will have 1,000 horsepower, go from 0-60 miles per hour in 3 seconds and have 11,500 lb-ft of torque.
- Tesla says the high-end version of the Cybertruck, slated for production in 2022, goes from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and has a towing capacity north of 14,000 pounds. Production of other versions is slated to launch in 2021.
- Ford is planning to launch an electric version of its hugely popular F-150 in the coming years. They've circulated a video of a prototype pulling rail cars weighing a combined 1 million pounds.
- Rivian, the well-funded Michigan-based startup, will start selling its futuristic-looking R1T pickup late this year.
The bottom line: There's opportunity for automakers if electric pickups can catch on. Per the firm Edmunds, pickups were 14.4% of the consumer vehicle market last year, the highest level since 2005.
Go deeper with Ben's full story.